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.


  • The red dot on its back distinguishes blue oat mite from redlegged earth mite.

    Blue oat mites (BOM) are sap-sucking pest of crops and pastures. Canola and peas are particularly susceptible. Often co-exists with redlegged earth mites.

  • Silver leaf discolouration

    Correct identification of insect pests is necessary in order to avoid economic damage being sustained and retain beneficial insects.

  • Larvae are found in the soil and are up to 20mm long, creamy-white with a darker head and curled into a 'C' shape

    Cockchafer larvae feed underground on organic material with some species also serious pests of cereals. There are a number of species that are found in WA, however, only a few actually cause crop d

  • Cutworm moths

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

  • Desiantha larva (left) and adult (right). Not to scale

    The larvae of Desiantha weevil attack cereal crops especially along the south coast and in late plantings.

  • Reticulated slug often light grey-fawn with dark markings; black-keeled slug usually black with a prominent ridge down the back.

    There are two slug species that are pests of broadacre crops the black keeled slug and the reticulated slug.

  • Slater

    Slaters have only recently become a problem in high rainfall crops sown into dense stubble.

  • The most common mite pest of strawberry crops is two-spotted mite (Tetranychus urticae), also known as spider mite or red-spider mite.

  • This article provides information regarding feral donkeys in Western Australia.

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