Problem Animals Problem Animals

Itchy Grubs (Processionary Caterpillar)
During the months of April/May, it is not uncommon to see long processions of what people commonly refer to as "Itchy Grubs" [ochrogaster lunifer], marching head to tail in long processions along the ground as they search for new food sources.  These grubs mainly feed on various species of wattle.

They build nests at the base of food source trees or in the canopy. Prior to winter the grubs burrow into the ground and emerge in summer as bag-shelter moths. If you do encounter these grubs, do not touch them as their hairs and the white powdery scale that they produce in nests, can cause dermatitis and allergic reactions such as red swollen skin rashes. For more information on the Processionary Caterpillar, please visit the Australian Insects .

If you find a nest that is causing a problem in a park or other public area, please contact Council's Parks and Environment office on 07 4977 6899.

Living with Magpies
Peak breeding season for magpies is August to October.  When magpies have eggs or young in the nest, they can become protective and may swoop people entering their nesting territory.  Residents can minimise the risk of being swooped by watching the bird when entering its territory and wearing a hat or carrying an umbrella.  Bike riders should dismount and walk through nesting areas.  Birds that pose a significant threat to public safety may be relocated.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) provides information and advice on how to live with magpies and who to contact to relocate a rogue magpie on its website

For more information, please download Council's Living with Magpies factsheet click here

Living with Possums - Removing a possum from your roof
In their natural environment, possums usually live in tree hollows but with the loss of native bushland many of these natural homes have been destroyed. Being highly territorial, possums do not relocate easily and so they sometimes seek safe shelter in your roof. Under QLD legislation a possum can be trapped if the person has a damage mitigation permit to remove and relocate the possum. However a trapped possum must only be moved a maximum of 25m.

Please note:  Council does not issue cat traps for the purpose of trapping possums.  Possums are a protected native animal and a permit is required for trapping.

For more information about Living with Possums, please contact the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) on 1300 130 372 or visit their website.

Living with Flying Foxes
Flying foxes are migratory animals that follow seasonal food sources and are protected by legislation.  In the past, Council has applied to the DEHP for damage mitigation permits to relocate the animals to alternative roost sites away from homes. Should you require a local flying fox carer, please contact Henry Grzegorski - 4975 7612.

For more information about Living with Flying Foxes, please contact the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) on 1300 130 372 or visit their website.

Health related information in regards to living with Flying Foxes can be found on the Queensland Government Website at and

Living with Snakes - Who should I contact if I have a snake at my home?
If there is a chance that a snake could find its way into your home you should have the number of a commercial snake catcher (see below) on hand.

Otherwise your first point of contact should be the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) on 1300 130 372 or visit their website.

It is important to remember that snakes are an important part of the environment and the relocated snake is often replaced by another living nearby. The best approach is to snake-proof your house.

Local Snake Catchers

Contact details are provided for the benefit of the community, it is the responsibility of the customer to ensure the applicable licenses and insurances are valid.

  • Agnes Water, Captain Creek and Miriam Vale area only - Jason Brownscombe - 0421 174 128
  • Seventeen Seventy area to Baffle Creek area - Duanne Bowen - 0424 303 977
  • Gladstone, Boyne Island/Tannum Sands, Calliope areas - Mike Boen - 0438 793 865 or 4979 3865
  • All areas of the Gladstone Region (Raglan to Rosedale, Boyne Valley to Agnes Water) - Kristan Hall - 0400 890 949
  • All areas of the Gladstone Region (Raglan to Rosedale, Boyne Valley to Agnes Water) - Kris Foster - 0439 666 102

For the number of a licensed snake catcher in an area not listed above or for other wildlife emergencies and enquiries, please contact the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) on 1300 130 372 or visit their website.

Wild Dogs, Foxes & Feral Pigs

Council offers rural property owners the opportunity to participate in 1080 baiting campaigns to control wild dogs and feral pigs on rural lands within the Region. These campaigns are generally conducted in Winter (June during mating season) and again in Spring (November when the pups are leaving the den). To register for an upcoming baiting program, please visit our 1080 page or Contact Council's Parks & Environment office on (07) 4977 6899.