Help take sting out of wasp invasion in Perth

Help take sting out of wasp invasion in Perth

CITRUS growers in Perth and regional towns have been asked to keep a look out for pest wasps.

Department of Agriculture and Food development officer Rosalie McCauley has asked for help in an effort to prevent citrus gall wasps from establishing in WA.

Citrus gall wasp (Bruchophagusfellis) was first detected in Perth in 2013.

It is native to eastern Australia and the department is keen to prevent it from making its way to WA citrus orchards.

“The pest wasp produces distinctive galls on cultivated and native citrus trees and these weaken the tree, affecting production,” Dr McCauley said.

Residents with orchards or citrus trees are asked to look out for the distinctive galls, which can be up to 250mm long and 25mm thick.

Dr McCauley said people could now report galls or citrus gall wasps by using the department’s MyPestGuide Reporter smartphone app, or by calling or emailing the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service.

“MyPestGuide reporter is a reporting tool that enables people to take up to four photographs of the insect or weed and send a report directly to the department for expert identification,” she said.

Citrus tree owners who receive confirmation of citrus gall wasps are advised to carry out immediate control strategies to prevent the adults from emerging and reproducing.

The department recommends pruning back the affected branch and either mulch or burry them.

Disposal in normal household waste is discouraged because it could cause the pest to spread.

More information about citrus gall wasp is available on the department website at www.agric.wa.gov.au.