About Wasps & Bees

The services of a pest control technician are recommended as being the safest and most effective means for control of the European wasp. Control measures are best carried out at night, when the wasps remain in the nest. The nest can be covered with pl

European Wasp (Vespula Germacica)

The European wasp (Vespula Germacica) was introduced into Australia, apparently during the latter half of the twentieth century.  It is now a pest in most Australian States.  It also occurs in New Zealand, where it attacks weak hives of honey bees and affects their honey production.  This is also expected to occur in some parts of Australia as it spreads northwards and westwards.  Unlike honey bees, European wasps can sting many times when disturbed, particularly if this occurs in or near their nest.  Their stings, particularly those from a whole swarm, can require medical attention.
English Wasp (Vespula Vulgaris)

English Wasp (Vespula Vulgaris)

The English wasp (Vespula Vulgaris) has been present, but only in Victoria, for some years.  It is very similar in appearance to the European wasp, so it is important to have wasps identified before control measures are applied.

Mud Dauber Wasp

Mud Dauber Wasp (Sceliphron laetum)

Mud daubers are long, slender wasps, the latter two species above with threat-like waists.  The name of this wasp group comes from the nests that are made by the females, which consist of mud moulded into place by the wasp’s mandibles.  There are three common species of mud daubers, each with distinctive colouring; the organ-pipe mud dauber (solid black colouring), the black and yellow mud dauber and a stunning metallic-blue mud dauber with blue wings.

The organ-pipe mud dauber as the name implies builds nests in the shape of a cylindrical tube resembling an organ pipe of pan flute.  The black and yellow mud dauber’s nest is comprised of a series of cylindrical cells that are plastered over to form a smooth nest about the size of a lemon.  The metallic-blue dauber foregoes building a nest altogether and simply uses the abandoned nests of the other two species.  Mud daubers are rarely aggressive.

Native Paper Wasps (Ropalidia revolutionalis)

Native Paper Wasps (Polistes humilis)

Native Paper Wasps (Ropalidia revolutionalis)

Paper wasps are 2-2.5 cm long wasps that gather fibres from dead wood and plant stems, which they mix with saliva and use to construct water-resistant nests that appear to be made of grey or brown papery material. Paper wasps are also sometimes called umbrella wasps, due to the distinctive design of their nests.   The nests of most true paper wasps are characterized by having open combs with cells for brood rearing or constricted stalk that anchors the nest. Paper wasps secrete a chemical which repels ants, which they spread around the base of he anchor to prevent the los of eggs or brood.

Unlike yellowjackets and hornets, which can be very defensive, paper wasps will generally only attack if the nest is threatened. Since their territoriality can lead to attacks on persons and because their stings are quite painful and can produce a potentially fatal anaphylactice reaction in some individual nests in human-inhabited are may prevent an unacceptable hazard.

Control

The services of a pest control technician are recommended as being the safest and most effective means for control of the European wasp.

Control measures are best carried out at night, when the wasps remain in the nest.  The nest can be covered with plastic sheeting and the insecticide introduced.  In this way, the wasps cannot leave the colony, thus reducing the possibility of the operator being stung.  Nevertheless, it is important that body and facial protection is always worn when working near wasps.

It is essential to isolate and destroy the nest, using a pesticide registered for this use.  Propoxur and carbaryl dusts are effective in controlling wasps in their nest.  An aerosol mixture of propoxur and dichlorvos is also effective.  The nest can then be removed and destroyed in case any wasps have survived the treatment.