Pest animals

Nillumbik has a number of common pests including foxes, Queensland Fruit Fly, rabbits, deer, Indian Mynas, European wasps, honey bees, rats, mice and magpies.

Queensland Fruit Fly

Queensland Fruit Fly infestations have been found in the Nillumbik area. 

Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) is one of Australia’s worst horticultural pests. It is a serious threat to commercial fruit growers, hobby farmers, and home gardeners. The QFF lays her eggs in many common fruits, ‘fruiting vegetables’ and some native fruits. Inside the fruit the growing larvae cause the flesh to rot, making it unsaleable and undesirable to eat. QFF populations can increase very quickly!

Nillumbik residents can help prevent the fruit fly from spreading and reduce the risk of the QFF finding a suitable home in Nillumbik.

Watch this series of short videos to learn how to identify, prevent and manage QFF in your garden.



Suspect Queensland Fruit Fly?

If you or your neighbours have found QFF in your harvest this season, please take the time to map and detail the infestation using this mapping tool.

This information will help us to plan potential pest management options and establish where ‘neighbourhood action groups’ could be useful in helping neighbours work together to eradicate and prevent the spread of QFF.

You may also put a sample in a sealed bag in the fridge and text an image of it to Council’s Land Management Officer on 0456 708 525. Council can support you to ID the pest and provide information to assist you to eradicate it.

Steps you can take now:

  • prune host plants regularly to a manageable height - so all the fruit can be easily picked and the trees can be netted with exclusion netting if need be.
  • harvest all ripe fruit and ‘fruiting vegetables’ from the host plants before it has a chance to fall onto the ground (fruiting vegetables includes tomatoes, chillies, capsicums, eggplants, etc).
  • collect fallen fruit immediately and dispose of it in the general waste (not compost). NB. Suspect infested fruit needs to be treated (cooked or frozen) before disposal.
  • remove your unwanted or unmanaged host plants – including blackberries and unmanageable ornamental fruiting plants.
  • carefully examine the fruit for pests and diseases before sharing and swapping fruit with friends.  Movement of fruit from place to place is how pests and diseases are most commonly spread.
  • avoid transporting any fresh produce into the area from known QFF areas such as northern Victoria, NSW, and QLD. This prevents new incursions.
  • Traps that are designed to attract, catch and monitor QFF in your garden as well as bait sprays, gels and insecticides are commercially available. You can also make your own trap. 

Useful resources:

Managing Queensland Fruit Fly in your garden

Fruit fly guide(PDF, 3MB)

Make your own Queensland Fruit Fly trap(PDF, 2MB)


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

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) .

Visit the Collaborative Deer Action in Nillumbik page for information about this project.

Tell us about your experiences with deer in Nillumbik and share your ideas on possible management options vis this survey.




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
  • 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.

Rabbit Control Program

Non-chemical/ non-poison rabbit control (ferreting, netting and warren closure) will be undertaken between mid-April and end of June 2020 in the areas below. 

Reserves are selected for the rabbit control program based on a number of factors including high public usage, investment in public spaces, biodiversity assets/value, high rabbit numbers, prior investment in rabbit control program and where we have large adjoining areas.

Rabbits are euthanised by experienced contractors using trained dogs and ferrets. This also provides an opportunity for rabbit warrens to be mapped by GPS to monitor and re-treat if necessary.

Nillumbik Shire Council ensures that the strategies used in the rabbit control program follow best practice, to effectively and humanely control rabbit populations.  

Panton Hill

  • Yirrip Reserve
  • Wimbi Reserve - April 30
  • Bunjil Reserve (Bishops Rd only)


  • Gum Tree Reserve - May 15
  • Eastern ECB Colony - May 15
  • Research Park - May 14
  • Hohnes Hill - May 5
  • Kalbar Road - May 5

North Warrandyte

  • The Chase - May 4

Diamond Creek, Diamond Creek

  • Gipson Street to Luscombe Drive / Dianella Crt - May 18 - 21
    Challenger Street Reserve - May 6,7,8

Diamond Creek, Eltham North

  • Murrays Reserve - Jun 20, July 1, 2
  • Eltham North Reserve - June 17,18,19
  • Edendale Farm - June 16

Diamond Creek, Eltham South

  • Eltham Lower Park & Lenister - May 28, 29, June 1, 2, 3
  • Quarry Reserve
  • Griffiths Park - June 4, 5, 12, 15


  • Ben Frilay Reserve - July 13 - 16
  • Graysharps Road Reserve (Hurstbridge Wetland) - July 3, 9, 10
  • The Island - July 17
  • Gordan & Sheila Reserve - July 23, 24
  • Fergusons Paddock - July 27 - 31


  • Rotin Crt
  • Memorial Drive
  • Browns Lane
  • Heard Avenue

For further information contact Brad Tadday, Environmental Works Team Leader or 03 9433 3111


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
  • To report fox sightings on Council land contact us on 9433 3111.


Indian Myna

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

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.

Private property

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.

Council land/property

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.


Honey bees

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.

Private property

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.

Council land/property

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

Bee keeping

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.