Skip to Content

Insects, Bugs & Beetles

This page provides information about the control and management of common insects, bugs and beetles, and how to report suspected Fruit Fly.

Bees

Bees are an important part of the ecosystem and play a vital role in propagating plant-life around our gardens and nature reserves.

The Council will not generally remove bees / bee hives unless they are in a location that would cause a significant safety risk.

If you are aware of a beehive on Council land that you believe may be causing a safety hazard, contact the Council so that it can be assessed.

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.

Best practice for keeping bees

Residents are permitted to keep bees on their property as long as they comply with the guidelines set out by the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) and do not create a nuisance for neighbouring properties and residents.

The Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016, provides Council with the responsibility to investigate and manage local nuisances.

For further information please contact the PIRSA on 08 8207 7900 (Glenside office).

 Elm Leaf Beetles

Elm Leaf Beetles become active from October and create a series of small holes in leaves during the summer months.

Life cycle and identification

Adult beetles are known to become active in October and are then present through until April the following year.

They are evidenced by a ‘shot hole’ appearance in leaves. They have the ability to travel through flight (fly) or ‘hitch a ride’ on vehicles, humans, etc. They move from tree to tree feeding and laying eggs on the underside of leaves.

Beetle larvae then destroy all but the veins of the leaves, creating a ‘skeleton’ effect. This damage destroys the trees ability to achieve photosynthesis, produce and store energy, maintain growth, vigour and active defence mechanisms.

There may be up to three life cycles of the beetle in a single season, depending upon weather conditions.

Control measures

In terms of control, there are a number of options available to address Elm Leaf Beetle:

Control option Description
Stem injection

This method involves the use of injectors which are introduced to the vascular system of the tree by means of a small drill hole.

The advantage of the injection method is that the application method is target specific and as such is very effective. It is also considered to be the safest method of control.

This method is used by the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters when treating and protecting the Elm Trees throughout the urban forest.

Soil injection

This method involves injecting the soil under the drip line of the tree using an appropriate insecticide.

The chemical is taken by the feeder roots and translocated through the tree’s vascular system to the shoots and leaves where it will kill the adult beetle and also the larvae when they start to feed.

As the movement of the chemical within the tree is relatively slow, soil injections need to be carried out at least six to eight weeks prior to emergence of the beetles from hibernation.

This method of control kills the Elm Leaf Beetle once the chemical has been absorbed by the tree. However, it may destroy good micro-organism located within the soil profile.

Soil tablets

Similar to the soil injection method, whereby a chemical is applied to the ground in a tablet form which can be supplied with a slow release fertiliser or initiator.

Similar to the soil injection, this method destroys the Elm Leaf Beetle once the chemical has been absorbed by the tree. However, it may also destroy good micro-organism located in the soil.

Gel banding

Banding can be undertaken by applying gel or sticky tape (stick facing outwards) to the trunk of the tree and the pest sticks to the gel when climbing up or down the trunk.

Applications need to be done monthly when there are mature elm leaf beetle larvae, from around November through to January. In wet weather conditions, you will need to reapply. In addition to that, Elm bark is deeply furrowed thereby making effectiveness very difficult to predict.

Stem spraying/banding

This method uses Carbaryl (1-naphthyl methylcarbamate) which is an insecticide used to control pests in home gardens, on ornamentals, lawns, fruit and vegetables and around public buildings. It is also used in the control of insects on domestic animals.

The chemical is sprayed on the leaves and is a contact insecticide. It may kill whatever comes in contact with the chemical. However, it is non-specific and as Elm bark is deeply furrowed the effectiveness is difficult to predict. In addition to that, the chemical is only registered in Victoria and Tasmania for use.

 Foliar spray

This method is very similar to stem spraying / banding and also uses Carbaryl.

Again, the chemical is sprayed on the leaves and is a contact insecticide.  It may kill whatever comes in contact with the chemical. However, it is non-specific and as Elm bark is deeply furrowed the effectiveness is difficult to predict.

Public elm trees

The Council has approximately 335 Elm Trees planted throughout the City.

Of those, 233 are Chinese Elms which have a high resistance to Elm Leaf Beetle. The remaining 102 Elms are a mixture of English, Dutch and Golden Elms which are susceptible to Elm Leaf Beetle. These trees are located throughout the City.

The Council has treated its 102 Elms which are considered susceptible to this pest in order to protect these trees against this pest.

It was determined the most appropriate treatment for the Council’s 102 Elms was stem injection and this was carried out on all Council’s English, Dutch and Golden Elms.

Council staff will now monitor these trees closely to ascertain the effectiveness of the treatment and whether further treatment may be required.

Your elm trees

For a list of qualified arborists, visit: South Australian Society of Arboriculture (SASA)

Please note, the Council doesn’t recommend any particular arborist or pest controller.

Further information

If you require further information, contact the Council on 08 8366 4555.

European Wasps

The Council's European Wasp Control Program is a cooperative approach to European Wasp control in South Australia.

The Council has engaged Rentokil Pest Control to remove European Wasp nests from around the City.

Report a wasp nest

Contact: Rentokil Pest Control on 08 8344 8181

Contact Rentokil to report any nest that may be located either on your own property, in parklands or reserves.

When you have located the nest do not disturb it. Simply phone Rentokil Pest Control and a professional will schedule removal.

Tips to deter European Wasps

In summer European Wasps start to go in search of potential breeding grounds. Much like mosquitos they like the warmer conditions this season offers.

Wasps like sweet food and meat and are commonly a nuisance at outdoor eating venues and barbeques.

Tips to discourage European Wasps:

  • cover bird baths and fish ponds with fine mesh or shade cloth
  • cover exposed food at picnics and barbeques
  • avoid leaving uneaten pet food outside
  • don't drink out of cans or bottles, use a clear glass or straw
  • DO NOT aggravate a European Wasp.  

Fruit Fly

You can play a crucial role in helping to eradicate Fruit Fly by reporting any maggots found in fruit or fruiting vegetables.

For information about Fruit Fly including current outbreaks, how to identify and stop Fruit Fly, visit: PIRSA: Fruit Fly in SA

To report suspected fruit fly, phone the 24 hour Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010.

Watch video: How to Stop Fruit Fly

Mosquitos

Protect yourself from mosquito-borne disease.

Mosquitoes breed in stagnant fresh, salty, brackish and polluted water.

Mosquito numbers can increase after floods and storms as standing water from heavy rainfall provides the perfect conditions for mosquito breeding.

Increased numbers of mosquitoes leads to an increased risk of being bitten and of contracting mosquito borne-diseases.

Find out how you can protect yourself and your family, visit: SA Health - Fight the Bite