dock moth

PaDIS sets PHBG straight on dock moth

Have you ever noticed a colourful clear winged moth hanging around your healthy dock plants?

No because you eradicated dock from your property because its an agricultural nuisance…

That’s great news, but if you have dock you may be seeing the introduced insect the dock moth (Chamaesphecia doryliformis), which is actually an introduced biological control for the weed dock.

During the 1980’s the dock moth was released onto 170,000 plants, spread across 150 sites in the South West of Western Australia.

The release was part of a national program run in partnership between the (then) Department of Agriculture Western Australia and the Meat Research Corporation.

This partnership led to the establishment of the dock moth across South Australia, New South Wales, and  Victoria, with follow on releases in Western Australia.

What is dock?

Broadleaf Dock weed

Broadleaf dock an invasive agricultural weed .    – Image via Victorian Resources Online

There are a few different types of dock with broadleaf dock, recognisable for its broad green leaves, flowering from September to January.

Each plant can produces up to 60,000 seeds which germinate in Autumn and Spring. The fruit can be spread via water and can stick to wool, fur and clothing, it is often also spread through contaminated hay and grain products.

Although established, the weed is sensitive to competition as seedlings. Control options can include cultivation for seedlings, broadleaf selective herbicides in grass based pastures, or blanket wiping with glyphosate in meadow pastures containing legumes.

Characteristics of the dock moth

Characteristics of the dock moth –

  • Wasp like in appearance with narrow clear wings and bright colours.
  • Females are 15mm long with distinctive black, white and orange bands, yellow legs with orange and black antennae.
  • Males are smaller at 12mm with yellow-brown bodies, yellow legs and dark antennae.
  • Males have a tuft of scales at the base of the abdomen that resembles a fan.
  • Larvae feed on the roots of the dock plants and can grow up to 25mm long.
  • Larvae are never seen above the ground, and have a shiny body and a brown head.
  • The dock moth has a life cycle of one year, with most of the time spent as larvae in the root of a dock plant.
  • The long life cycle of the dock moth means it spreads relatively slowly.
  • Docks were popular wild edibles during the Depression due to their tart, lemony flavour.

 

dock moth

 

 

A male dock moth note the fan shaped tuft of scales at the end of the abdomen

 

 

 

 

Dock moth larvae

 

 

A dock moth larvae, they are never seen above ground.

 

 

 

Images sourced via the dock moth information page on the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) website.

Catch 22

It’s a catch 22 if you see this moth, it only thrive in areas with mature healthy dock plants.

When the moth becomes established the dock plants die off during late Spring and Summer. This is due to the moth larvae eating out the plants roots while it is dormant.

During the Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group (PHBG) consultation events for the proposed Pest Rate landholders kept mentioning the nuisance weed dock.

Even though dock may be around the Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS) haven’t received a report of a dock moth over the last 12 months.

So we want to know if you have.

 

If you see an insect, or plant, and your not sure of the identification you can report it using the MyPestGuide reporting tool. An Officer from PaDIS will get back to you in 48 hours  with identification, and if needed, control information.

Teele Hooper-Worrell from the PHBG says “I am now taking pictures of all the bugs I see! There are currently alerts out for the European wasp and the brown marmorated stink bug, so whenever I see an insect I don’t know, I send a report in. It’s true PaDIS get back to you in 48 hours as well”

 

The brown marmorated stink bug.

The brown marmorated stink bug.
Photo credit: Kristie Graham, USDA ARS, Bugwood.org (©2018 Kristie Graham, USDA ARS, Bugwood.org)

 

Want to see what people are reporting on? You can check out community reports on the MyPestGuide community website.

 

 

 

 

 

Fox pelts, echidnas and photoboards delight showgoers at biosecurity stall.

The Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group (PHBG) continued their annual traditional of hosting a stall at the 2017 Waroona Show.

Showcasing weed and pest management information, some fantastic props, registration forms for upcoming rabbit workshops, and photo boards the stall had a constant stream of visitors throughout the day.

By far the most popular activity at the stall was the WANTED Feral Animal photoboards. Kids just couldn’t go past the opportunity to pose as a wanted animal with character names such as Charlie ‘the chicken snatcher’ Canid and Ruby ‘the ankle twister’ Rabbit. Children, as well as some young at heart adults, posed with the photo boards whilst family members took pictures and were encouraged to share the pictures far and wide on social media.

 

Kids pose with feral animal photoboards

 

The photoboards while being fun are also informative and include information on the negative affects of the pests in the shape of ‘crimes’ and subsequent control options available to landowners.  They also help to share how community members can report sightings of pests using the MyPestGuide reporting system via an app or online form.

Another popular part of the stall was the stuffed native animals- Carnaby Black Cockatoo, Echidna and Quoll.  Many children had never seen these animals close up and were able to touch and feel the animals. There was also a fox pelt for people to touch and feel which generated a lot of interest. These resources were great conversation starters around what landowners had seen on their property or in local reserves.

 

Stuffed Echidna and Quoll with fox pelt at the PHBG Biosecurity stall.

 

The rabbit photoboard was one of the most popular for kids and rabbits were a hot topic from community members as well.  The stall was also an opportunity for landowners to sign up for the upcoming Rabbit Control Workshop . This workshop will coincide with the next release of the RHDV1 K5 or calicivirus.

PHBG officers are accredited to mix and disperse the virus and are seeking expressions of interest for landowners that would like to be involved in the November release. Signing up as a rabbit hotspot will involve monitoring before and after at the release site.

If you would like to register your interest email comms.phbg@gmail.com

Community members can also help by reporting rabbit, or other pests, via the MyPestGuide reporting system via an app or online form.

My Pest Guide logo

Pig trapping workshop

Have you seen signs of feral pigs on your property? Have you seen disturbance and thought it was pigs but weren’t sure? Do you want to learn the most effective trapping techniques for feral pigs? Then come along to the Pest Fest with two feral pig trapping workshop to choose from and many more activities on show.

A family of feral pigs

 

Feral pigs are a serious environmental and agricultural pest across Australia. They are found in all states and territories, particularly around wetlands and river systems.

They prey on native animals and plants, dig up large expanses of soil and vegetation in search of food and foul fresh water. Feral pigs will eat many things including small mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, crayfish, eggs, earthworms and other invertebrates, and all parts of plants including the fruit, seeds, roots, tubers, bulbs and foliage.

Feral pigs can host animal diseases that can be transmitted to other species. In dirt on their feet and fur, they can also spread plant pathogens such as Phytophthora cinnamomi, which causes plant dieback. Feral pigs move around to new sites with food and water, and can breed rapidly to recover from control programs or droughts, and the impacts of feral pigs are intensified when their populations are large.

 

A feral pig walking through undergrowth

 

 

 

 

Attendees at the workshop will learn all aspects of pig trapping from experienced officers including:
-Practical knowledge of the effective and ethical management of feral pigs.
-Impact of pigs on the agriculture and natural environments.
-Learn how to trap,1080 baiting options,
-Recognise pig activity through scats and rutting.
-Impacts of pigs as vectors of disease and pathogens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workshop Details:

Times -12.00pm and 1.00pm 

Venue-Waroona Landcare Centre

Registrations essential, email comms.phbg@gmail.com

 

The MedFly

Fruit fly trap workshop

Join one of the Fruit Fly workshops at the September 10th Pest Fest and learn how to make Fruit Fly traps with household items.

Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) is a serious horticultural pest in Western Australia. It attacks a range of cultivated fruits and some fruiting vegetables. Medfly, as it is commonly known, has been recorded to infest more than 200 hosts worldwide. The first sign of damage is often larvae-infested or ‘stung’ fruit. Stinging is caused by the female laying eggs into unripened or ripe fruit.

The MedFly

Lure and kill devices work in a similar way to baits, exploiting the need for female Medflies to obtain dietary protein for egg production. Traps are hung on trees and the protein in the trap attracts male and female flies. Depending on the design, the flies drown or obtain a lethal dose of insecticide.

Some nurseries sell a lure and kill device which consists of a plastic container containing a liquid that is attractive to Medflies. The flies enter through small holes in the lid, and eventually drown in the liquid. Freshly-killed flies float on the surface.

You can also make your own traps out of empty soft drink or water bottles, or 2 litre milk or juice cartons. Remove the label first as it may deter flies or attract young children. Drill, punch or burn at least four holes on opposite sides of the bottle, near the ‘shoulders’. The size of the holes should be 6-8mm. The trap can be hung from its neck by wire or string to a branch. Fill one-third of the trap with your recipe.

The Department of Agriculture and Food, WA will run 3 Fruit Fly Trap workshops at the upcoming Pest Fest on September 10th

Attendees will be shown how to create a trap with recycled household plastic containers and teach recipes for the lure within.
Times are – 12:00, 12:30 and 1:00pm.
Start collecting your plastic containers to make your traps!

Pictures of fruit fly traps using recycled household plastic containers

 

 

People can bring:

· Milk bottles

· Drinks plastic bottles

· Water bottles (600ml, 1L or 2L)

· Peanut butter containers

· Coat hanger

· Honey bottles (large)

· Any container with a wide opening and yellow-orange lids.

· Yellow electrical tape

· Yellow contact sheet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Workshop Details:

Times- 12:00, 12:30 and 1:00pm.

Venue- Warmsley Pavilion, Waroona Show Grounds

Need more info?

Email comms.phbg@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cant make the event click here for some fruit fly lure recipes.

Farm Biosecurity plan workshop

The Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program is the Australian livestock industry’s on-farm assurance program covering food safety, animal welfare and biosecurity. It provides evidence of livestock history and on-farm practices when transferring livestock through the value chain.

 

A picture of cows in a pasture

From 1 October 2017, biosecurity will be included in the LPA program. Every LPA-accredited producer must ensure biosecurity requirements are fulfilled both on farm and during the transport of livestock between properties and feedlots, including to slaughter and live export.

Biosecurity relates to preventive measures designed to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases, invasive pests or weeds.

Good biosecurity practices prevent the spread of infectious disease and invasive pests or weeds between farms as well as protecting Australia from diseases and weeds that occur overseas. Biosecurity procedures address the containment of disease outbreaks when they occur.

 

From October 1st 2017 producers will be required to develop a Farm Biosecurity Plan.

At the upcoming Pest Fest held by the Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group there will be a Farm Biosecurity Planning Workshop to help producers plan for the new changes to the LPA.

To understand your on-farm requirements, and to hear about the roll out of electronic National Vendor Declarations (eNVD), please register for a one hour workshop that will be held at 10am, at the Senior Citizens Hall in Waroona, located on Millar Street near the South West Highway.

 

Promotion flyer for the Pest Fest Event

 

 

 

Workshop Details:

Time- 10am Venue- Waroona Senior Citizens Centre Registrations essential

Email comms.phbg@gmail.com

 

Robinia suckers popping up in a suburban lawn

Global invader controlled by kero concoction

Robinia pseudoacacia L. (black locust) is recognized as a global invader due to its ability to colonise areas quickly, produce lots of seeds, and produce suckers when disturbed. It’s ability to fix nitrogen in the soil allows Robinia to spread into low quality soils, once used to reclaim disturbed sites, the plant is now recognized as a weed on most continents. Many gardeners plant Robinia species because of their golden appearance and large colourful flowers, however these species are grafted onto black locust root stock which produce thorny suckers when the roots are disturbed. These suckers can even pop up into neighboring yards 15m away causing disputes, some of which has led to civil action.

A picture of a robinia tree with white flowers

 

Don Burke, of Burke’s Backyard, lists the global invader Robinia as one of the trees gardeners will regret they planted!

Control Options-

Robinia suckers can pop up vigorously after soil disturbance with sharp thorns that can make removal even harder.
The Ask Sabrina section of The Weekend West advised that a concoction of 200ml of blackberry and tree killer mixed with one teaspoon of kerosene painted on to the cut sucker immediately, is very effective. Hard-to-kill plants such as oleander and tree of heaven are also susceptible.

Website Herbiguide give this control advice “Cut down the tree and paint the stump with neat glyphosate to reduce regrowth and suckering. Spray regrowth and suckers when they are about 500 mm tall with glyphosate. It re grows vigorously from cut roots and stumps and these sprouts need to be removed continually to exhaust the root system. Access, Grazon and metsulfuron are worth a trial.”

The Meat and Livestock Association of Australia rates Robinia as moderately  palatable for goats in their handbook titled Weed control using goats- a guide to using goats for weed control in pastures. Giving a chemical free option for weed control.

Robinia suckers popping up in a suburban lawn

Heath Benefits?

According to some the black locust has some health benefits and parts of the tree can be used for different therapeutic uses. Infusions  can help burning in the stomach, and with fatigue and nervousness. The flowers can apparently help with wounds and burns- this could be helpful after attempting the removal of thorny suckers.

Reporting unfamiliar weeds

You can report biosecurity concerns or unfamiliar weeds using MyWeedWatcher or alternatively, contact the Pest and Disease Information Service on 1800 084 881 or email info@agric.wa.gov.au.

European House Borer

Blocking Borer

Home remedies can be effective, safe and a cheap way to control pests around the home. Passed down from generation to generation these recipes can be pure gold! This week we have looked at a home remedy for Borer.

This home remedy is from the Ask Sabrina section in the West Weekend.

Borer home remedy-

Myrtle writes- I have a home remedy for treating borer that has worked on a lemon-scented gum tree and a local wattle, based on a treatment I’d read for an insect infestation on a grapefruit tree. I used 40 per cent vegetable oil, 20 percent detergent and the rest water, shaken vigorously in a handheld spray bottle. I squirted the mixture into the borer holes and almost immediately borers staggering out and died, presumably suffocated by the oil. Two years later, the lemon scented gum has no sign of the borers and the little holes have filled in. The wattle still had a few residual, but no sign of infestation.

An articel from teh Ask Sabrina section of the Weekend West paper.

 

Borer successfully attack stressed trees-

Stressed trees are weaker and have less defenses against insect such as borers. Healthy trees will often exude resin or kino to try and fight off the attackers. Telltale signs that a tree has borers include fresh exit holes in the timber, tunnels in the wood, bone dust, crumbling wood, dead beetles, adult beetles, eggs, and wood borer larvae. Borer can even disguise their holes using webbing and frass (secreted excreta of insects). Therefore a great way to treat early signs of borers is to improve the health of your tree. Have a look at the environment in which the tree resides, does it need more water or a tonic?

Common bores include; Pinhole Bores, House Longhorn Beetle, Powder Post Beetle, Common Furniture Beetle and Auger Beetles.

Borer pest to look out for-

The European House Borer (EHB) (Hylotrupes bajulus Linnaeus), is a destructive pest of untreated seasoned coniferous timber, such as pine, fir and spruce (Pinus, Abies, Picea, Araucaria and Pseudotsuga species). EHB can  cause major structural damage to buildings.

In Western Australia EHB has been found in susceptible dead trees, logs and living trees with dead wood (dried out damaged branches or trunks). Roof timbers, wall frames, flooring, architraves, door frames and timber articles such as pine furniture, shipping crates, pallets and transport supporting timber and frames can also be susceptible.

EHB has been detected several times previously in Australia but these infestations were eradicated by fumigation. In 2004 EHB was detected in Western Australia, and since then has been found in 60 Perth suburbs.

 

European House Borer

European House Borer Adult Beetle

European House Borer

Signs of European House Borer activity

 

Think you have an insect pest?

You can report pests online here using the MyPestGuide tool. Reports are quick and easy to do and you can include the exact location of the pest and photos as well. The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, aim to respond to reports in 48hrs.

A picture of the Horsetails Weeds

Exotic ornamental killer – Weed of the Month

Horsetails (Equisetum sp) is an ornamental plant that is sold in nurseries around the state. On the alert list for non-native weeds that are a risk to the environment and biodiversity, this plant is also highly toxic to livestock and is this Months MyWeedWatcher App- Weed of the Month.

A picture of the Horsetails Weeds

 

MyWeedWatcher update: March 2017 | Department of Agriculture and Food

Ancient survivors

Horsetails (Equisetum species) is sold as an ornamental, and they are also of interest to people who take the risk of making their own herbal remedies. Sometimes they are used in permaculture or as pond plants.

The erect, jointed stems are of two kinds, vegetative and fertile. Vegetative stems are green and ribbed. They can be a single stem or have whorls of slender leaf-like branches. Fertile stems can be green, white or pale brown, topped by fruiting cones. On both stems the true leaves are reduced to a papery ring around each joint. Once established, the main means of spread is by rhizomes rather than spores.

In a backyard, the worst horsetails can do is smother the area, but if they escape into farmland the consequences are dire. They are toxic to livestock, and in high densities they can reduce crop yield because they produce substances that inhibit the growth of other plants.

In the past, infestations of a horsetail called scouring rush (E. hyemale) have been found in the Perth metropolitan area at nurseries in Bedfordale and the Wanneroo area, and a home garden in Morley. Like all horsetails, this one has a high silica content, and the common name arose from the old practice of using the stems to scrub pots and pans. Several other species, including common horsetail (E. arvense) have been found in the eastern states.

Please report any horsetails seen in the wild, in gardens or at weekend markets. If you have horsetail plants, do not attempt to dispose of them yourself. Please call us for advice as horsetail plants generate readily from fragments. Always take care when ordering plants or seeds via the internet, and never dump any garden rubbish in the bush

A picture of the Horsetails Weeds

 

 Natural Heritage Trust’s Key points on Horsetails

• Prevention and early intervention are the most cost-effective forms of weed control. Horsetails are so invasive and difficult to control that it is very important to prevent them becoming established.

• Horsetails can be spread over long distances by movement of soil containing rhizomes.

• If not controlled, horsetails could become persistent weeds of cultivated land, pastures and roadsides in temperate regions, especially on damp ground.

• If you see a plant that may be a horsetail species, contact your local council or state or territory weed management agency. Do not attempt control on your own. 

Reporting unfamiliar weeds

You can report biosecurity concerns or unfamiliar weeds using MyWeedWatcher or alternatively, contact the Pest and Disease Information Service on 1800 084 881 or email info@agric.wa.gov.au.

 

Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, logo.

Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, appointment of Senior Compliance Inspector, Christine Comer.

 Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, logo.

New compliance officer-

Christine joins Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA), on an 18 month contract, funded by Royalties for Regions, to work specifically on compliance of C3 weeds.  Covering a region from the Shire of  Serpentine -Jarrahdale to Bridgetown / Manjimup and over to the coast, she will work with both DAFWA,  Biosecurity Officers’ and Biosecurity Groups in this region.

Christine comes from an environmental science background, having spent 3 years in local government at the Cities of Mandurah and Rockingham. She was a local government representative on the Peel-Harvey Biosecurity Group and undertook landscape scale cotton bush and C3 pest and weed control as a Project Officer at the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council.

 

Biosecurity and compliance-

Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia,  has prepared a compliance strategy and will undertake compliance processes in a way that supports a community coordinated approach for control and management of widespread and established declared pests. The compliance process includes remedial action and prosecution where appropriate. A summary of the compliance process timeline can be see below.

An image describing the compliance process by the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, when controlling declared weeds.

For more compliance information follow this link to the DAFWA website.

Compliance strategy timeline

  • August: community groups send letters to landholders
  • September: negotiate target areas for compliance with groups
  • Early October: inspections
  • Late October: non-compliance warning letters issued
  • November: Pest Control Notices issued
  • Early December: contractors engaged when required.

 

Reporting cotton bush

Don’t forget you can help manage cotton bush in your area by reporting infestations using the DAFWA MyWeedWatcher App.

MyWeedWatcher enables users to identify weeds, conduct surveys on weeds of interest and report on the presence of declared weeds. The identification guide allows users to quickly search for a weed according to plant characteristics such as flower colour, leaf shape, and plant type. The survey/reporting feature enables users to map weeds, add images and record survey data such as weed density, weed counts, confidence of identification, and notes on control activities done.

A picture of a hand holding a phone showing the MyWeedWatcher App

Barley Grass weed

The 4 major weeds you don’t want in your hay.

Hay season has finished and lovely yellow rectangles and rolls dot the hills and flats of the Peel Harvey region, but don’t be taken in – hay can hide a multitude of weeds you could be introducing onto your property.  Movement between properties of hay, animals and machinery are some of the most common ways weeds are transported through the environment.  All property owners should have specific property biosecurity plan in place to restrict the movement of weeds and pests.

One persons weed can be another persons treasure, but there are weeds that can be toxic to livestock and owners should be aware of what these look like. There are a few things to restrict the likely hood of introducing weeds onto your property through your hay. They include educating yourself on what weeds can look like when baled up in hay, checking out the verges and adjoining proprieties for weeds of your hay supplier, and asking questions about the baling process and the quality of the hay.

Four major weeds you could find in your hay-

 

Patersons Curse  (Echium plantagineum) 

patersons curse weed

Declared- Yes

Toxic- Yes

Recommended herbicides
In cereals

Chlorsulfuron; Metsulfuron methyl; Triasulfuron; Tigrex; Broadstrike; Jaguar; Bromoxynil + MCPA

In pasture, up to four leaf stage

Jaguar®; Tigrex®; Broadstrike®; Bromoxynil + MCPA

At early flowering, seed set control

Chlorsulfuron; Metsulfuron methyl; Triasulfuron; Glyphosate + 2,4-D LV ester

 

Narrow leaf cotton bush (Gomphocarpus fruticosus) –

Cotton bush

Declared- Yes

Toxic- Yes

Recommended herbicides Glyphosate

Triclopyr            

 

One-leaf cape tulip (Moraea flaccida, previously Homeria flaccida) –

Cape tulip

Declared- No

Toxic- Yes

Recommended herbicides
(One-leaf) August-September, (two-leaf) July-end August:

2,4-D LV ester (cereals and pasture)

2,4-D amine (cereals and pasture)

2,4-DB (cereals and pasture)

Paraquat (blanket wiper)

Full emergence to early August:

2,2-DPA

Wheat pre-sowing or post-emergence. Barley and oats post-emergence only:

Chlorsulfuron

Wheat: 10 days pre-sowing. Barley post-emergence:

Metsulfuron

At point of corm exhaustion (pasture):

Spinnaker® (for two-leaf only)

Barley Grass (Hordeum glaucum and H. leporinum) –

Barley Grass weed

Declared- No

Toxic- No (seed head causes physical injuries to eyes and mouth of livestock)

Recommended herbicides

Post-emergent herbicide control is limited due to a limited range of herbicides available for the control of barley grass in wheat and other cereals.

 

Integrated weed management

Tactic name

Most likely % control (range) Comments on use
Crop choice and sequence 85 (0–95) Avoid planting barley in infested areas
Herbicide-tolerant crops 80 (40–95) Triazines and imidazolinone herbicides provide useful control in tolerant crops
Burning residues 50 (0–75) Dropping chaff and straw into windrows improves control
Inversion ploughing 90 (70–99) Use skimmers to ensure deep burial
Delayed sowing 60 (50–90) Level of control depends on autumn break. Use in combination with Tactic 2.2a

 

These herbicide and control recommendations are from the Department of Food and Agriculture’s website. Follow the link for more information or to look up control notes for different weeds. When using herbicides remember to use the correct safety equipment and always read the Material Safety Data Sheet for the chemical you are using (available by law through any stockist).