Don’t let wasps make your home their home

Released 08/03/2017

With European wasp season now well underway, and reports of wasp sightings and nests becoming more frequent across Canberra, residents are asked to keep an eye out for this invasive pest species.

Transport Canberra and City Services wasp specialist, CoreEnviro Solutions, recorded 37 confirmed reports on European wasp nests in February, with 24 of these found inside the wall cavities of people’s homes.

“We are asking the public to be aware of their surroundings and to report all European wasp nests and sightings of large numbers of wasps to the European wasp hotline, the ACT Government’s free reporting and advice service,” CoreEnviro Solutions Senior Pest and Weed Officer, Jim Bariesheff, said.

“You can report nests on both public and private land through the hotline. Nests reported on public land will be destroyed by the ACT Government. The hotline will put you in contact with a registered pest controller if the nest is on private land. Reporting also helps to monitor wasp distribution in urban areas and allows better understanding of this pest and how best to control its spread.

“We also encourage people to make use of the eWasp mobile app to help us identify and destroy nests. The map on the app displays reported and untreated nests on public land and provides a useful tool for accurately locating nests. All reports of nests on public land will remain visible on the map until they are destroyed. The app also has a handy Wasp and Bee Identification tool.”

As well as keeping an eye out for nests on public land, residents are encouraged to conduct regular inspections of their home, garden or business for European wasps that may be nesting in walls, roof cavities or holes in the ground. They are also known for nesting in conifer trees, as they provide dense protection.

“Signs of a wasp nest include a steady stream of bright yellow and black wasps flying in and out from crevices around door frames, window seals or from a hole in the ground,” Mr Bariesheff, said.

“Wasp nests should be treated as quickly as possible, especially if they are in a wall cavity. As the nest continues to expand in size, the space becomes tight and the wasps may gnaw through the gyprock and enter the home, causing hundreds of dollars in damage. Always use a qualified pest control operator to treat nests. Do not use DIY methods from the internet. For example, do not try to simply block the entrance to a nest. This will only aggravate the wasps and you are more likely to be stung.”

The following simple tips can help minimise European wasps around your property:

  • pick up fallen fruit
  • feed pets inside your home or outdoors after dark
  • do not leave uneaten pet food or dog bones outside
  • ensure rubbish bins have tight-fitting lids and keep compost bins covered
  • cover food during barbecues and do not drink straight from a can or a bottle, use clear containers or drink from a straw

European wasps can sting repeatedly if their nest is disturbed. If you have an allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately.

If you come across a European wasp nest, please contact the free European Wasp Hotline on 6258 5551 or at European wasp nests also can be reported directly via the eWasp mobile app.

- Statement ends -

Section: ACT Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate | Media Releases

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