This invasive species attacks a wide range of plants by tunnelling into them and damaging their tissue.

Shot-hole borers WA fight

New funding aims to expand efforts to eradicate this tree pest.
June 13, 2024

THE federal government has committed almost $20 million for Western Australia as part of a joint effort to contain and eradicate the current outbreak of polyphagous shot-hole borers (PSHB).

The state government has also invested $4.7m to the national response, which is being driven by more than 160 full time local employees.

PSHB (Euwallacea fornicatus) are tiny beetles that bore into living trees where they deposit a fungus which disrupts the flow of water and nutrients, leading to the plant’s death.

Many trees have been removed from popular public spaces in Perth including Kings Park to stem the spread and protect healthy neighbouring trees. There is no known chemical solution that can eradicate the beetle – only the removal or pruning of infested trees can contain its spread.

The beetle was first detected in Australia in August 2021 at East Fremantle but it is unknown how and when the beetle entered Australia.

Minister Jackie Jarvis said WA was leading an unprecedented biosecurity response to eradicate this destructive borer to protect Perth’s urban tree canopy.

“We have been working together for more than 18 months with local councils, residents, businesses, Traditional Owners and other organisations doing everything we can to stop the spread.

“We are also consulting with scientists from around the world to learn from their experiences in managing this borer and will continue our efforts as part of the national response plan to eradicate this invasive pest from WA.”

Western Australia’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is leading the cost-shared national response plan through to 2025.

Federal assistant Minister Patrick Gorman said “The beetle has the potential to lethally damage more than 400 host species including ornamental, fruit, nut, and amenity trees.”

Signs of PSHB can be reported to the department via the MyPestGuide reporter app or the Pest and Disease Information Service on (08) 9368 3080, email

For more information visit DPIRD's shot-hole borer web page.

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