Nillumbik has a number of common pests including foxes, rabbits, deer, Indian Mynas, European wasps, honey bees, rats, mice and magpies.
Feral deer are a pest in Nillumbik, with numbers on the rise. They destroy native vegetation and reduce biodiversity, reduce the productivity of farms and pose a serious hazard on roads.
- The Game Management Authority has advised that arrangements have changed to help private landowners in Victoria control problem deer. A number of deer species are now unprotected on private land if they are causing damage, subject to certain conditions.
- See the Game Management Authority website for information on controlling problem deer on private land.
- To report deer sighting visit feralscan.org.au
In 2019 Nillumbik Shire Council commenced a three year project that has been funded by the State Government to trial the control of deer in the vicinity of Bend of Islands, Watsons Creek and Christmas Hills. The project seeks to manage the number of deer to help protect the biodiversity of the habitat corridor between Kinglake and the Yarra River. Landowners that live within the project boundary are eligible to apply for free deer control. You can find out more here(PDF, 865KB) .
Wild rabbits are an environmental pest and they are prevalent throughout the Shire. In order to help control pest rabbits, RHDV1 – K5 (Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus) was released across Victoria from 6 March 2017. Anyone who owns pet rabbits should make sure that their vaccinations are up-to-date to protect against the virus.
- The Department of Agriculture website provides technical information about these and other pest animals.
- For further guidance regarding rabbits on private land - call our Land Management Officer on 9433 3111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- To report rabbits on Council land contact us on 9433 3111.
- The Rabbit Action Plan(PDF, 3MB) provides information on this major threat to biodiversity and agricultural production in Nillumbik. Rabbits have a significant impact on the economy, environment and community. Rabbit management is driven by State and Federal Legislation and policies, including the legal requirement, under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, for landowners to control and prevent the spread of rabbits. The Rabbit Action Plan and all rabbit control activities undertaken by Council operate within this context.
Foxes are predators of livestock and native animals. They are highly mobile and can travel up to 10km per night.
- The Department of Agriculture website provides links to practical information about fox control in rural and urban areas.
- For further guidance regarding foxes on private land - call our Land Management Officer on 9433 3111 or email email@example.com
- To report fox sightings on Council land contact us on 9433 3111.
The Indian or Common Myna (Sturnus tristis) was introduced to Australia in the 1860s. They exist in Nillumbik and are of concern because they:
- Are extremely aggressive and territorial birds that out-compete native birds for food, water and shelter
- Displace native animals from nests (tree hollows)
- Kill the chicks and eggs of native birds
- Harrass pets and steal their food
- Block down-pipes and roof gutters with their nests
The Yarra Indian Myna Action Group exists to reduce the impact of Indian Mynas on our native birds and animals. The group provides information on how to identify the Indian Myna as well as advice, information and traps to reduce the numbers of Indian Mynas.
To reduce Indian Mynas:
- Identify if Indian Mynas occur in your area
- Prevent nesting by sealing off entry points to your roof
- Do not leave food outside and feed pets indoors
- Use rubbish bins with lids
- Join the Yarra Indian Myna Action Group
- Record where Indian Mynas occur in your area and visit Myna Scan to map your sightings
European wasps are similar in size to a bee and have bright yellow bands with a black v-shaped marking down their backs. They have the ability to sting repeatedly and possibly trigger an allergic reaction.
Council recommend you refer to your local business directory and contact a qualified pest removalist to have the nest exterminated.
If the wasps nest is located on your neighbour’s property you should talk with your neighbour about having the nest removed.
Make a note of the location of the nest and call Customer Service on 9433 3111 or complete a customer request. Include your contact details on the request as Council officers may need to contact you for further information.
European honey bees, which are yellow and brown in colour, are the most common bees found in Australia and are up to 6mm in length.
A natural part of the reproductive life cycle of the honey bee is to swarm. This is when the queen and a percentage of an existing hive leave in order to locate to a new nesting site. The swarm may be on the move for several days in search of a permanent place to nest. They may settle for a few hours during this time in one location before moving on again. If a swarm does settle on your property ensure you keep family and pets away from it and do not disturb the swarm in any way.
You should not attempt to remove a bee hive or swarm yourself (by hosing for example) as this may aggravate the bees and they may defend themselves.
If you locate a honey bee nest on your property you can contact a local bee keeper to have the nest and bees taken away. Contact customer service on 9433 3111 for the details of local bee keepers.
Alternatively you could call a pest removalist, refer to your local business directory if you wish to have the nest exterminated.
Make note of the location of the nest and call customer service on 9433 3111 or complete a customer request. Include your contact details on the request as Council officers may need to contact you for further information
For household’s wanting to keep bees on their properties, refer to the Apiary Code of Practice. The size of your block of land will determine the amount of hives permitted. These hives will also have to be registered with the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.
Mice and rats
Mice and rats are rodents that tend to enter homes in search of food and shelter, particularly during winter. Both mice and rats tend to nest within floors, behind walls and between partitions. They can also be found in sheds, piles of scrap materials, near compost heaps and underneath hedges. You can assist in the prevention of mice and rats by cleaning out areas where they are likely to nest and by reducing food sources e.g. keep compost bins secure, remove fallen fruit from under trees and ensure pet food is not left out.
Eliminating mice and rats
You can use poison bait to control the spread of mice or rats within your home. You can buy this poison from your local hardware store or supermarket. Ensure you follow the guidelines on the product packaging. Another alternative is to contact a qualified pest removalist to have the area baited.
Ensure that bait is not accessible to children or other pets/animals.
If you have an issue of rats coming from a neighbouring property as a result of a possible unsanitary condition, contact Environmental Health on 9433 3340 or complete a customer request online.
Note: Native bush rats and the Agile Antechinus are found within Nillumbik and can easily be mistaken for the introduced rat species. Museum Victoria has further information and photos of the native bush rat and the introduced rat as well as a photo of the Agile Antechinus which may assist in distinguishing between each species.
Magpies and swooping birds
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) are reminding Victorians that some bird species, including Magpies, may start to swoop people as part of their normal breeding behaviour.
The 2016 Victorian Magpie Map shows locations where people have been swooped during the spring breeding season. DELWP invite the community to add data to the map.
See the DELWP website for more information on swooping birds.