Authorities keep eye out for pest

Citrus gall wasps create distinct galls on trees.
Citrus gall wasps create distinct galls on trees.

The Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) has appealed to citrus growers in Perth to prevent the wasps from establishing in WA orchards this spring.

DAFWA development officer Rosalie McCauley said the pests were first detected in WA two years ago.

�The wasp is native to eastern Australia but we�re keen to prevent it from making its way to WA citrus orchards where it could reduce fruit yields,� she said.

�The pest wasp produces distinctive galls on cultivated and native citrus trees, and these weaken the tree, affecting production.�

Abnormal growths created by the insect can be up to 25cm long, 2.5cm in diameter and contain hundreds of larvae.

Dr McCauley said pruning back affected branches and mulching or burying them could help rid your garden of the nuisance, although disposing of plants into waste bins is discouraged because it could help the pest spread.