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Pests

The Adelaide Hills landscape is home to many species considered to be pests. While they may not always cause you harm, it is important to know what steps you can take to manage them.

The Adelaide Hills region is home to a number of introduced pests. Unfortunately, these pests can spread disease and cause harm to humans and animals.

Please note that Council only undertakes removal of European Wasp nests. We do not deal with or control any other common pests found around the home in the Adelaide Hills area. Contact your local pest control company for further information on how to control and deal with these pests.

European wasps

European wasps are an introduced species that can be harmful to humans. They are a distinctive yellow colour with bright yellow legs, and triangular markeings on its abdomen. They are similar in size to a bee (10–15mm), but less hairy and folds its wings back when at rest.

European wasps have nests with a papier mache appearance (not mud). They are located where shelter is available, commonly underground, in retaining walls, under eaves, or in cracks in buildings.

Council provides an eradication service and has resolved that the following fees will be applied to treat wasp nests. The 2022–23 fee is $52 per nest with a 50% discount for concession card holders and pensioners. If the nest is not eradicated, Council will return within two weeks to treat again without an additional fee.

If you find a nest please contact Council on (08) 8408 0400 with the location of the nest (leaving a marker at the nest will also be extremely helpful) or contact a pest eradication professional for a quote.

Nests that are located in inaccessible or dangerous areas cannot be treated by Council Officers and you may be required to engage a pest eradication professional.

Bats

Bats (including flying foxes) are native throughout Australia and play an important role in the ecosystem. However, Grey-headed Flying-foxes and other bat species can carry a rabies-type infection called Australian Bat Lyssavirus.

Only properly trained and vaccinated people should attempt to handle bats. Any contact with bats requires urgent medical attention.

For more information download this bat safety fact sheet (PDF) or visit SA Health.

Problem bees

Bees are an important part of the ecosystem and play a vital role in propagating plant-life, including the Hills' many orchards. If you are experiencing problem bees around your home, the Beekeepers' Society of South Australia (BSSA) provides an annual list of members who will collect swarms as required by members of the public.

Mosquitos

Mosquitoes breed in water, mainly during the summer months, and can spread harmful diseases. They can be easily controlled by fitting fly screens to all openings to your house, and by ensuring that you don't leave stagnant water lying around your property.

Rats and mice

The Adelaide Hills provide an ideal habitat for rats and mice due to the abundance of vegetation, food and water. You can minimise problems by preventing access to your home or business, removing water and food sources, and using readily available baits and poisons. For more information on controlling rats and mice, refer to our information sheet or contact our Environmental Health Unit.

Possums

If you are experiencing problems with possums in your home or other buildings, you will require a permit to place a trap in a roof space to catch and remove it The maximum penalty for trapping a possum without a permit is $2,500 or six months imprisonment.

Trapped possums must be released within 24 hours of capture (at sunset on the day of capture). They must be released on the same property, within 50 metres of where they were caught. Releasing possums during the day increases their stress and puts them at risk of attack and injury.

Relocating possums is inhumane, illegal, and a poor solution to a possum problem.

Termites

Council does not treat termites that are found on private property. Please seek assistance from a registered pest control company.

Council does not remove termite mounds. Termite mounds are known to provide Heath Goanna (Varanus rosenbergi) an ideal place to lay its eggs lays during the breeding season, where the mound incubate the eggs. The goanna is listed as vulnerable in South Australia and Critically Endangered in the Mt Lofty Ranges.

If termite activity or a nest is located on Council land, please contact the council with a location and details. Staff will inspect the reported nest or activity and determine if it requires treatment

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