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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.

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.

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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 may be permitted as a hobby, on application, 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 need to have a certificate of registration from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development as a registered apiarist in Western Australia.

City Requirements for bee keeping:

  • Adherence to the Western Australian Apiarists' Society’s Best-Practice Guidelines for Urban Beekeepers.
  • 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 a bee hive in a residential area, you must apply in writing to the City's Environmental Health under Health Local Law 1997 for approval. You must submit a bee hive management plan and a location map.  Environmental health officers assesses the bee hives management plan and location map and perform 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 website 
  • 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
For complaints regarding bee swamps on a neighbouring property causing a nuisance or hazard, contact our compliance services team here.


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.

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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. 

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.

How do I get rid of rats?

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.

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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. Contact pest control if you need for an inspection.

Feral rabbit control

Rabbits are a well-known cause of environmental damage if left unmanaged. They can cause erosion problems, prevent native vegetation from regenerating, inhibit revegetation efforts, compete with native wildlife for food and habitat, destroy gardens, and undermine buildings. Under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 rabbits are declared pests of agriculture and all landholders are required to control rabbits. The City is required to control rabbits in its public open space reserves.

All control activities must comply with the Animal Welfare Act 2002 and Animal Welfare (General) Regulations 2003. The City approaches the design and implementation of its feral animal control programs with consideration to animal welfare, public health, impact on other species including domestic animals, timing of control effort, and the suitability of various methods to local conditions.

Licenced operators are engaged to undertake works consistent with industry standards and best practice. Rabbit activity is monitored and controls are deployed at the optimum times. Where possible a combination of methods are used to achieve the most effective control of rabbit populations with poisoning being the last method to deploy once the population has been reduced by other methods. Control sites are routinely monitored during control operations to remove affected rabbits.

Control methods that may be used include:

  • Release of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease.
  • Fumigation in discrete locations.
  • Laying of Pindone baits and cage trapping.

Warning signage is displayed on access tracks and areas where poisons are being used. The information on the warning signs should be adhered to at all times. Report affected rabbits using the contact details displayed on the signage or to the City.

Areas targeted for feral rabbit control are advertised through the City’s media prior to works commencing and may include:

  • Bathers Beach, Arthur Head and surrounding parklands.
  • South Beach and surrounding parklands.
  • North Fremantle foreshore reserves and surrounding parklands.
  • Booyeembara Park and nearby parklands.

Are you concerned about your domestic pets?

Domestic rabbits that have their vaccinations up-to-date will avoid any effects from potentially coming into contact with the rabbit hemorrhagic disease.

Pindone baiting in urban environments is acutely controlled and administered in a way that reduces risks to non-target animals. Domestic rabbits must be adequately contained and not allowed to roam outside the owner’s property boundary. Secondary poisoning is very unlikely as multiple feeds are necessary. Domestic dogs should be under control at all times. The antidote for Pindone is vitamin K1 and is available from a veterinarian.

Domestic pets caught in cage traps will be returned to their owners via the City’s community safety officers. Please ensure that your pets are registered with the City.

For more information please contact our Parks & Landscapes team on 08 9432 9999.

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