Community support to stop new exotic pest

Perth residents are being urged to inspect their trees for a new pest, Polyphagous Shot-Hole Borer (PSHB), after it was confirmed in a backyard maple tree in East Fremantle.

The exotic borer attacks a wide range of trees, but the top five to check are maple, oak, plane, coral tree and avocado.

The surveillance effort is backed by the McGowan Government’s recent $15.1 million boost to strengthen biosecurity management and responses to pest and disease incursions.

The Government is reinforcing Western Australia’s biosecurity capabilities to protect the State’s vital primary industries and environment, and maintain access to valuable export markets.

Early detection is the key to responding to a pest incursion, and this latest detection underpins the need for early warning trapping and systems, as well as emergency preparedness and training of biosecurity response staff.

In this latest detection, a vigilant resident reported damage to a maple tree that was later confirmed as having PSHB by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. This has enabled a rapid response to help determine where the borer may have spread.

Polyphagous Shot-Hole Borer has not been detected previously in Australia and is considered an agricultural, environmental and social amenity pest due to the wide range of species it attacks, including avocado, citrus, plus native and street trees.

For more information on PSHB and the symptoms to look for in backyard trees visit

Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan: “The WA community has been exceptional at supporting our emergency response efforts as we saw earlier this year when we were able to successfully eradicate Queensland Fruit Fly in the Perth area. This time we need everyone to check their trees for signs of Polyphagous Shot-Hole Borer and report anything usual to department’s MyPestGuide reporter app or by contacting the Pest and Disease Information Service on 9368 3080.”

“A strong biosecurity system is critical to growing our State’s economy and regions by protecting our $11 billion agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries industries and our natural resources.”

“Each year we are seeing more animal and plant pest and diseases incursions across our State and we need to be well prepared to act quickly.”

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Source: Fresh Plaza