Weeds and pest animals are detrimental to our local environment in Manningham. Common pest animals include Foxes, Deer, Rabbits & Queensland Fruit Fly. Pest plants and animals can alter the function of and destroy native habitats, outcompete and displace native plants and animals as well as hunt our wildlife. Such changes lead to a reduction in native plant and animal diversity and habitat, leading to long-lasting change in our local biodiversity. Below are some threats identified locally and methods for control, including assistance from Council.
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The Queensland Fruit Fly (Bactrocera tryoni) is one of Australia’s worst horticultural pests and has recently been found in Manningham.
Queensland Fruit Flies feed on a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and, when left unchecked, cause serious problems for the home gardeners and commercial growers. The female fly lays her larvae (eggs) in fruits and vegetables causing them to rot. A list of common fruits identified as fruit fly hosts can be found on the Agriculture Victoria website.
Here are some steps to take to protect your garden from Queensland Fruit Fly:
- Monitor your garden for Queensland Fruit Fly activity
- Clean up old fruit and vegetables from around the base of plants.
- If you find affected fruit either boil, microwave or freeze the affected fruit before disposing. Do not put untreated produce in the compost or waste bin as this will facilitate spread
- Let your neighbours know if you have found Queensland Fruit Fly and suggest taking action together
Unfortunately we will need to learn to live with Queensland Fruit Fly, but together we can manage this pest.
Further advice on managing Queensland Fruit Fly can be found below:
- Agriculture Victoria
- ABC Gardening Australia
- Bulleen Art and Garden
- Edendale Farm
- Sustainable Gardening Australia
Deer are an emerging problem in Manningham with a variety of impacts for landowners including property damage, destruction of bushland and potential for road accidents. We have been working with the local community to try to prevent the spread of deer into new areas, and to minimise the impacts of deer throughout our local area. We are also collaborating with the State Government on the Victorian Deer Control Strategy.
Assistance is available to landowners through our Local Environment Assistance Fund (LEAF), including financial assistance for Deer Control.
You can help by recording sightings and evidence of deer in your local area into the FeralScan website or App - which is a free community pest animal mapping and monitoring tool.
It is the responsibility of each property owner to control and eradicate vermin (including rabbits, rats, mice and foxes) on their land.
Residential areas are an important food source for foxes. They forage around rubbish bins, picnic sites, compost heaps feeding also on fruit and pet food left outside. Domestic fowl, livestock and guinea pigs may fall prey to foxes if not adequately enclosed.
Foxes are generally nocturnal animals, resting during the day in many forms of shelter which may be: under houses, sheds, outbuildings or in hollow logs, rock piles, drainpipes, car bodies, under blackberry and gorse patches. In fact, foxes may be living in your backyard or garage without you knowing it.
What You Can Do
A fox removed from its territory will quickly be replaced with another. It is more effective to eliminate the attraction to foxes.
- Lock up chickens, ducks, guinea pigs and pet rabbits in a roofed enclosure at night
- Clean up food scraps, pet food left outside and excess fruit dropped by fruit trees
- Always cover your compost heap or use a compost bin
- Never make foxes pets by feeding them
- Remove blackberry and other weed thickets, which provide cover for foxes
- Do not feed wildlife
If you see a fox in the area, let your neighbours know so you can collaborate in taking action.
Fox control grants are offered to residents throughout Manningham. When an individual employs a fox control specialist, each participant is eligible to claim matching funding up to $300. Find out more information about eligibility for our Local Environment Assistance Fund and Pest Animal Control grants.
Rabbits are one of Victoria’s most destructive and problematic pest animals, causing environmental damage by:
- Destroying indigenous vegetation
- Competing with native animals for food and habitat
- Causing erosion, soil loss, and creek and river bank destabilisation
Effective rabbit control requires a variety of measures, not just one or two. There is no quick fix solution and landholders need to be persistent. The Rabbit Control in Urban and Peri-urban Areas brochure (3.28 MB) explains control options and how to plan a successful rabbit control strategy.
State legislation requires all landowners to take measures to control rabbits. Control is defined as taking action to minimise impact and prevent spread.
Rabbit control grants are offered to residents throughout Manningham. When a neighbourhood group control rabbits in an integrated manner, each participant is eligible to claim matching funding up to $300. Find out more information about eligibility for our Local Environment Assistance Fund and Pest Animal Control grants.
People concerned with Indian Myna populations in their neighbourhood can receive information on control options by contacting the Environment team.
European wasps can be of particular concern to health and safety when they are disturbed and become aggressive. European wasps can sting multiple times and can cause severe allergic reaction which can be life threatening to some people.
Call an ambulance (000) immediately if:
- A child is stung more than 5 times.
- An adult is stung more than 10 times.
- Anyone is stung in the mouth or throat.
- There is a severe allergic reaction (even if from only 1 sting).
- There is history of allergic reactions to bee or wasp stings.
Residents should remain vigilant if there is an increase in number of wasps around the property and speak with neighbours in an attempt to locate a possible nest. Nests are usually found at ground level in protected locations.
Owners are responsible for the removal of wasp nests on their property and should contact a licensed pest control operator to safely and quickly eradicate the nest.
If a nest is found on Council land or on a neighbouring property, please contact us.
Weeds are plants that invade and thrive in environments in which they do not naturally occur.
Environmental Weeds threaten natural ecosystems, can invade native plant communities and compete with them for space, nutrients and sunlight, resulting in a reduction of plant diversity and loss of habitat for native animals.
The Arthur Rylah Institute Advisory list of environmental weeds in Victoria can provide advice on environmental weeds on your property and throughout Manningham.
Declared Noxious Weeds
By law, landholders are required to control or eradicate noxious weeds, as proclaimed under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994.
Agriculture Victoria's website contains more detailed information on noxious weeds and how you can protect your property.
Ongoing weed control
Our Land Management Guide can help you develop your ongoing weed control plan, we also have a Weeds Identification brochure (23.5 MB) to help you better identify environmental weeds and explains the various methods of control. For advice on controlling pest plants on your property, please contact us.
Priority Precinct Program (PPP)
The PPP aims to reduce introduced weeds in Manningham to protect natural assets on both public and private land. This will result in enhanced biodiversity and better habitat values for threatened species such as the Brush-tailed Phascogale, known to breed in the area. An equally important aim is to engage and educate land owners about the natural values of their properties and provide advice and skills to care for the land.
New provisions have been introduced to ensure our native wildlife do not get entangled in fruit tree netting.
From 1 September 2021, these provisions will mean that any netting used to protect household fruit trees, vegetable gardens or other fruiting plants must have a mesh size no greater than 5mm x 5mm or less at full stretch. Any existing household fruit netting that does not meet this specification must be replaced with appropriate netting.
It is also recommended that white netting is used to make it easier for nocturnal animals to see and avoid at night.
An alternative to netting is placing fruit bags over individual branches. This reduces the risk of wildlife entanglement and leaves excess fruit available for hungry birds and flying foxes.
For more information visit Agriculture Victoria's website.