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Source: Auckland Council

Over the months of May and June we are asking Aucklanders to create a Pest Free haven in their backyard through placing traps, pulling weeds, and planting natives.

To help further support Aucklanders we ran a Q&A session with our Pest Free Auckland experts on Instagram and thought we’d share a summary of the great questions and useful answers to get everyone started on your Pest Free Auckland journey.

What you need to know:

Q: What is Pest Free Auckland?

Pest Free Auckland is a community-led conservation programme, facilitated by us, to control invasive plants, animals and pathogens, and restore the region’s indigenous ecosystems.

Q: How do I find out about a local community conservation group to join?

The community ranger team can connect you with a group in your area or help you establish your own park volunteer group. Please email them on: Or look for ‘Find a pest-free community group near you’ on

Q: What impact do pests have on our native species?

Habitat destruction. Predation of birds, their eggs, insects, lizards, frogs and bats causing the loss and decline of native species. Native species being out-competed for food and habitat. Pest plants can smother native plants.

Q: What are effective methods I can use to control weeds in my garden?

Our Pest Plant Search has guidelines for how to control different types of weeds:

Q: What are 3 easy things I can do in my garden to help Pest Free AKL?

  1. Trap rats
  2. Learn to identify and tackle weeds
  3. Plant natives to help attract native birds and other animals.

Q: Are there any plants good for controlling erosion as well as good for native species?

Native NZ grasses are a good option, along with native ground covers. Muehlenbeckia is also good for banks to prevent erosion.

Q: What’s the best way to control possums?

There are few types of traps suitable for possum control but they need to be selected taking into account your property and pets. We suggest that you contact us at for further advice.

Q: I’m a teacher. How can you help me make my school grounds a pest-free haven?

Learn about the plants, insects, lizards, birds and anything else that may be at the school. Identify which ones are endemic, native or introduced. Email, they can suggest plans to create a pest-free haven with your students.

Q: How do I report a moth plant infestation on council land in a reserve?

To report issues with moth plants and other weed infestations on reserve land, please contact our call centre on 09 301 01 01 or via our website (under ‘report a problem’).

Q: Is anyone researching biodynamic methods for pests and weed management?

We continue to keep abreast of research into methods to control pests and weeds. In some cases, we support such research with field trials for example, and in other situations, we lead the research. Where new methods are proven effective and efficient, these are added to the toolbox.

Q: Where can I get rat traps?

They can be bought at hardware stores and other outlets. Select a NAWAC approved trap if possible. If you are a community group, please contact

Q: What native plants are suitable for a small urban backyard?

Some good options include coprosma repens (Taupata), hebe stricta (koromiko), Kowhai, mountain flax, Astelia, coprosma Taiko, Muehlenbeckia or native boom to name a few. Your local garden centre can offer further advice on selecting appropriate native species.

Find out more

For more information, check out our guides to placing traps, pulling weeds, and planting natives.

Together, we can work towards a Pest Free Auckland!