Removing European Wasps from Your Home
As their name suggests, European wasps are an introduced species in Australia. Spoiled by a lack of predators and the yearlong warm climate, this wasp has broken free of its usual life cycle to become an enduring pest. The wasp – aggressive in nature, with a potentially fatal sting – builds thriving nests that, due to warmer winters, can be regenerated more easily than in cooler climates. In effect, these nests can become much larger than normal, with a recent sighting in Karoola, Tasmania, spanning approximately one metre in length.
The nest of the European wasp can be identified by a stream of wasps swarming in and out of a usually concealed area. Rarely seen, they can be positioned above or below ground. This could be in roofs, wall cavities, sheltered parts of buildings, holes, at the base of trees, along retaining walls, in rockeries, rubbish heaps, old furniture and open compost heaps. The nests themselves are largish in size (compared to others, such as the home of the paper wasp), and can grow to the size of a basketball in summer. Visually, they are rounded, and covered in an insulating material that looks like grey paper mache, or an egg carton-like material, made from chewed wood pulp and wasp saliva.
As European wasps don’t travel far for food – usually only 50 -250 metres – you can assume that if you have wasps visiting your house, school or backyard it is likely there is a nest nearby. To track the exact location of a nest, sugary food is often placed somewhere open and safe that can be viewed at a distance; as the wasps come to find their next meal, they can then be seen retreating straight back to the nest. Once the nest is located, it is important to contact a professional to have the colony removed, as there are significant dangers of having a nest close to yourself, your home and your family. These include the threat of being stung, not once, but repeatedly. The European wasp sting is known to be one of the most dangerous in the world, omitting a venom that has killed those who suffer allergic reactions. Removing a nest without experience only exacerbates these issues, as the wasps are known to attack fiercely when their homes are disturbed. Professional removal involves the use of specialised pesticides and equipment. Protected by wasp-proof suits, the technician can destroy the colony and restore peace of mind.
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