Pest control

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Bed bugs

Bed bugs do not carry disease however the bite and saliva can cause an allergic reaction to the skin and welts to form. They are an increasing problem in the short term accommodation industry due to increased availability of travel options amongst the population and relative difficulty in eradication.

They can be found hiding in mattress piping, bed bases, and door or window architraves, woodwork, behind light and plug switches, in old books and papers, behind wallpaper, in clothing, dresser drawers, behind curtains and drapes, any crack and crevice in floors or walls, wallpaper joints, upholstered furniture, pictures, covers and bedspreads. Well used hiding places are covered in spots of dried blood excrement.

For more information, you can refer to the Department of Health brochure - bed bugs and their control or refer to Department of Health .

What do I do if I experience bed bugs at a short term accommodation premises within the City?

Inform the premises immediately - this is extremely important as the room and your belongings will need to be separated, they will have a bed bug management procedure in place.

  • Seek treatment for bites from a pharmacy.

  • Contact our compliance services team to make a complaint.

  • Check your belongings for bed bugs. Bed bugs can be transferred easily so is advised they be separated in sealed bags until they can be treated.

  • Wash all your clothing and linen in hot water above 60°C and dry in dryer on hot setting.

  • For more difficult objects you may want to consult the advice of a qualified pest controller.

What do I do if I experience bed bugs in my house

  • If you had a friend who has been travelling, check all their belongings and separate them in sealed bags

  • Wash all clothing and linen in hot water above 60°C and dry in dryer on hot setting.

  • Contact a qualified pest controller to carry out treatment in the rooms as they can use both chemical and non-chemical methods to treat affected areas.

For more information on bed bugs go to Department of Medical Entomology Bed Bug.

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Bees

If you see bees swarming on the council property such as verge trees, reserves and parks, please contact our parks and landscape team on 08 9432 9999 to report a hive. If the bees swarming on the private property, it is the responsibility of the property owner to address the problem or seek professional advice. The WA Apiarists Society has a list of bee swam collectors contact details.

The keeping of bees in residential areas is permitted as a hobby as long as they do not become a health nuisance or hazard to other persons. It is recommended that you speak with your neighbours before keeping bees at your premises. Good biosecurity practices are essential to ensure it is free of exotic pests and diseases. You should need to have a certificate of registration from the Department of Agriculture and Food as a registered apiarist in Western Australia.

Here is the bee keeping guide

  • The land where bees are kept must have a sufficient water supply which is readily accessible by the bees.

  • The bee hive must kept at a distance specified by the council from any thoroughfare, public place or boundary of the land.

  • No more than 2 bee hives are permitted on land of less than 2000 square metres in area.

  • A permit is personal to the permit holder and applies only to the land described in the permit.

  • A person shall not keep or allow to be kept bees or beehives, or both on land so as to create a nuisance to any other person.

If you wish to keep bee hives in your residential areas, you to apply in writing to Environmental Health under Health Local Law 1997 to keep bees and submits a bee hives management plan and a location map.  Environmental health officer assesses the bee hives management plan and location map and performs a site inspection. Under delegated authority, Manager Health, Building and Compliance approves or refuses the application to keep bees and a letter is sent to the applicant.

What can I do about bees?

If you have a bees/wasp nest on your own property, contact a pest control company in your area. If the bees/wasps nest is on City of Fremantle property (e.g. a tree on a verge), contact our city works team on 08 9432 9628 to have it removed.

European wasps

If you have a European wasp hive that needs removal on your property then you must seek the professional advice. If the European wasp hive is on council property contact our parks and landscape team on 08 9432 9999.

For more information on bees and wasps:

  • The Department of Agriculture and Food Honey bee swarms and nests fact sheet

  • European wasps are not native to Australia and are a pest, the Department of Agriculture and Food's European wasp information may to help you to identify a European wasp's nest.

  • If you suspect you have a European wasps nest, contact the Department of Agriculture and Food on 1800 084 881 (Pest and Disease Hotline) or info@agric.wa.gov.au.

For complaints regarding bee swamps on a neighbouring property causing a nuisance or hazard, contact our compliance services team here.
 

Mosquitoes

Mosquito breeding usually occurs in the warmer months from September through to April. Mosquitoes can be a serious nuisance as they spread disease- causing viruses such as Ross River virus (RRV), Barmah Forest (BFV) and Murray Valley encephalitis virus (MVE).

Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. To eliminate breeding areas in your own backyard

  • Dispose of all rubbish that can hold water (e.g., buckets, old tyres, drums).

  • Keep ornamental ponds stocked with mosquito-eating fish (goldfish), keep the edges free from vegetation and add movement to the water.

  • Keep swimming pools well chlorinated, filtered and, free from dead leaves.

  • Clean out house gutters and ensure they are not holding water.

  • Empty pot plant drip trays and some plants (especially bromeliads) can hold water in their leaf axils which mosquitoes can breed.

  • Screen open areas of rainwater tanks and/or add paraffin oil to cover the water surface.

  • Fill or drain depressions in the ground that hold water.

  • Vent pipes on septic tank systems must be fitted with mosquito-proof cowls. Seal all gaps in lid and ensure leach drains/soakwells are completely covered.

Residents are asked to take the following personal protective measures to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes

  • Avoid being outdoors in the evenings when mosquitoes are most active.

  • Ensure insect screens are installed and use mosquito nets and mosquito-proof tents.

  • Wear insect repellent as well as loose protective clothing when outdoors.

  • Use insect repellent candles, oil burners and coil sticks.

  • Ensure infants and children are protected against mosquito bites, with suitable clothing, bed nets or other forms of insect screening.

The Department of Health's Mosquitoes - Mosquitoes in your backyard, provides useful information on how to eliminate breeding areas in your backyard.

For further information on mosquito-borne diseases and mosquitoes management programs, refer to Department of Health.

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Portuguese millipedes

Portuguese millipedes are an introduced species of millipede, with a smooth cylindrical body, ranging in colour from black/grey to light brown. They are not harmful to animals or human and do not breed inside homes. The Department of Agriculture and Food brochure has more information on Portuguese Millipedes.

Rats and mice

Rats can carry serious diseases, cause damage to buildings and furnishings and are able to gnaw through lead and aluminium sheeting.

To avoid rat problems, a few simple precautions will prevent or help get rid of them:

  • Store firewood away from the sides of sheds and fences and keep it well clear (40cm) off the ground.

  • Regularly remove or limit garden waste or other disused material in sheds or around your yard.

  • Remove fruit and nuts from trees or vines at the end of the season.

  • Block holes and other potential access points around all buildings.

  • Keep pet food dishes clean and store bulk pet food supplies in a manner which denies access to rats.

  • Rubbish bins and compost containers should be well maintained and free from holes. Meat scraps must never be composted.

  • Thoroughly examine your property to ensure you have discouraged rats from making your home their home.

Sachet type poisons are available for purchase from the customer service counter located on the Ground Floor in the Town Hall, Fremantle. The Department of Health Facts on Rats brochure has more information. If notified of a specific area of concern the City may carry out rat baiting around swamp areas. Should you wish to make a complaint regarding a rat problem within City owned land, contact our compliance services team here. If you are experiencing an increase in rodents around your property, contact professional pest control (look in the Yellow Pages) which be able to thoroughly investigate the cause.

How do I get rid of rats?

The City of Fremantle sells rodent bait and rat poison. This is available for sale at our customer service centre located at the City of Fremantle, Town Hall Centre, 8 William Street, Fremantle.

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Termites

Termites, or the commonly misnamed 'white ants' are social insects, usually living in a nest in a large community with different castes. Termites occur naturally throughout Australia and some termites pose a major threat to buildings because they eat wood and other materials containing cellulose plant fibre. The Department of Health fact sheet protecting your house from termites has more information. Contact pest control if you need for an inspection.

Contact us

Environmental health service
City of Fremantle
Town Hall Centre
8 William Street
Fremantle
T 08 9432 9999
F 08 9432 9895
TTY 08 9432 9777
health@fremantle.wa.gov.au