The European Menace

MsCheeky 17 April 2009 16

I briefly heard her deputy chiefliness on ABC this morning responding to a caller concerned about the rapid rise in the population of European wasps. I remember when they were first detected in Canberra, and there was great concern to eradicate them wherever possible. Well, it hasn’t worked.

I had breakfast in Manuka last weekend, and it was made miserable by the damn things, of which there were many. I had a friend up from Sydney, and he also hated it, and commented that he hadn’t seen them there. I also recently had them in my back garden swarming around a very meaty raw dog bone. I got rid of the bone to get rid of them, and haven’t seen them since. However, they must be close by.

The ABC caller made the point this morning that not everyone will (or can afford to) do their civic duty and have nests on their property destroyed. The problem will probably continue to grow.

Now, it’s not only going to stop us from sitting in our gardens for a nice breakfast or lunch, but it also going to stop me from going to Manuka for breakfast. And probably others. Her deputy chiefliness made noises about the government not being able to go onto private property to destroy nests, but essentially dodged the issue. Where to from here? They are not only unpleasant, but dangerous. If I was a Manuka eatery, I would be very concerned.

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16 Responses to The European Menace
ChrisinTurner ChrisinTurner 11:15 pm 18 Apr 09
pelican pelican 3:37 pm 18 Apr 09

Thanks for putting up the link to green harvest mred. As you can see they are not expensive and do work.

It took three days to get 20 between the two traps I put out. It took about a day for them to discover it. Best place to put it is near where you always see them. For us it was near the back deck and up near the vegie patch where the brocolli and cabbage grow.

I have 8 in the vegie patch trap this morning after putting out a fresh trap yesterday morning. The instructions are to mix two teaspoons of sugar into water up to the water line marked on the trap, then add some meat to attract them. We use cat food, just a dollop in the middle sticking a bit out of the water. Don’t make the meat bit too high as they can use this to get out of the trap.

The also catch the odd fly which is a bonus but no useful bugs like bees or good wasps because they don’t go for meat.

ant, I have not been attacked by one or stung as yet and I am out there gardening and watering right around them. Admittedley I don’t do anything to aggravate them and if sitting out on the back deck, once they arrive to investigate I just quickly move inside. They seem to have worked out humans sitting out in chairs in the garden usually means food or drink. My brother came over recently and they took an interest in his beer.

ant ant 11:11 am 18 Apr 09

They are rampant in NSW east of Canberra, too. Probably the government has given up going after nests, as it’s already out of control. The traps sound like an excellent idea. I didn’t know you could get them, where are they available from? I’ve seen some wasps out here. Usually if you shoo them away, they come back at you, a trait of european wasps.

mred mred 8:28 pm 17 Apr 09

The link from pelican’s post?

How long did it take to get 20?

LaLa LaLa 7:22 pm 17 Apr 09

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

I don’t know what’s worse – wasps or WASPs. I think the former have a sense of perspective and aren’t predicting THE END OF ALFRESCO DINING AS WE KNOW IT.


BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 6:10 pm 17 Apr 09

peterh said :

Pommy bastard said :

****Phew!!*** When I read the title, I thought this was about me…

yeah, but PB, you call them wasps. not european wasps.

LOL. ‘Hear Wasps’ perhaps?

pelican pelican 6:06 pm 17 Apr 09

We have a few buzzing around here too. They are good for getting rid of the caterpillar larvae on brocolli and cauliflowers but that is about it. As soon as we sit outside for any length of time they turn up three or four at a time. I bought some European Wasp traps from Green Harvest and have caught about 20 of them all up using sugared water and cat food. They enter the trap and then drown. Probably won’t make too much difference overall.

I read somewhere that if you leave food out for them and watch the wasp take it they will fly in a direct line towards the nest which may give you some idea the general direction to look. Once located the Hotline can be rung to come and destroy it. I plan to do this soon to see if I can find the site.

peterh peterh 5:36 pm 17 Apr 09

Pommy bastard said :

****Phew!!*** When I read the title, I thought this was about me…

yeah, but PB, you call them wasps. not european wasps.

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 4:08 pm 17 Apr 09

We had a BBQ with some friend at Tidbinbilla kids playground two weeks ago. There are signs up everywhere about the wasps and they ain’t kidding. The little buggers are everywhere and you have to shoo them away like flies. Nobody was stung though.

Brindabella Brindabella 4:08 pm 17 Apr 09

I was camping in the Brindabella valley over easter and the European wasps were everywhere.

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 4:08 pm 17 Apr 09

****Phew!!*** When I read the title, I thought this was about me…

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 3:49 pm 17 Apr 09

I remember getting a pamphlet in the mailbox maybe about twenty years ago showing the difference between European wasps and bees and encouraging people to contact the government hotline if they sighted one. Fast forward ten years, I sight one and make the call . . . only to be told that government wasn’t doing anything any more and I should call a private pest controller. As I was looking after a garden for someone else at the time and it was a tiny block surrounding by other tiny blocks so the wasp could have come from any of a number of nearby backyards, I really wasn’t in a position to do anything.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 3:29 pm 17 Apr 09

I don’t know what’s worse – wasps or WASPs. I think the former have a sense of perspective and aren’t predicting THE END OF ALFRESCO DINING AS WE KNOW IT.

grump grump 3:10 pm 17 Apr 09

I think most people know the difference and surely the feeding habit gives them away as euros not paper wasps

burkes08 burkes08 3:07 pm 17 Apr 09

Are you sure they are European wasps and not Paper Wasps who look very similar. I had Dr Phil Spradbury come and check out some in my backyard and they turned out to be Paper Wasps. They still bite but are not as bad. They are also a very important part of the ecology apparently so Phil convinced me to leave them there.

Give the hotline a call if you are worried 6162 1914.

LaLa LaLa 2:59 pm 17 Apr 09

I experienced the Euro wasps twice within the past month. Once at a cafe in Bruce – as soon as our plates were cleared away they disappeared and then at Easter brunch in Mackellar. It seems al fresco dining may soon be a thing of the past. 🙁

I hate them, they are persistent little buggers.

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