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 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.

  • 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.

  • Vegetable weevil (top), desiantha weevil

    Weevils are beetles with long snouts that can  rarely damage lupins in high rainfall areas. Species include:

  • 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.


  • Bare patches and chewed plants radiating out from mouse burrows

    Mice are seasonal pests that can affect any crop. Usually they favour paddocks with high stubble retention.

  • 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.

  • Varroa mite is an important parasite of bees worldwide, but fortunately not yet occurring in Western Australia or other mainland states of Australia.

  • Browsing ant, Lepisiota frauenfeldi is an ant-eating species that forms super-colonies that can displace native ant species and most other invertebrates in the area of infestation.

  • The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has been conducting a three and a half-year project to strengthen the State’s biosecurity defences and underpin efforts by indu

  • Green snail, Cornu apertus (syn. Cantareus apertus, Helix aperta) is a serious pest and has the potential to cause crop losses.

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