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 Section on 49758100.
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 Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) 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.
Further information can be obtained by contacting the Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service's Gladstone office on 4971 6500 or visiting 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 EPA for damage mitigation permits to relocate the animals to alternative roost sites away from homes. Flying Fox carers are available in the local area.
For more information about Living with Flying Foxes, visit the QPWS website.
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 Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) on the department Hotline 1300 130 372. A recorded message will provide you with advice and phone numbers for snake catchers in your area. Snake catchers will relocate the snake to a safe place.
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. For more information about Living with Snakes, visit the EPA website.
Local Snake Catchers
- Agnes Water and Captain Creek area only - Steve Foster Mob. 0488 918 630
- Gladstone, Boyne Island/Tannum Sands, Calliope areas - Mike Boen Mob. 0438 793 865 or 4979 3865
For the number of a licensed snake catcher in an area not listed above or for other wildlife emergencies and enquiries, contact Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (07) 3227 7111 or Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) Emergency hotline (24-hour) 1300 130 372 or consult their website
Wild Dogs, Foxes & Feral Pigs
Council usually offers rural property owners the opportunity to participate in 1080 baiting campaigns to control wild dogs and feral pigs on rural lands in the Shire. These campaigns are generally conducted in June (early Winter) and again in Spring (mid-late October). To register for an upcoming baiting program, please visit our 1080 page or Contact Council's Parks & Environment office on (07) 4977 6899.