Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD)

One of the roles of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is to grow and protect Western Australia’s agriculture and food sector. We work professionally and with integrity to help deliver meaningful results to industry, government and the community.

Pests, diseases and weeds can pose significant threats to Western Australia’s production systems. DPIRD encourages the reporting of pests, diseases and weeds to enable early detection and to prevent spread. Accurate pest, weed and disease identification is vital for appropriate pest or disease management. Most importantly, it helps us identify possible new threats to agriculture and the environment, enable early response to pest incursions and to maintain market access for Western Australia’s agricultural produce.

Our long-term commitment to biosecurity has helped maintain WA’s relative freedom from pests and diseases, and earned its reputation as a world-class producer of clean, safe and premium products.

Contact Us

  • Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
    Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
    3 Baron-Hay Court
    South Perth WA 6151
  • 9368 3080


Beware of Garden Pests

“By the time I noticed, pests were everywhere...” Sound familiar? Have you missed the fact that your favourite rosebush is infested with camouflaged aphids or your perfect fruit is a breeding ground for fruit flies? It’s not uncommon to miss damaging pests in your garden. Many species are sneaky and go unnoticed before it’s too late
Check the pests in your garden are not stowaways here to stay!
Some pests can be expert border hoppers, carried in everyday items, whose first port of call could be your humble garden patch. Not only can they ruin countless hours of gardening efforts, but they also pose a serious threat to our agricultural industries, environment and lifestyle.
Being aware of pests and their damage, practicing good hygiene and making sure you do not buy declared plants and invasive species are the key to less pests and diseases in your garden.
Every effort you make at home helps keep our state, and our agriculture industries pest and disease free.
2020 is the International Year of Plant Health.The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development recognises the role of gardeners in maintaining the biosecurity of plant industries in Western Australia

Protecting plants. Protecting life. Keeping a healthy garden

MyPestGuide Reporter

With a bit of knowledge, you can get on top of pest problems quickly, and enjoy your home-grown produce without excessive time and effort. Knowing what type of pest you have found in your garden will help you find the control method that suits you best. And if you find and report something that it is not supposed to be in WA, then the department can deal with it before it becomes a problem. So you have found something unusual – what happens next? MyPestGuide™ Reporter is an easy to use reporting app – you can snap a photo, share your report and send your questions to the department. We will send back a quick response to help you get to know your pests and instruct you on how to deal with them.
Download the app or make an online report via the MyPestGuide™ community website:
Check the instructions on ‘How to use MyPestGuide™ Reporter’.

Myrtle rust is a serious disease that can destroy native plants

We love our native plants. Eucalyptus, bottlebrushes, paperbarks, peppermint trees, grevilleas and waxflowers are a common sight in Western Australian home gardens. However, our Myrtaceae plants are at risk of extinction if myrtle rust (Austropuccinia psidii) enters Western Australia.
Myrtle rust is a serious plant disease that attacks and kills many plant species belonging to the Myrtaceae family, many of which are grown in most home gardens. Myrtle rust devastates forests, and can impact the oil mallee plantations, bee, cut flower and garden industries. It could even affect our tourism industry by damaging our unique landscapes.
This pest spreads via spores that stick on anything, even your mobile phone!
Myrtle rust: a threat to Western Australia

Boots and outdoor gear can bring weed seeds, and plant diseases into your garden

Spores of pathogens and weed seeds can be carried unknowingly on clothing into your garden.
To avoid this, clean all clothing, shoes and camping gear before leaving a camping site. Brush soil and plant materials out of your tent when you pack up. When you arrive home, clean your walking boots and wipe down camping gear with disinfectant.
Weed seeds and plant pathogens, such as Phytophthora (root rot disease), or some fungal rust and rot spores can easily stick to your belongings and be spread from one location to another. Take the same precautions with shoes and clothing if you visit farms and orchards.
Make sure everything is clean and sparkling before it goes back into your shed!

Fallen fruit can become breeding sites of pests and diseases

Fallen fruit and vegetables left on the ground provide perfect conditions for pests and diseases to breed and spread.
Moreover, the damage from unwanted and unmanaged pests in gardens can lead to poor quality and reduced production of fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants. Practicing garden hygiene can minimise the risk of pest threats entering and becoming established in your garden. Pick up or dispose of fallen fruit. Do not leave unpicked fruit on trees as it can become a breeding ground for pests like Mediterranean fruit fly and Dried Fruit Beetle or diseases like Brown rot and Strawberry root rot. Remember to treat infested garden waste before disposing of it.
If you have unwanted trees, remove them. It will save time and money in the long-term and keep you on speaking terms with the neighbours, especially if they are commercial orchardists. If you choose to keep your trees, correct pruning can reduce the areas where pests and diseases can build up.
About Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly)
Medfly control in backyards
Dried fruit beetle
Crown and root rot diseases of strawberries

Weeds are nature’s greatest escape artists!

Weeding is probably the worst part of gardening and control of weeds begins with prevention. Many popular ornamental plants can become weeds. Identifying a garden weed, and understanding its growth, invasiveness and life cycle can help gardeners work out a control strategy.
Never dump garden waste in the bush. This will minimise the spread of weeds from your garden into our bushland, rivers, forests and farming areas. Source new plants and seedlings from reputable sources. If you are after a bargain, stay informed of the legal status and potential weediness of plants sold at open markets, internet sales and car boot sales. You do not want to buy yourself a problem.
Be weed aware
Plants that invade bushland
Natural garden managemen
Climbers out control
Bulbs become bushland weeds
Aquatic weeds
Western Australian Organism List (WAOL)

Many plant diseases are caused by soil borne pathogens

Soil pathogens are the culprits of many plant diseases. Most of them are microorganisms that survive and move about in soil and soil debris. Several fungi, blights, rots, rusts and other pathogens can remain in the soil for long periods, waiting for host plants and environmental conditions that will lead to growth and spread. These pathogens spread short distances by water splash, and on planting equipment, and long distances by infected transplants and seeds.
Good garden hygiene is the best action to prevent the spread of soil borne pathogens. This includes cleaning tools, equipment and pots; using fresh soil mixes; and removing and disposing of infected plant material.
Soil borne diseases

Become aware of pests in your surroundings

From your little patch of earth, pests can spread to your neighbour’s garden, the street verge, orchards, fields and farms, and into our native forests and bushlands! To reduce the risk, it is important to learn more about pests, and what you can do to prevent them hitchhiking in reused pot plants, on unwashed footwear and clothing, on and in vehicles and machinery, and inside fruits or vegetables.
So the next time you are out and about in your garden, wondering what an organism is, send us a report with a picture using MyPestGuide™ Reporter! In return, we can provide you with the advice and tools you need to make your garden a rewarding one!
Every effort you make at home helps keep our state, and our agriculture industries pest and disease free.

About MyPestGuide™
WA’s Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
Sending specimens for identification

Tools can easily move plant diseases and weeds around your garden

Tools, which come into contact with plants, like secateurs and shears, may transmit fungi and viruses. Tools like spades, rakes, hoes, garden forks and wheelbarrows are exposed to dirt and moisture, and can also spread soil fungi and pathogens, as well as weeds and nematodes between garden beds.
Clean tools and equipment to prevent spreading plant diseases in your garden. Make sure soil is removed from tools, containers, pots, and machinery. Check that wheelbarrow tyres and lawnmowers are free of mud and weed seeds.
If garden tools are not habitually washed down and sterilised, they may play a major role in spreading diseases between garden beds, viruses between plants and weeds between lawns.
Taking care of garden tools