Pest animals and nuisance native wildlife


Pest animals

Under state legislation, the control of pest animals such as rabbits is the responsibility of the property owner. If you cannot do the control works yourself, you can hire a private pest control service. You will find qualified pest control contractors in your region by using the Yellow Pages.

For information on different pest animals species visit PestSmart Connect or Agriculture Victoria.  Information on the behaviour of pest species, approved control strategies if they are available and guidelines for humane pest control can be found on this website. Pest animals covered on these websites include rabbits, foxes, Indian mynas, cats, deer, pigs and many others. Council does not run control programs for these species, though it may undertake targeted control activities on Council managed land. Find out more:

Council undertakes pest animal control on land it owns and manages. Find out more:

Pest Plant and Animal Management Strategy(PDF, 7MB)

Pest Plant and Animal Management Strategy - Annual Action Plan 2021-2022(PDF, 83KB)

Pest Plant and Animal Management Strategy - Annual Progress Report 2020-21(PDF, 2MB)

Roadside Weeds and Pests Management Control Plan 2017 - 2019(PDF, 386KB)


Rabbit control program

Late summer/early autumn provide the ideal conditions to begin your rabbit control program. The warmer, drier months help to reduce rabbit numbers through a combination of less feed being available and the impact of the biological controls: Calicivirus and Myxomatosis. These biological controls are already in the environment and are spread by insects (flies, fleas & mosquitos).

Rabbits cause significant damage to agriculture and the natural environment.  Under the Victorian Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, all landholders have a legal duty to prevent the spread of, and as far as possible eradicate, rabbits on land they own or manage. Enforcement of the legal duty to undertake rabbit control works is carried out by Agriculture Victoria. Council does not have any enforcement powers under the Catchment and Land Protection Act. Contact Agriculture Victoria directly to discuss or to obtain further information.

Council undertakes rabbit control on land it owns and manages. Find out more:

Rabbit Management Policy(PDF, 226KB)

Nuisance native wildlife

From time to time, some native wildlife species may be of nuisance to you. Native wildlife such as Cockatoos, Corellas, Magpies, Masked Lapwings (commonly called Plovers) and Kangaroos are protected and Council is not authorised to control or destroy these species. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is the agency responsible for native wildlife and there is detailed nuisance wildlife information on their website or you can call 136 186 to speak with one of their wildlife officers.


The relocation of problem possums is prohibited but DELWP provides detailed information on other control options on their website. Council does not lend out or hire out possum traps.

Swooping Birds

You can log a swooping bird location and learn more about swooping birds and what precautions you can take on the DELWP website. Council is not authorised to remove Magpies or other swooping birds. If you want to discuss this option, DELWP is the regulating authority and you can find out more on their Wildlife management and control authorisations page.

Cockatoos, Corellas and Galahs

DELWP recognises it can be challenging living with these birds. Visit their website for tips for living alongside these species.


To find out more about the management of kangaroos visit the DELWP website.


What we do

Our mosquito management program involves monitoring and treatment of major breeding sites, in line with the breeding cycle of the three main mosquito species in the Geelong/Surf Coast area.

The program normally operates from August to late March each year. Generally mosquito numbers are very low during the winter months, therefore monitoring and treatment are not needed during this period.

There are however limitations to any responsible program of this nature and this is why there will still be mosquitoes in the area.

We can also provide educational material for use in school and in the home.

Our Environmental Health Unit coordinates Council's mosquito management program in partnership with the City of Greater Geelong. You can find further information on the City of Greater Geelong Mosquito Management page.

What you can do

Further information

 YOUTUBE: Why mosquitoes bite some people more than others

Problems with bees, wasps and ants

Council responsibility for bee, wasp and ant issues is limited to situations where there is a hive or nest on land owned or managed by Council. Bees, wasps and ants on private land are the responsibility of the owners/occupiers.

For Council land, use our lodge a request service to notify us of the problem.

For private land, you can either use a registered private pest controller, or investigate treating the problem yourself with products available from most hardware stores and supermarkets. For further details refer to information provided by the Victorian Department of Health


Rats and mice are unwelcome visitors around our house and garden and are most commonly controlled using rodent bait.  However, some baits can also harm and kill local wildlife and pets through direct and secondary poisoning so it is important to look at the active ingredients.

Rodent baits typically contain one of two types of anticoagulant rodenticides:

  • First Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (FGARs) containing the active ingredients Warfarin and Coumatetralyl work more slowly and break down more quickly. Owls and other wildlife are unlikely to die from secondary exposure.
  • Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (SGARs) containing the actives ingredients Brodifacoum, Bromadialone, Difenacoum, Difethialone and Flocoumafen work fast but don't break down quickly.  Predators like owls and birds of prey can easily consume multiple poisoned rodents or other off-target species such as possums, and in turn become poisoned themselves. These rodenticides should be avoided!


Bird-friendly rodent control

There are many other ways to reduce the impact of rodents around your house and garden including removing attractants such as garden waste, fallen fruit , excess pet food and rodent proofing roof and walls cavities and also chook pens and aviaries.  In some situations, we can also encourage native predators by planting native trees and installing nest boxes for owls.

For more information on the impacts of SGARs and making better choices when controlling rodents visit BirdLife Australia -