2020 DECEMBER - Red imported fire ant detection in Fremantle

Red imported fire ant detection in Fremantle December 2020 The amended RIFA Quarantine Area, covering a section of Fremantle Ports north of the Swan River, which includes Rous Head.
Quarantine Area lifted for Fremantle residential area The red imported fire ant (RIFA) Quarantine Area around parts of Fremantle has been lifted for residential properties. The revised Quarantine Area now only applies to the Fremantle Port area north of the river (i.e. Rous Head), west of Queen Victoria Street and south of Tydeman Road. The exact boundaries for the Quarantine Area are: Coastline of Rous Head north-east from North Mole lighthouse to Port Beach, west side of Port Beach Road, south side of Tydeman Road, west side of Queen Victoria Street to north side of Queen Victoria Street bridge, and north-west of the Inner Harbour high water line to North Mole lighthouse. The Quarantine Area Notice (QAN) around this area of the Port has been extended until the middle of next year (4 June 2021). This will ensure that we have the best chance of eradication and will allow us to regain WA’s area freedom from RIFA. The QAN extension means the movement requirements on RIFA risk material outlined in the QAN will continue to apply to this area. This includes ensuring that shipping containers are free from any RIFA host material before leaving the port. QAN requirements for earth moving machinery and equipment that are within the new Quarantine Area will also continue to apply. More information on all QAN requirements is available from our website. We’d like to thank Fremantle residents and businesses for their support and cooperation with surveillance, baiting and Quarantine Area requirements. By complying with the QAN, and not moving risk materials like soil, potted plants, mulch, hay and turf out of the Quarantine Area without a permit, residents helped to ensure RIFA didn’t have a chance to spread to other parts of Perth and WA. This has been crucial to the successful response to this exotic ant incursion, and the department needs this support to continue for a successful eradication. For more information on our eradication program, or what makes RIFA such a nasty pest, visit our website. You can also sign up for regular email updates.
Call us S-🐜-a, because we’ll be visiting in December! Despite the lifting of the QAN from residential areas, DPIRD must continue baiting and surveillance activities in these areas and at Fremantle Port until the end of 2021. This will ensure area freedom. The fourth round of RIFA surveillance will commence in December. Department personnel will door-knock almost 500 Fremantle properties to seek permission to access their garden and outdoor areas, so our inspectors can undertake necessary surveillance for RIFA. This will involve a visual inspection in areas that could be harbouring ants or ant nests, and collection of any ants of interest. Personnel will carry identification cards and drive marked surveillance vehicles. No red imported fire ants have been detected in residential areas in the first three surveillance rounds. Six rounds of surveillance with no positive detections, over a two-year period, will allow the department to declare WA free of red imported fire ants. If occupants are not home, department personnel will leave a calling card requesting they make contact to arrange an inspection. If you receive a calling card, please get in touch with us ASAP.
Keep an eye out for ants this summer Whether they’re inviting themselves to your alfresco meal, drinking from the dog’s water bowl or sneaking into nice cool buildings – summer is a great time to spot unusual ants or ant activity. Fremantle businesses and residents are reminded to report any unfamiliar ants immediately – even if you’re unsure. RIFA is one of the world’s most aggressive ants. Do not touch ants or disturb an ant nest as they may aggressively defend it. Do not send in live samples. Take a photo if safe to do so. Contact the department via: • MyPestGuide Reporter app
• MyPestGuide website DPIRD’s Pest and Disease Information Service: •+61 (0)8 9368 3080
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The Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and the State of Western Australia accept no liability whatsoever by reason of negligence or otherwise arising from the use or release of this information or any part of it.

2020 AUGUST - Fall armyworm Update

Industry update #5 – fall armyworm Situation update 27 August 2020 Pesticide resistance genes have been detected in Western Australia’s fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) population. Samples of fall armyworm larvae from Kununurra and Broome were sent by DPIRD to the Insecticide Resistance Unit at New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) for analysis. Larvae were tested for the presence of genes that are linked to resistance to Group 1 insecticides. Fall armyworm larvae that carry two copies of a resistance gene are considered likely to survive an application of an insecticide from Group 1. All of the larvae from both locations carried at least one copy of a resistance gene. 50% of the larvae from Kununurra had two copies of the gene and 60% of the larvae from Broome had two copies of the gene. Further testing is necessary to determine the distribution of the genes in other locations across Western Australia and validate the preliminary research results. Although these are early findings, DPIRD and NSW DPI are sharing the research outcomes with stakeholders to encourage regional grower groups and cooperatives to develop area-wide resistance management plans. These findings highlight the need for careful management of Group 1 pesticides - which include organophosphates and carbamates, to slow the rate at which these genes become established in the State’s fall armyworm population. Growers are encouraged to judiciously select any pesticides to be used, and ensure insecticides are rotated to reduce selection pressure. Elsewhere around the world, fall armyworm is known to be resistant to other pesticide groups, making management of this pest through the sole use of insecticides very challenging. The presence of genes for resistance to these other insecticides has not been tested. It is likely that fall armyworm entered Australia carrying the genes and that the traits will spread as fall armyworm migrates throughout the State. There is also the possibility that new resistance genes will develop in Australia. Continual monitoring for resistance mutations, and careful evaluation of pesticide efficacy over time will be important in the ongoing management of this pest. WA activity DPIRD has deployed approximately 50 pheromone (lure) traps throughout northern Western Australia, including Kununurra, Broome, the Pilbara, Carnarvon, and Geraldton. These complement existing traps in Kununurra, which have operated since October 2019. In addition, DPIRD has established, in collaboration with local grower groups, an extensive trapping program of approximately 45 traps spread throughout the Grainbelt. There have been no detections to date in the Grainbelt traps. These surveillance trapping networks assist in providing early warning advice to industry about the presence of fall armyworm as it potentially migrates further south. Natural enemies have been successful in supressing fall armyworm populations elsewhere in the world. DPIRD is also surveying for natural enemies in Western Australia that will reduce fall armyworm populations. DPIRD continues to liaise with the Australian Government, state and territory governments and industry groups which are collaborating to assist in preparing for and minimising the impact of fall armyworm as it becomes more broadly established. Chemical permits More information is available from the APVMA Online Portal at Search for ‘fall armyworm’. The permits should be read in conjunction with the relevant product label for information on withholding periods and other critical comments. Biosecurity and reporting Horticultural and grain growers are encouraged to regularly monitor their crops for the presence of fall armyworm larvae. Young fall armyworm larvae are light coloured with a darker head. As they develop, the body darkens, becoming more brown with white lengthwise stripes. They also develop dark spots with spines. The pattern of the spots is important - on the second to last section of the caterpillar, the four spots are arranged in a square pattern while on all other sections the spots are arranged in a trapezoid shape. Useful photos are available on the fall armyworm factsheet.
On-farm biosecurity measures should be in place to protect crops from pests and diseases. More information is available at Growers and agronomists are encouraged to report suspect caterpillars or unexpected symptoms in the field to DPIRD via the Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS) or via the MyPestGuideTM Reporter app. Further information and enquiries More information is available on the DPIRD website at Search for ‘fall armyworm in Western Australia’. General enquiries or suspect reports can be made to PaDIS. Call +61 (0)8 9368 3080 or email WA industry enquiries can be directed to:
• Horticulture - Helen Spafford, Senior Research Scientist +61 (0)8 9166 4074
• Grains – Dustin Severtson, Research Scientist +61 (0)8 9690 2160, 0422 157 769 The Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) has issued a number of permits for the use of certain chemicals for the control of fall armyworm.

2020 OCTOBER - Queensland fruit fly Incident Spring 2020

09/10/2020 Update

On 15 September 2020, I sent you an email update on the Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) incident response (see email attached).

In this email I highlighted that no new Qfly detections had been recorded since 21 August 2020.

Since this email a single larvae was confirmed by Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development diagnostic labs on 2 October 2020. No adult Qfly have been trapped in the Quarantine Area since 10 August and the previous larval detection was on 21 August 2020.

While the new detection was disappointing, it wasn’t entirely unexpected given the large number of Qfly detected since the outbreak was declared in April 2020.

A detection of larvae means that the property it was collected from is classified as an Infested Premisesand the following activities have begun:

For three layers of neighbouring properties around the infested premises, all properties will be:

  • Inspected and host trees stripped of all fruit.

  • Baited twice a week for two weeks, then weekly until eradication achieved;

  • Installed with additional male and female attract and kill traps.

For five layers of neighbouring properties around the infested premises, all properties will be:

·Inspected and assessed for further eradication activities;

·Installed with additional Qfly traps within a 200m radius of the site along with ten Medfly traps to monitor the effectiveness of the baiting treatment on the area.

Eradication and monitoring measures being implemented either align with or exceed National Fruit Fly Management Protocols.

The spring baiting program outlined in my previous email is continuing as planned with some additional communications to be undertaken.

If you have any questions, please email me or call on (08) 9368 3108. To stay informed regarding the incident, visit

2020 NOVEMBER - Reccomendation for travellers and outdoor activities

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is currently promoting the need to adopt biosecurity measures this coming spring and summer, to prevent the spread of plant pests and diseases. This message has never been more important due to the expected surge of people travelling throughout WA, and experiencing outdoor activities such as bushwalking and cycling.

Specifically, there are two issues the department is keen on highlighting:

·The disease myrtle rust, which is a very serious disease of Myrtaceae plants,including eucalypts, bottlebrushes, paperbarks and peppermint trees. This diseaseis not present in WA, but poses a high risk of moving from the eastern states into WA via wind-borne spores, and the movement of spores/contaminated material onequipment, vehicles, clothing, camping gear, bicycles etc that have been in contact with infected plants in the eastern states. While this risk is currently low with the border being closed, there will be a high risk of incursion once we start to see cross-border movement again.

·Other biosecurity threat priorities for WA in 2020 that are known ‘hitchhikers’. These pests pose a high risk as they can be easily spread throughout the state on and in vehicles, clothing, pet dog fur, and fresh fruit and vegetables.

For both issues, the message is the same. When entering and leaving vegetated areas, and when travelling from one spot to the next, follow our biosecurity tips, such as brushing down clothing and removing soil/plant matter from shoes, tent pegs, car mats etc before moving on.

Also, we are asking that the community become more educated – to learn more about our biggest biosecurity threats, such as myrtle rust, and to report any suspicious or unusual pests, weeds or plant symptoms.

The department’s goal at all times is to maximise chances of early detection, so the threat can be contained and if possible eradicated.

Attached is a myrtle rust fact sheet, background information on myrtle rust, and article on biosecurity threats and travelling. It would be greatly appreciated if you could distribute where possible, such as providing the fact sheet to any attendees at wildflower shows and bushwalks, and also through your communications channels, such as newsletters/publications and websites.

We will also shortly be putting out a Facebook post to re-inforce these messages.

I trust you will be able to assist us with our awareness raising activities. As noted above, there is likely to be a significant increase of movement throughout the state, and therefore increased risk of plant pests and diseases spreading, and having a serious impact on our agriculture industries, environment and outdoor lifestyle.

Many thanks for your help.

Kind regards

Jodie Gysen I Communications Officer
Strategic Communications

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

3 Baron-Hay Court, South Perth WA 6151
t +61 (0)8 9368 3194 | Mobile 0417 960 942