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Vermin and Pests

Pest Management

Below is a list of common 'pests' in the area along with simple methods to reduce them.


Signs of activity
Common signs of rat activity are rat droppings, partially eaten food (e.g. half eaten fruit and empty snail shells), gnawing, burrows, and greasy rub marks along pathways (commonly the fence line).

How to reduce rat activity
To reduce the rat activity you need to deprive the rodents of food, water and shelter; coupled with rat baiting and or trapping.

Some simple steps you can take

  • If you have a fruit/nut tree, ensure to clear fall fruits/nuts regularly
  • Do not leave out pet food, bird food or water overnight
  • Keep poultry coupe’s clean and remove excess food scraps
  • Reduce overgrown vegetation and potential shelter sources e.g. piles of building materials
  • Ensure compost bins have tight fitting lids

Rat Prevention(395 kb)

European Wasps

European wasps are attracted to sweet food and meat. They become aggressive when their nest is disturbed, releasing a chemical that signals for the other wasps to defend their nest where the wasps will sting multiple times.

What does a European wasp look like?

The keys features of a European Wasp are:

  • Bright black and yellow body
  • Triangular markings on its abdomen
  • Yellow legs

        Paper  Wasp    Mud Wasp       European Wasp

The nests are commonly in the ground, however can sometimes be located above ground -  inside a wall/tree cavity or attached to a solid structure. See the picture above. The size of the nest is approximately the size of a football.


  • Keep pools covered
  • Avoid leaving pet food out
  • Do not leave fallen fruit or scraps in the yard
  • Ensure your rubbish has a tight fitting lid
  • Cover exposed food at picnics


Mosquitoes are generally a nuisance insect however in some regions can carry diseases. Fortunately, in the Holdfast Bay area the disease carriers have not been detected

As mosquitoes generally breed in the still water, it is important to reduce any stagnant sources of water. For example, after a heavy rain, water can collect in containers in the backyard. Make sure these containers are emptied. Mosquitoes can also breed in your rainwater tank if the inlets are not covered with mesh.

Mosquito Awareness(359 kb)


On occasion particularly during the warmer weather, bees may form a colony, or 'beard', outside of the hive. This is their way of trying to get cool and can be quite frightening due to their size and the amount of bees present. Bees at this time of year can also relocate their nest and will go into a resting phase for approximately two days. Generally during these situations, the bee colony is not aggressive as they are trying to protect the queen.

Bee removal - private property
If you have a bee colony on your property that is causing a nuisance, you will need to call an apiarist who may come and collect the bees or a a pest controller to remove/destroy the bees. Council do not provide this service.

Bee removal - council property
Council will remove bees from council land if it has been identified that the bees are causing a risk to public health and safety. Please call our Customer Service on 8229 9999.

Our Pest contractors will attempt to re-locate the bees without destroying them. However at times this may be difficult and destruction is the only option.

Please note, if the bees are swarming but have not settled into a hive (clump) for at least 48 hours, we cannot arrange for their removal as this is likely to be a temporary hive to protect the queen bee.

Bees that have formed a hive at a safe height i.e. high up in a tree, may not be removed as generally this does not pose a health/safety risk. For more information about bee swarms click here

If you have any questions or concerns about Council's services please contact one of our Environmental Health Officers on (08) 8229 9999.

Swooping birds

At the beginning of spring swooping birds can be a problem for bike riders and joggers. The birds swoop to protect their eggs. It is best to avoid these areas for six weeks until the birds do not feel threatened. For more information visit this link: Swooping Birds

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