Animal pests, both vertebrates (backbone) and invertebrates (no backbone), can have an adverse impact on agriculture, the natural environment and even our lifestyle. Animal pests may be exotic animals which are introduced, either accidentally or deliberately. Native animals may also be pests in certain situations.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development manages pests in Western Australia through policy development, risk assessment, research and development, provision of technical advice and information, implementation of regulation, emergency response, property inspections, industry liaison, and the planning and coordination of significant species control/eradication programs.

For advice on pests search our website, the Western Australian Organism List or contact our Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS).

For diagnostic services, please contact our Diagnostic Laboratory Services.


  • Brown pasture looper caterpillar

    Caterpillars with a characteristic looping motion that chew seedling broadleaf crops.

  • Cabbage aphid

    Small soft-bodied winged (adults only) or wingless insects that damage canola by direct feeding or as a viral disease carrier.

  • Cutworm moths

    Cutworm caterpillars feed on seedling leaves and stems near ground level with stems often chewed through and ‘cut’ to ground level.

  • Left to right: larva, pupa and newly emerged adult bronzed field beetle

    False wireworms that damage canola crops are the larval stage of the bronzed field beetle.

  • Shiny black insects with light brown legs and rear pincers (Male left, female right)

    A chewing insect introduced from Europe that can damage seedling crops and contaminate grain. Mainly found in the southern wheatbelt.

  •  Caterpillar up to 40 millimetres long usually with a dark streak along its body

    The native budworm caterpillar can cause serious yield loss to canola as pods mature.

  • Chewed pea seed

    The larvae of the lucerne seed web moth (Etiella behrii - also called Etiella web moth) is an infrequent pest of peas and lupins.

  • Brown moth with yellow markings on the wings and orange rings around the body

    The caterpillar of the pasture day moth (Apina callisto) feeds on broadleaf weeds and crops, but is rarely a pest.

  • Seedlings with a brown mushy root/hypocotyl and cream maggots with dark jaws

    Onion maggot (Delia platura, incorrectly known as bean root maggot fly) rarely affects young lupin and pea crops sown into green decomposing organic matter.


  • Thrips

    Onion thrips (Thrips tabaci) and plague thrips (Thrips imagines) are 2mm long, cigar shaped and range in colour from yellow-orange to dark grey.

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