News & Media

Expanded effort to quarantine pest borer

Released on

Released on:
Tuesday, 21. March 2023 - 16:00

A Quarantine Area (QA) has been extended to help stop the spread of the tiny destructive beetle Polyphagous shot-hole borer (PSHB) across the Perth metropolitan area.

The QAN now includes parts of the cities of Joondalup, Gosnells, Wanneroo and Kalamunda, and covers most of the metropolitan area.

DPIRD Biosecurity A/Executive Director Sonya Broughton said the support of local councils, Perth residents and other government agencies had been vital to the response so far.

Dr Broughton said it was most important that wood and green waste material was not moved outside of the QA to ensure the borer didn’t spread beyond the metropolitan area.

Everyone in the QA must:

  • chip wood into pieces less than 2.5cm in diameter if moving it outside of the QA
  • not move living plants, including cuttings, with woody stems greater than 2cm in diameter out of the QA
  • clean machinery used to handle green waste or wood material prior to leaving the QA
  • seek a permit through DPIRD if movement conditions could not be met.

PSHB was first detected in Western Australia in 2021 and has been confirmed at 428 sites across Perth ranging from backyards, street verges to public open spaces, parks and reserves.

“The borer attacks a wide range of plants by tunnelling into trunks, stems and branches. We need to reduce the impact on neighbouring native and urban trees to protect our environment,” Dr Broughton said.

“Everyone in the quarantine area can help by checking their trees for borer holes, particularly box elder maple trees, coral trees, Moreton Bay and Port Jackson figs and London plane trees,” Dr Broughton said.

“As we head into the cooler months and the Easter break, it is also important to not take any firewood away on holidays, as this could take the borer with you.”

There is no known chemical treatment for the pest, and removing infested, unhealthy and potentially unsafe trees or branches is the best way to eliminate the beetles and minimise further impact on neighbouring trees.

Any suspected beetle activity should be reported immediately to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development via the MyPestGuide® reporter app or the Pest and Disease Information Service on (08) 9368 3080 or email

For more information on PSHB and the expanded Quarantine Area is can be found on the PSHB webpage.

Map of shot hole borer Quarantine Area - March 2023.

Media contacts:

Megan Broad, media liaison              

+61 (0)8 9368 3937