Wasps, Flies and Millipedes


The City of Cockburn has been a metropolitan hot spot for European wasps since 2013 when an established nest was found and destroyed in Munster.
Residents should remain vigilant about detecting the declared pest by familiarising themselves with its appearance and their nests, reporting their locations and even volunteering to Adopt a Trap, provided by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

The European wasp looks similar to a common paper wasp, but is slightly smaller (the size of a bee), has black rather than yellow antennae, and builds underground nests.

Since July 2016, 20 nests have been detected and destroyed in the City of Cockburn. More than 400 traps are monitored throughout the City by our teams and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. Since the first European wasp was detected in WA 41 years ago, WA has managed to remain relatively free of the pest, despite it being established in South Australia, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania, and New Zealand.

Please refer to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's Wasp Identification Guide for more information.
To Adopt a Trap or report a European wasp sighting, call the Pest and Disease Information Service on 9368 3080, or email [email protected]

For more information on this exotic pest, visit the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development website.

If you are experiencing problems on your property with wasps, other than European Wasps, contact a licensed pest controller to treat the nest

Stable flies

Stable flies are blood feeding insects that cause irritation and injury to animals and humans from their bite. Horses are particularly vulnerable to stable fly attack.

They are similar in size and appearance to the common house fly and bush fly, but they have a prominent biting mouthpart.

Stable flies can breed in manure piles, compost heaps, grass clippings, household rubbish and open worm farms.

It is the householder’s responsibility to ensure adequate control measures are in place where potential breeding sites exist including:

  • keeping animal enclosures, (i.e. poultry) clean daily
  • keeping manure in a fly proof bin or container or completely covered to keep dry
  • wrapping food scraps in paper before placing in the bin
  • covering open compost or compost in a compost bin. Maintaining compost systems promotes rapid decomposition of organic matter, this generates heat and makes the pile unsuitable to fly larvae
  • spreading grass clippings thinly over your garden
  • keeping your rubbish bin clean and the lid tightly closed.

Visit the Stable Fly Action Group website for more information.  

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 found in some areas of Cockburn including Coogee and Spearwood.

Portuguese millipedes normally live outdoors where they feed on leaf litter, damp wood, mulch and mosses. They are not harmful to animals or human and do not breed inside homes. However, they can congregate in large numbers and cause property owners some distress when they seek shelter in homes and buildings during spring and autumn rains. 

What can I do to stop Portuguese millipedes?

  • Clean leaf litter and reduce the volume of compost around the home
  • Turn off external lights
  • Apply chemical controls surface sprays and residual chemicals to ground surfaces, walls and door and window frames.  

Chemical millipede control

Surface sprays containing the following ingredients will help deter millipedes entering buildings, when applied to doorsteps and window ledges:

  • Cypermethrin (Mortein)
  • Propoxur (Baygon)
  • Permethrin (Mortein)
  • Bendiocarb (Ficam)
  • Carbaryl (Carbaryl)
  • Cyfluthrin (Baythroid).

Methiocarb (Baysol) snail and slug bait will control millipede populations in garden beds.  Please ensure that snail and slug pellets are used where dogs, cats and children cannot access them.

Please carefully read and comply with the directions for use. The use of residual and broad range chemicals for millipede control may adversely affect other insect populations, including potential predators.

Physical millipede control

These can prevent entry into buildings for millipedes.

These include:

  • smooth vertical surfaces
  • half-round barriers
  • moat and trap systems.
Visit the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development website for more information on Portuguese millipedes.

More information and contact

Please contact Health Services on 08 9411 3444 or at [email protected]



City of Cockburn
Whadjuk Boodja
9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965

Office opening hours:
8.30am to 4.30pm
Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)

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Cockburn Nyungar moort Beeliar boodja-k kaadadjiny. Koora, yeyi, benang baalap nidja boodja-k kaaradjiny.
Ngalak kaadatj dayin boodja, kep wer malayin. Ngalak kaadatj koora koora wer yeyi ngalang birdiya.

City of Cockburn acknowledges the Nyungar people of Beeliar boodja. Long ago, now and in the future they care for Country.
We acknowledge a continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to the Elders, past and present.