Wasps, Bees, Flies and Millipedes

Wasps

Most Wasp sightings are of the more common Paper Wasp, and not likely a European Wasp. Please refer to the Department of Agriculture’s Wasp Identification Guide for more information.
European Wasp sighting should be reported to the Pest and Disease Information Service on 1800 084 881 or at info@agric.wa.gov.au.
If you are experiencing a problem with Wasps on your property, you should contact a licensed pest controller to treat the nest. 

Bees

Why Do Bees Swarm?

Swarming is part of the natural reproduction of bee colonies. If bee swarms are left alone, they will not sting and will generally keep to themselves. In spring or in warm weather, the swarm will leave the hive, and cluster in one place to protect the queen while worker bees search for a new home. In most instances unless there is rain, the swarm will move on to continue the search for a new home.
Take precautions against bees:

  • Do not hose, throw rocks at, or smoke the swarm    
  • Keep children and pets away from the swarm
  • Keep clear of the swarm or cluster
  • Wear suitable footwear outside.

Report a Bee Swarm or Hive

Bee Hives on private property are the owner or occupier's responsibility.  If Bee Hives are on Council owned land, please contact Parks Services on 08 9411 3444 or at customer@cockburn.wa.gov.au.
 
If a Bee Swarm or Hive is causing you problems on private property, it may constitute a nuisance. The City recommends that you try to resolve this directly with the property owner in the first instance, as they may be unaware of any problems. You may also contact Health Services to Report and Investigate it. To Report Nuisance Bees:

  • Complete a Service Request Form
  • Keep Accurate Information and complete a ‘Record of Events’ sheet

Your complaint will be assessed according to the nature of the problem, how often it has occurred and the views of other people affected.

Keeping Bees

Residents must obtain written approval from Council or an Authorised Officer  to keep a beehive in a residential area or a resource zone. Residents may keep up to two bee hives on a residential lot. Approval may be granted for more than two hives on a lot that is not zoned residential.

Guidelines for Keeping Bees

Once approval to keep bees has been granted, a bee hive owners must:

  • Provide an adequate and permanent supply of water on the same lot within 10 metres of the hive
  • Provide a potential available water supply on another lot less than 10 metres away
  • Keep the hive outside, and at least 10 metres from any building other than a fence
  • Keep the hive at least 10 metres from any footpath, street, right of way or public place
  • Keep the hive at least five metres from the boundary of the lot
  • Ensure the hive is enclosed on all sides by a fence, wall or other enclosure.

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

More information and contact

Please contact Health Services on 08 9411 3444 or at health@cockburn.wa.gov.au. You can also visit the Department of Agriculture website.
 

Contact

Address

9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

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

Visit the City of Cockburn homepage