14 January 2008

European Wasps Revisitied

| Skidbladnir
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European wasp nest attached to roof awning

In the thread “European Wasp nest removal?”, only a few of us believed European Wasps liked to live in houses.
We gave the following advice:
1) Destroy by Flame: using either WD40, lighter fluid, or using well-aimed cans of burning Mortein for self defence.
2) The Aliens Alternative (Step 1: Acquire an orbital platform with tactical nuclear capability, Step 2: Nuke!, Step 3: Clean up any fallout)
3) Use Harsh Chemicals: find a professional in the yellow pages, and get them destroyed.

The ABC have put out an article (hello to any ABC employees), suggesting:
1) using any household-grade insect spray has been labelled “suicidal” as literally thousands of wasps will emerge from the nest and try to kill you.
2) apparently ‘most’ of this years nests have been found in wall cavities of homes.

The ABC also say to contact a professional first in all cases.
Damn communist pansies.

According to this Australian Museum Online Factsheet, in the space of a single summer, one nest would normally have 3000 workers and multiple queens, dissolve in autumn rains, leaving the workers and drones to be killed off in the cold, while the queens would hibernate.
But due to the Australian climate, we get large supernests, occasionally resulting in nests with 100,000 or more workers, which grow over multiple seasons.

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That’s awesome, if only it was possible to train them to attack car thieves.

As a stunning example of a multiple-season European wasps nest, there’s this one which I just had sent to me.

What we call European wasps, they call yellowjackets.

Anything sucking all oxygen out of the atmosphere would wipe life off the face of the planet (its very big, you see).
Maybe you mean the local area\vicinity?

Dang, just re-reading that, I left out the word “non-fire” before blanket.

Unless its a proper heavy fire-blanket, homemade napalm can burn through most fibrous things by wonder of the gel flowing through and around the fibres.

I’d advise against trying water, as the petrol added can still dissociate and float while burning.

It is bad to mess around with homemade napalm as it can result in fifth degree burns (down into the muscle).

The military-grade white-phosphorous bearing napalm (in cases where you don’t die instantly from the all-over (“unconventional Vietnamese cooking fuel”, according to my old man) burning, or later of phosphorous poisoning)) it causes sixth degree burns, which cannot be extinguished by fireblanket, water, or other means.

I suggest that this might be an appropriate time for one of our recognised fireys to lay a few quantifiable ground rules about fire here.

Last time I checked, following the pyramid of fire example (oxygen, fuel, heat) a blanket was still an approved method of removing/restricting oxygen by smothering the fire.

Ingee or anybody – care to give some appropriate advice ?

I am aware we are talking about lighting home-made napalm derivatives, and agree there is a layer of absurdity to this thread.

@ ant re: homemade napalm

The styrofoam (polystyrene) melts into a gel when it comes in contact with the petrol (and benzene), and a bit of petrol goes a very long way.
You’d be suprised at just how much polystyrene you end up using with even a small amount of fuel.
The petrol suspends in the gel to make it sticky enough to apply to things.

It burns at several hundred (maybe a thousand?) degrees C for minutes (rather than the liquid burning very hot for several seconds, or gas mixtures exploding instantly), is runny and flows while burning, and isn’t something you want to mess around with without proper reason or supervision.

Covering a wasps nest in napalm and then setting fire to it will release many burning fireballs formerly known as wasps, and if they hit\land on you, then you are covered in burning gel which cannot wipe away.

Also, blanket = bad idea.

@Sands re: spiders and bugs and other crawling things.

While true that redback males don’t have the red stripe, they have a white patch on their backside, are half the size of the females, and brown.

If you can store pictures of the wasps nests and want to post them, you can only put up a link to the pictures, rather than embed them in your replies.
If you just pastet he link into your reply it auto links it, or if you want to be stylish and use html, try <a href = "location of picture">Text to use as the link</a>

But as my backyard insect population is in a constant state of anarchic flux, the predatory bugs tend to keep eachother in check (and when they get out of comfortable limits I just spray them with the most powerful insecticide I can find at Bunnings.
So I can’t recommend a professional to you, other than suggest the yellowpages.

el ......VNBerlinaV82:54 pm 28 Jan 08

OK, I *think* I know what’s happened.

Any comment using html tags hits the moderation queue. The commenter can see the comment, but no one else can until it’s been approved by an admin.

I can now see your comments (with the link) at 11:13, 13:01 and 13:03…

I guess WordPress keeps the timestamp of the original comment regardless of the delay between posting and approval.

el ......VNBerlinaV82:44 pm 28 Jan 08

(and choose the wasps option)

Ok well this is just freakin weird – nothing shows up in the new comments box any time I post this link either.

(Strictly speaking, I’m using Flock 0.7.14 but it’s an FF derivative so I didn’t think it would make a difference. Checked it in FF and it doesn’t work there. Sorry)

When I view RA with Flock, I have extra comments with the link at 11.13am, 1.01pm and 1.03pm.

If you can still be bothered, go to netdisaster.com and plug in the url of this post.

el ......VNBerlinaV82:08 pm 28 Jan 08

And upon looking at the page source, there is no HTML code to suggest anything happens around the word ‘here’, aside from a [/p] tag to close the comment.

el ......VNBerlinaV82:05 pm 28 Jan 08

IE? I already use Firefox.

The link is not visible in Firefox 3 beta, Firefox, Safari 3.0.4 or Opera 9.21.3678.

Care to post it again so I can see what you’re actually talking about? 🙂

IE seems to be blocking it VN – try Firefox.

How strange – just checked it in IE and the second post I submitted – which said “Damn it – stupid html. Try here” only appears in Firefox. Never seen that before.

Third time is the charm.

Wasps and RA

el ......VNBerlinaV812:17 pm 28 Jan 08

Like, there’s no link anywhere…dood.

Here is the link. – Like, the word “here” 🙂

el ......VNBerlinaV811:40 am 28 Jan 08


Damn it – stupid html
Try here

Wasps take their revenge on RiotACT – check it out here

el ......VNBerlinaV87:48 pm 27 Jan 08

Chuck a blanket on it?


Chuck a blanket on it? Or stand well back. I wouldn’t use the stryofoam napalm on the nest in the pic. as the ceiling appears to be made of some kind of boarding (gyprock, villaboard etc). As we saw on that Vegas casino burning last night on the News, boarding burns real good).

Sticky fire, useful stuff. I imagine it’d wreck the brush you put it on with though.

el ......VNBerlinaV812:41 pm 27 Jan 08

The danger is in trying to extinguish the stuff if something goes wrong, ant. Allegedly.

Damn! I hadn’t read the end of this thread until Sands resurrected it. Had a slight coffee mishap when I got to the discussion of Rolf Harris Solutions. Bugger.

What’s dangerous about that napalm? I am intrigued by this and intend to try it, sounds like a good use for styrofoam. I work with some people who will entertaing us at morning teas with all the interesting things you can do with laundry chemicals so this might give me something to contribute.

I went outside last night to hang out some washing and saw around 50 baby spiders all over a shirt I had laid out on the clothes horse 20 minutes earlier.

So after brushing hopefully all of them off the clothes and putting another load on (with boiling water!) I went back out to do some spraying. That was the beginning of the fun stuff.

When I started spraying all sorts of things came out of the woodwork. Cutting it short, I ended up with a dozen unknown spiders running around, cockroaches, 2 red backs, one MASSIVE black spider which could have been the male (I’ve heard they don’t have a red stripe?) and then a couple of wasp nests. I’m not sure how to cut and paste a picture of one but if someone can tell me how, I’ll post one. I’d like to know if anyone can identify what kind of nest it is.

I had a look back at the old wasp thread but not sure this warrants the ACT Environment getting involved. Does anyone know of a good fumigator or pest controller? I used canberra pests or something last year and they seemed ok. But I’d like something a bit more hardcore this time if my property is prone to the nests of all these lovely families.

Is their a Pied Piper of Canberra who can lead them away?

Or you could make yourself a wasp trap, but be sure to use a largish bottle – big enough for 3000 wasps.


homemade napalm is not for the uninitiated.

Extremely dangerous stuff.”


Re: Rolf Harrising the bastards:

The european wasps are foreigners, so they’ll find him charming and educational.
No cultural cringe, no desire to run away.

Elf boy,
the citronella candle is not intended to provide heat/fire/death. Just an ‘aramotheraptic environment’ (for want of better words) that the little b’stards will find intolerable and move on. lighting the citronella wont annoy them unless you happen to bump it with an overinflated melon, for example. Buy the outdoor ones that have a functional radius of a few squares metres to alleviate the need to have the thing in extreme proximity the the nest of death.

“Chuck Norris doesn’t use wasp spray, he just roundhouse kicks the f***ing nest into space where they burn up on re-entry.”


Given the real danger involved, it seems sensible to withdraw my advice about burning them WD40. Instead, make up a bath of homemade napalm by dissolving styrofoam into a container of petrol until you have a sticky, viscous mess. Gently paint this onto the outside of the nest. A surprising amount will stick on, depending on how much styrofoam you dissolved into the petrol. Light it and run. The styrofoam will ensure the lit mixture sticks to the nest, and slows the burning of the petrol so the mixture remains lit for some time (10-15 mins, typically). During this time all of the oxygen will be sucked out of the nest, and replaced with black, acrid smoke. The burning will completely incinerate all living matter within the general vicinity, and will structurally destroy the nest. Once the burning stops, leave the smelly, smoking misture to cool, then scrape into the rubbish. (Put it in a sealed plastic bag, we have to consider the environment, you know).

Ahh the old light a citronella candle directly under the nest trick.

1. Not running fast enough (post lighting candle)
2. Balancing enough tables on top of each other to get the candle to the location you want it

1. Fire = unpleasant living conditions = move to neighbours property
2. Once lit, the candle is the object of hatred, not the fleeing person.
3. At a rough guess, it costs nothing near $13-$15 a can, unless you start a fire.

talking to the good folks down here in tassie, they seem to think that if you do notice one of these puppies whilst there are only a small number (i.e. less than five or six bvisible, therefore >20) lighting a citronella candle directly under the nest tends to force them to move on.

@Thumper: I was wondering how long it would take fomr someone to notice that. 🙂

hingo_VRCalaisV69:29 am 15 Jan 08

Chuck Norris likes long walks on the beach, Barry White music, Harlequin romance novels, songbirds, rainbows, and quiet time with his lady just before he roundhouse kicks her in the face.

Entamology pr0n
If you haven’t got the guts to deal with this yourself, try these blokes:

European Wasp and Insect Identification Hotline
XCS Consulting
Phone: 02 61621914
Email: sprad@netspeed.com.au

“Alternatively we could invite Corey Delaney http://tinyurl.com/2yywxv and 500 of this mates over for the party of his life and encourage him to bash at the piñata!!”

Pandy, I live for your comments!

hingo_VRCalaisV68:42 am 15 Jan 08

Chuck Norris doesn’t use wasp spray, he just roundhouse kicks the fucking nest into space where they burn up on re-entry.

I suggest we rig-up a robotic arm creepy crawler device available from Jaycar, that we can strap on one of those 4L spary death packs from Bunnings.

We could then remotely blast the buggers from a safe distance: Earth orbit.

Alternatively we could invite Corey Delaney http://tinyurl.com/2yywxv and 500 of this mates over for the party of his life and encourage him to bash at the piñata!!

Haven’t you heard of the Seinfeld solution? Just play Seinfeld to them on repeat and wait for them to start attacking each other.

Holden Caulfield12:12 am 15 Jan 08

Just get the BCCI to say they won’t continue their tour unless the ICC removes the nest!

That’s a very attractive nest

el ......VNBerlinaV88:30 pm 14 Jan 08

This can be blamed almost entirely on global warming.

tch, tch… no-one has suggested simply talking nicely to them, asking them to leave and suggesting they pack a nice lunch for the journey. you might even offer to give them a lift, or taxi fare – i understand the cabbies in canberra are pretty au fait with swarming masses.

swamiOFswank8:22 pm 14 Jan 08

well I just staked out my front door each evening for a week, and sprayed each one with Mortein when it flew home up into my eaves. Then I sprayed all around the area they crawled into with surface spray. It only took a week…and then there were…NONE!!

el ......VNBerlinaV87:41 pm 14 Jan 08

RE: The ‘super long spray can’ wasp spray sold in the pressurised cans. The cans only last for around 10 seconds tops, then they’re empty. Not exactly a cost effective solution, I recall paying around $13-$15 per can for the stuff. I needed 4 cans just to get rid of all the paper wasps around our old house.

European wasps are NOT worth fking around with.

Oh, and a luke-warm high pressure hose will do nothing but agitate them.

Even Chuck Norris won’t mess with European wasps. Think about it.

You’d have to be pretty blind to miss that one?

lumnock: Surely you first remove it from the awning with a swift roundhouse kick, then crush it against your forehead?

They can sniff you out really well actually. The wasp that hung out near my screen door would only be there (and persistently there) when I was entering or leaving the house. Yet when the screen door was open, unless I stood up against it the wasp wouldn’t appear.
Although flies are good at that also. I wouldn’t mess with a European wasp tho in real life. I only bought the can for a harmless-ish mud nest type thing.

I’m sure if any European wasps free escaped after a nest attack they would remember you and hunt you down…

be a real man and punch it off your awning. all other options short of the nuke is for little girls.

Al, I think that’s been the problem, a lot of people are confusing an 6 to 10 cell paper wasp nest with a European wasp colony of several thousand nasty little buggers.

The European wasp has become such a problem in NZ that even hunters carrying deer carcases have been attacked by swarms of the buggers. They are also competing with native birds over there in the Southern Beech forests of the South Island, as the Beech produces honey dew on the bark which supplies food to many birds and native insects.

Gungahlin Al5:04 pm 14 Jan 08

OK I’m prepared to admit that I’ve never seen a nest that looks like that! I withdraw my recommendation of the “lighter and fly spray flame thrower” solution for that species.

If, on the other hand, you have the (a href=”http://www.cirrusimage.com/Bees_wasp_Polistes_fuscatus.htm”>paper wasp, with the characteristic hexagonal nest cells, the above solution is eminently suitable and easy to deliver.

It’s a super long spray can too? Lots of volume? One in each hand. She’ll be right.

So one can will kill about 300 of the 3000 European wasps in an average colony – 2700 angry wasps is a hell of a lot of stings to put up with when the spray runs out!

I saw a European wasp nest (post destruction!) on display in New Zealand: it was about a metre across, so imagine how many wasps that held.

You can get wasp spray from the hardware store. It shoots out a very strong and long jet so you don’t have to get close and every third can sold comes with a free pair of thongs to assist with your sprint across the garden.

I’ve only tried it against the european wasp that somehow knew when you were going inside. One day it managed to follow me in and then proceeded to try to get out. I was going to let it out but logic and the thought of having fun with a super spray can prevailed.

I wonder if the super spray can is recommended by the ABC?

neanderthalsis4:53 pm 14 Jan 08

So, from the fact sheet, option 2, thermo-nuclear devices released from orbit, seems to be the best solution.

Hingo, I’ll come and visit you in hospital, even if no one else will.

hingo_VRCalaisV64:41 pm 14 Jan 08

I meant to say pissing off to the neghbours awning. Not pissing off the awning, although, it makes a better story.

hingo_VRCalaisV64:40 pm 14 Jan 08

I don’t see why you can’t just blast them from a distance with a high pressure hose. Leave the hose in the sun for a while before doing it and it will also burn the crap out of them. If I was a wasp, I’d be pissing off the the neighbours awning. Problem solved.

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