There are over 12,000 species of Wasp in Australia. Wasps are identified by their size and colours. The waspis a social insect that lives in a colony.
European wasps are a serious threat to the Australian environment.
The European wasps have first arrived in Sydney in 1978 and continued to spread throughout the country. The Australian conditions are ideal for these wasps mainly due to the warm climate and lack of predators. They are a nuisance to people and animals as well as farmers and their crops.
The wasp generally is larger than a common bee, up to 2 cm long. It has thinner and longer body, less hair, longer wings and two black antennae. The European wasp is identified by black and yellow stripes on its body, triangular markings and six yellow legs.
The wasps differ from the bee, generally in its appearance and in the fact that the wasps can deliver very painful stings! That’s right, wasps have the ability to sting repeatedly, not just once and do not die afterwards. The wasp then emits pheromones or scent chemicals to alert other wasps to attack.
A sting from the European wasp results in: burning pain, raised lump, redness and local inflammation.
In summer especially, there are serious risks for people who are at barbeques, picnics or outdoors.
The nature of wasps causes them to search for food. They are attracted to sweets and meat. They are often found to enter bottles of soft drinks and cans. The wasp may be swallowed with the next sip of the drink and sting the person’s throat. The effect may be fatal.
The best way to find a nest is to place some food out for the wasp to collect and observe the direction in which the wasp then carries the food.
Nests will be found anywhere where there is shelter. This includes nests being in the ground, tree stumps, cavities of walls, roof, under ceilings or windowsills, awnings or near shrubs.
A wasp may be spotted in search of food 500m away from the nest.
If you find a wasp nest, the best thing to do is to leave it alone. A European wasp nest may consist of up to 100,000 wasps! Do not attempt to destroy it yourself. Wasps are more likely to attack when their nests are disturbed.
A person may get stung in the throat and severe inflammatory response may cause breathing difficulty. This could be fatal!
There are many pesticides available. Some cheap but less effective, and others that may be harmful to your health.
Call your pest control expert to ensure you safe and effective eradication of these social pests.
There are simple strategies that you can do yourself to aid in control of wasps.
- Ensure your outside environment is clean, garden tidy and grass cut
- Eliminate all access to food sources that encourage these pests
- Regularly clean and empty garbage bins
- Regularly check your front and back yard for suspicious structures that may resemble wasp nests
- Ensure you have screens for all entry points to your home
- Do not leave cans or bottles unattended when outdoors
- Cover compost areas and pick up any fruits
- If you see a wasp, leave it alone
- Cover swimming pools when not in use
- Ask for advice and assistance of your pest control expert!