DAFWA urges gardeners to be vigilant

The West Australian
DAFWA representatives will be at Garden Week.
Camera IconDAFWA representatives will be at Garden Week. Credit: The West Australian

Visitors to the Perth Garden Festival who have unfamiliar pests or weeds in their home or yards are encouraged to drop in to the Department of Agriculture and Food exhibit area for help to identify them.

The department's Pest and Disease Information Service team will be on hand to identify pests, weeds and diseases under a microscope or collect samples for future identification by department entomologists, pathologists and weed experts.

<a href="https:// a href="https:// www.agric.wa.gov.au/sending-specimens-identification "target=_blank"> HANDLING SPECIES FOR IDENTIFICATION |

DAFWA agricultural resource risk management executive director John Ruprecht encouraged gardeners to report unusual findings.

"PaDIS is an integral part of the department's biosecurity activities, and provides a range of technical information to the community on animal and plant pests, diseases and weeds," Mr Ruprecht said.

"It's an effective frontline for the detection of potential exotic pests that could impact on agriculture, the environment and our way of life in WA.

"Reports to the PaDIS hotline are followed up with information being passed on to the relevant department expert who identifies the species, assesses its capacity to do harm and provides feedback."

Mr Ruprecht said the eradication or containment of new pests, weeds and diseases depended on members of the community keeping an eye out and reporting sightings of unusual or unfamiliar animal and plant pests, diseases and weeds.

"Landholders know their part of the world and can recognise the usual birds, insects and weeds on their property, even if they can't name them," Mr Ruprecht said.

"People also recognise things that are unfamiliar to their patch, including new pests, diseases or weeds for WA or the region."

The PaDIS display at Perth Garden Festival will include information sheets on seasonal pests and diseases and a display comparing pest threats with native organisms which can be mistaken for them.

Eight destructive pests, nominated by the department as having the potential to cause the most damage to agriculture, the environment and our lifestyle, will also be on show.

Department entomology experts will also participate in the speaker forum at 3pm each day of the show. Darryl Hardie will provide information about fruit fly on Thursday, April 3 and Saturday, April 5 and Marc Widmer will share details about European wasp and European house borer on Friday, April 4 and Sunday, April 6.

The Perth Garden Festival, formerly known as Garden Week, will be held Thursday, April 3 to Sunday, April 6 at Perry Lakes Reserve.

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