BIOSECURITY ALERTS & UPDATES FOR WA
2020 DECEMBER - Red imported fire ant detection in Fremantle
Red imported fire ant detection in Fremantle
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
Visit agric.wa.gov.au/rifa for more information.
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Copyright © State of Western Australia (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development), 2020.
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.
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.
More information is available from the APVMA Online Portal at https://portal.apvma.gov.au/permits. 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 farmbiosecurity.com.au.
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 agric.wa.gov.au. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
2021 MARCH - Queensland fruit fly Incident Coolbellup
Situation update 4 March 2021
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) have been carrying out a Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) eradication program at Coolbellup since 4 January 2021.
On 26 February 2021, a second Qfly (male) was found close to the original detection point in the Coolbellup area. This one Qfly is the only new detection but it impacts the eradication program with the packaging and movement restrictions on the Perth Markets to continue until the end of April 2021.
Activities in the new Quarantine Area In response to the new detection, the existing Quarantine Area (QA) will be revoked and a new QA will be determined. The current Quarantine Area will be expanded by an additional 500m at the northern part and the new Quarantine Area Notice (QAN) will be published on the DPIRD website once the gazettal process is complete.
In accordance with the National Fruit Fly Code of Practice, the following activities are now being carried out in the newly defined QA:
o Stripping of all Qfly host fruit from premises within 200 m of the recent Qfly detection;
o Twice weekly baiting of all premises and street trees within 200 m of all detection points;
o Release of Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) Qfly will continue for another week.
The program will then be paused to enable the baiting program to be conducted. If no further Qfly are detected, the SIT program will be reinstated once the baiting program concludes.
Wider Quarantine Area The new detection has little impact on the boundary of existing Wider Quarantine Area (15 km radius from the detection points). It will mean that the packaging and movement requirements for horticulture businesses, including sellers and buyers at the Perth Markets, will continue during the eradication program. This means that host fruit, fruiting vegetables and plants with fruit/berries grown in the Wider Quarantine Area must not be taken out of the Area unless under secure conditions or treated in an approved manner.
Secure conditions mean –
contained in a screened building, cold room, truck, transport depot distribution centre or other containment which has gaps no larger than 1.6mm.
Continuous cold storage.
Vents secured with mesh or liner sheets
Parcels enclosed under plastic wrap, tarps, hessian mesh or other covering with gaps no larger than 1.6mm.
Some of the treatment options are listed in the table below:
Fumigation with Methyl Bromide Two hours at the following rates o3 Flesh temp ( C) 21-31.9 17-20.9
Cold Treatment Treated at either o MthBr (g/m ) 32 40 0 ± 0.5 C for at least 14 days o 1-3 ± 0.5 C for at least 16 days (lemon at 14 days)
Dipping/ flood spray-Dimethoate (not suitable for edible skins)
Mature green condition, undamaged skin
-Banana, Pawpaw, babaco -Tahitian lime, black sapotes Pomegranate, jackfruit, longan, rambutan
-Avocado (Hass, Lamb Hass) Removal of fruit and berries
- Host plants Perth Markets
– movement of Qfly host produce
The Perth Markets are located within the 15 km Wider Quarantine Area and so all Qfly host produce moving to and from the markets shall comply with the Approved measures for the intrastate movement of Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) host produce published on DPIRD’s website to enable on going trade.
DPIRD staff will attend the Perth Markets every day to ensure that produce is stored, packed and transported under secure conditions. Support for Horticulture businesses located within the Wider Quarantine Area If you have a horticulture business located within the Wider Quarantine Area, a DPIRD representative will work with you to assess the movement restrictions applicable to your business and possible treatment options available.
To register for a DPIRD staff member to contact you please follow the link to our industry registration page here: https://confirmsubscription.com/h/j/A33667898238F500.
Alternatively, you can contact David Windsor on 0429 530 378 or David.Windsor@dpird.wa.gov.au to arrange an appointment.
For assistance with interstate movement conditions of host produce contact Quarantine WA on (08) 9334 1842 or email@example.com Biosecurity and reporting Growers or residents who suspect they have seen Qfly or larvae in their fruit can call DPIRD’s Pest and Disease Information Service on (08) 9368 3080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively they can send photos via DPIRD’s MyPestGuideTM Reporter app (Google Play Store and Apple iTunes Store), or email email@example.com
Further information and enquiries A map of the Quarantine Area, full list of host fruit and vegetables and more advice to industry and residents is available on the department website agric.wa.gov.au/qflyupdate
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.
Jodie Gysen I Communications Officer
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
2021 SEPT - Polyphagus shot-hole borer detection in East Fremantle
Polyphagus shot-hole borer (Euwallacea fornicatus) detection, East Fremantle Industry
update #1 / 20 September 2021
A Polyphagus shot-hole borer (PSHB) has been detected on a residential property in East Fremantle. This is the first time that PSHB has been detected in Australia.
PSHB is a tiny exotic beetle that bores into living trees which can result in tree death. Due to the small size of the borer (2mm), the most common signs of infestations in trees are the small, round holes about the size of a ball-point pen tip and tree dieback.
PSHB is considered both an agricultural and environmental pest with more than 400 host species including horticulture production, native and amenity trees. Key hosts include avocado, maple, plane trees and citrus.
PSHB has a symbiotic relationship with the fungus Fusarium euwallaceae, which it cultivates in the tree as a food source for the beetle and its larvae. The fungus disrupts water and nutrient movement within the vascular system of susceptible trees, causing the disease Fusarium dieback.
PSHB can spread through the movement of infested trees and wood products. Female borers may fly up to 400 metres and infest other trees.
PSHB is native to Southeast Asia and has spread to America (California), Israel and South Africa.
A member of the public reported symptoms of dieback and dead branches to their maple tree via the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) MyPestGuide Reporter® App.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is working with residents in the affected area on surveillance, control and tracing activities.
Additional testing is underway to confirm if the fungus Fusarium euwallaceae is also present. The Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests will meet soon to discuss the PSHB detection now that confirmatory testing is complete.
As the pest can be spread by the movement of prunings and wood products such as firewood, residents of East Fremantle are being asked not to move green waste and a
Quarantine Area Notice is being prepared to limit the spread of the pest.
This is an evolving situation and DPIRD will continue to update industry and the public via the DPIRD website and industry updates.
Surveillance and reporting
The beetle and their larvae spend most of their lives inside a tree and it is unlikely they will be spotted, however, there are several symptoms to look out for that indicates a PSHB infestation is present. Depending on the species of tree, these symptoms will vary.
Beetle entry hole
The entrance holes of PSHB are approximately the size of a ballpoint pen tip.
Discolouration/staining of wood
The Fusarium fungus cultivated by the beetle can cause dark discolouration. Scraping away bark near an entrance hole will often reveal dark brown to black staining.
Thick resin or sap sometimes pushes the beetle out of the gallery.
Crystalline foam may be exuded from entry/entry holes. This is a common sign of infection on avocado trees.
Produced by the beetle’s tunnelling, frass or ‘noodles’ may be present extruding from trees. This can indicate the infestation level is high.
Residents in the Fremantle and surrounding areas are asked to check their trees and shrubs for signs of beetle holes to DPIRD via the MyPestGuide Reporter app (Google Play Store and Apple iTunes Store), or to the Pest and Disease Information Service on +61 (0)8 9368 3080, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information please visit agric.wa.gov.au/borer or contact Incident Controller, David Cousins on email@example.com or (08) 9368 3920