Pests and pest control

Pests are non-native animals and insects that can affect your property, and enjoyment of our city.

Image of a European wasp

Controlling pests

Under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, Landowners have a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to prevent the spread of, and as far as possible eradicate, established pest animals from their land. 

Under the Act, animals that are classified as pests and must be controlled include foxes, rabbits, wild dogs, feral pigs and feral goats. 

For further information, visit: 

Agriculture Victoria Managing pest animals

Agriculture Victoria Pest Animals 

Agriculture Victoria Integrated Fox Control

European wasps

European wasps are an invasive species and are active generally through spring, summer, and sometimes into autumn. European wasps can attack multiple times with a painful sting.

Similarly sized to the native honey bee, European wasps have the same yellow and black bodies, but have yellow legs, different from the bee who has black legs.

European wasps are attracted to food, such as pet meat or compost heaps. One way to keep them out of your yard is to pick up fallen fruit and keep pet food indoors.

If you find a European wasp nest on your property, do not attempt to remove it yourself. Make sure you, any children and pets are safe, and contact a licensed pest controller.

If you find a wasp nest on City of Ballarat land, please call our Customer Service team on 5320 5500.

Honey bee swarms

Bee swarming is an essential stage in the natural life cycle of honey bees and usually occurs during spring and summer (September to December).

Native bees and European honey bees are important to our ecosystem, pollinating our flowering fruit, vegetables and plants. 

Bees are not usually aggressive (unless they feel under threat), so by leaving them alone to go about their business, you shouldn't have any problems.

What do I need to know about bee swarms?

  • Bee swarms often clear by themselves with two to three days, as they search for appropriate sites to nest.
  • If you see honey bees swarming on your property and they are a concern: 
    • Keep children and pets well away from the swarm. 
    • Do not attempt to move or kill the swarm yourself as this could aggravate the bees. Call your local beekeeper who may be able to remove free hanging and accessible swarms. You can also register a swarm on Swarm Patrol

The sooner you report a swarm the better the chance of capturing it before it enters walls or other gaps, and becomes difficult to remove, costing you more money. 

In some circumstances, local beekeepers will be unwilling or unable to remove the nest. If this is the case, you will need to call a professional exterminator, who will generally kill the bees before removing them. 

Termites and white ants

Termites are often called white ants. Although they play an important role in nature, a few termite species attack human-built wooden structures or objects, earning themselves a reputation as a destructive pest. 

The City of Ballarat is not a declared termite area. This means that new works do not need to be protected against termites; however, there is always a risk of attack, so protection against termite infestation should always be thought of. 

Visit the Victorian Building Authority website for more information on termites.


Rodents such as rats and mice are a common problem in urbanised and rural areas. Rodents are attracted to food sources such as chicken pens, bird aviaries, compost piles, unsealed pet foods, broken rubbish bins and fallen fruit. 

If there is a rodent problem on your land, it is recommended you employ a professional pest control company to avoid negative impacts on native rats in Ballarat. To help keep unwanted rodents out of your home, you can seal any gaps or cracks they may be using to get in, as well as sealing food sources they may be attracted to, including keeping a lid on your compost bin. 

If the rodent problem is on your neighbour's land, we recommend you speak with your neighbour to let them know of the problem.

Native rats

Ballarat is home to native water rats called rakali. These animals can grow to be as big as a medium-sized platypus and they look like a small otter. 

Rakali can be found commonly around Lake Wendouree and can be easily identified by the white tip on their short tail. As rakali are native animals they are protected by Victorian law. 

The Australian Platypus Conservatory keeps a database of rakali sightings to help understand where they are living in Australia. If you see a native water rat around Lake Wendouree, you can fill out the Australian Platypus Conservatory's reporting form to help them continue to protect this native species.