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European Wasps

European Wasps

Do not attempt to destroy the nest by using insect spray or any other methods. Council will destroy European Wasp nests at no charge to residents of the City of Mitcham. However it is the responsibility of the landowner to locate the nest.

If you locate a nest call 8372 8888 and a Council Officer will then ask you:

  • Have you identified the wasps as being European Wasps?
  • Have you located the nest and is it on your property?
  • Is the nest located on private, commercial or Council property?
  • Is there easy access to the property and the nest?
  • Is access available if no one is home?
  • Are there any dogs on the property?
  • Is a ladder required to gain access to the nest?
  • Give specific details of the location of the nest.

The European wasp, Vespula germancia, is most easily identifiable by:-

  • Its bright yellow body
  • Triangular markings on the abdomen.

While the European wasp is the same size as the bee (10-15mm) it is less hairy and folds its wings back at rest. Queen European wasps have identical markings and colouring, except are larger and can be up to 20mm.

European Wasp Bee
European Wasp
To Locate a Nest

If you see several European Wasps on your property this indicates that there is a nest close by.

To find the nest you need to establish the direction the wasps are flying. To do this, place a good food source (ie meat or petfood) in a visible location. Once the wasp has collected the food, it will fly in a direct line to the nest.

A wasp may be scavenging for food up to 500m from the nest. Keep relocating the food sources in the direction of the nest. You may need to work cooperatively with your neighbours.

Nests are located where shelter is available. Common locations for nests include retaining walls, tree hollows and Wall Cavities.

Check the following on your property for evidence of a nest:

  • holes in the ground or compost heaps,
  • hollows of trees,
  • vents in the outside of buildings,
  • eaves of houses.

It is unlikely that you will see the nest itself. What you will see is numerous wasps flying in and out of the entrance to the nest. Nests are often underground and will be evident by a stream of wasps entering and leaving a hole in the ground. The nest is made of grey paper mache type material. Nests constructed of mud are not European wasps nests.

If you do not find a nest on your property contact your neighbours and ask them to check their properties.

If a European wasp is aggravated it may sting. Unlike the bee, a European wasp can sting multiple times. If left undisturbed the European wasp is not aggressive to human or other animals. If a nest is disturbed the wasps release a chemical which triggers the wasps to defend the nest.

Discouraging European Wasps

Do not leave fallen fruit or food scraps lying around your yard.

  • Avoid leaving uneaten pet food or dog bones outside.
  • Make sure rubbish bins have tight fitting lids.
  • Keep compost covered at all times.
  • Cover bird baths and fish ponds with fine mesh or shade cloth.
  • Keep your swimming pool covered when not in use.
  • Cover exposed food at picnics and barbeques.
  • Do not drink out of cans or bottle. Use clear contains or a straw.
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City of Mitcham -ABN 92 180 069 793
131 Belair Road, Torrens Park SA 5062
T: +61 8 8372 8888 | F: +61 8 83728101
Last date modified: 2017-11-23T04:45:49
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