Wasps due to come out of hibernation for warmer months

Released 08/11/2017

After a mild dry winter, European wasps (eWasps) sightings will become more frequent over the coming warmer months as they start to establish nests.

Transport Canberra and City Services’ wasp specialists, CoreEnviro Solutions, are advising some eWasps were reported as being on the move in June and July, indicating many nests went untreated.

“At this stage of the season, eWasp queens have come out of hibernation and are establishing nests. If residents come across these individual wasps they are encouraged to treat them with a registered insecticide,” CoreEnviro Solutions Senior Pest and Weed Officer,” Jim Bariesheff said.

“An eWasp nest can produce up to 1,000 new queens with a survival rate of 30 per cent over winter in Australia.

“It is recommended that established nests are treated by a qualified pest controller to avoid any possible stinging incidents and to ensure the nest is properly controlled.”

During the 2016-17 eWasp season, 67 wasp stinging incidents were reported to the eWasp hotline, 39 being eWasp stings.

eWasp hotspots on public land included Pialligo with 35 nests with other nests being reported at Kingston, Narrabundah, Russell, Fyshwick and Giralang. Residential areas containing the highest number of reported nests in 2016/17 included Kambah, Nicholls, Evatt and Palmerston. Residents living in these areas need to be aware of the presence of eWasps and are encouraged to report any nests found.

Mr Bariesheff also provided some advice on what to do if stung by a wasp.

“A cold pack may be used to relieve the pain of the sting. If there is evidence of a more severe reaction or the sting victim is known to be allergic to wasp and bee venom, medical attention should be sought immediately,” Mr Bariesheff said.

“eWasp nests are often hidden, the most common nesting sites are in wall cavities, a hole in the ground, roofs and even in conifer trees,”

“If an eWasp queen makes her nest in one of these locations on property, a steady stream of wasps will be seen leaving and returning to the nest as the day warms up. To help prevent wasps building their nests in wall cavities and roofs, all potential entry points around the home should be sealed.

“Also, if an eWasp nest is disturbed, they can become aggressive in protecting their nest. They will swarm in large numbers and sting multiple times. Multiple wasp stings can cause a severe allergic reaction. To help prevent stings and allergic reactions, residents are asked to inspect their area for wasp activity and potential nests, particularly when working outdoors, such as gardening.”

If you come across a European wasp queen or nest, please contact the European Wasp Hotline on 6258 5551 or at www.ewasp.com.au. 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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