Explosive season for European Wasps on the cards

Released 15/01/2018

More reports of wasps in the Canberra community have been received following a more mild, dry winter, with surviving European wasp (eWasp) queens establishing their nests much earlier than previous years.

“Currently wasp numbers per nest are approximately 2,000 and are expected to double by the end of January 2018,” CoreEnviro Solutions Senior Pest and Weed Officer, Jim Bariesheff said.

“With the amount of eWasp nests reported to the European Wasp Hotline, we expect to see super nests this season, where wasp numbers could reach up to 10,000 per nest.

“From December 2017 to 15 January 2018, 112 nests have been reported, compared to the previous year, which saw 15 eWasp nests. This is quite a substantial number of nests for this time of the year/season.

“The majority of nests have been reported on residential land in wall cavities and in four cases the eWasps gnawed through the gyprock and entered homes.

“With Canberrans due to return home from holidays, we are advising the public to thoroughly inspect their properties. Nests are often hidden, the most common nesting sites are in wall cavities, a hole in the ground, roof voids and can also be found in conifer trees.

“Wasps can gain access through cracks, crevices and holes around widows and door frames. Residents will often see a steady stream of wasps leaving and returning to the area,” Mr Bariesheff said.

If an eWasp nest is disturbed, or the colony is threatened, wasps will become very aggressive in protecting their nest. They will swarm in large numbers, stinging multiple times. Multiple wasp stings can cause a severe allergic reaction, if this occurs, seek immediate medical attention.

“During January 2018, 13 eWasp stinging incidents have been recorded,” Mr Bariesheff said.

“Most of the stinging incidents occurred when the residents either tried to treat the nest or when they got too close to the nest.

“CafĂ©/restaurant owners who are experiencing large numbers of eWasps around their premises are also asked to contact the European Wasp Hotline,” Mr Bariesheff said.

It is strongly advised that when a nest is located stay clear from the area, report it to the eWasp Hotline on 6258 5551 and call a professional pest control company to treat/destroy the nest as soon as possible. eWasp nests can also be reported directly via the eWasp mobile app and residents can stay up to date by liking the eWasp Facebook page.

For more information, images and a list of pest control companies, visit the eWasp website at www.ewasp.com.au

- Statement ends -

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

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