They’re Back! Break out the Napalm? (European wasps)

Pesty 12 December 2008 12

No need for Napalm but be vigilant! It’s that time of year again and our now some-what infamous friend / adversary is back in season!

The European Wasps (Vespula germanica) have now reached sufficient numbers in their nests to be noticed.

If you are unlucky enough to discover a nest at your place, please call the European wasp & insect identification hotline on 6162 1914 for advice.

Please call even if you do have a shed full of Napalm or unstable dynamite you need to use up as Dr. Spradbery keeps statistical records. He also collects nests for vital experiments to eventually find a means to stop their ever increasing numbers. So serious is this problem that a seminar (wasp shop) was held at the Namadgi national park in July of this year with some very knowledgable people from home and abroad to try and formulate an action plan. Whilst many good ideas came out of this meeting, it was apparent that a workable baiting system was needed, the experiments carried out by Dr. Spradbery are vital in this endeavour.

Please report all nests, we have to stop these bugs, we have already seen situations last year where picnic areas were closed down because of the danger posed by them. This season is already looking statistically worse than last year, which saw an increase in numbers of around 30% on the previous season. Happy Barbie season!


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12 Responses to They’re Back! Break out the Napalm? (European wasps)
Pesty Pesty 3:54 pm 11 Jan 09

Which suburb are you in, and how exposed was the nest for you to see larvae? According to Dr Phillip Spradbery the reported cases of European wasps are up a staggering four times on what they were last year. As with last year, Weston creek, Rivett, Duffy & Kambah are the hot spots, but nowhere is immune. Can you please report your nest to the hotline for statistical recording. 61621914. This is also the way to get the best advise available on what to do if you are not game enough to hit them with hairspray!

Joemi7 Joemi7 1:11 pm 11 Jan 09

Thanks for all the advice! We just zapped the little bastards with hairspray & a lighter; worked a treat. Then got a tin of Wasp & Nest spray & sprayed the nest. You should have seen the larvae, they were wriggling everywhere. Hopefully they’re all gone now….

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 9:10 am 15 Dec 08

incidentally, their nests in Australia are far bigger than in Europe

I knew there would be a reason like this somehow 🙂 Thanks for clearing that up Pesty.

After recently having a bee nest sprayed at my place – is there any consumer version of the jetted powder stuff used I could use in the future for sale at Bunnings etc?

Pesty Pesty 4:38 pm 13 Dec 08

The wasp death stuff is an Alluthrin based insecticide that has a long jet, it is designed for the papernest wasps found under eaves, pergolas etc, not the European wasps, if it worked, great, but be careful, maybe last time you got lucky,it depends largely on how deep the nest is embedded in the structure / ground, sometimes it can just upset them, you don’t want to do that.

harvyk1 harvyk1 1:45 pm 13 Dec 08

Yeah we have got a crack in the window with the little things get into. We had a really problem with them a couple of years ago, however a tonne and a half of wasp death pumped into the wall got rid of them. You could actually hear them fall to the ground inside the wall after that stuff went inthere, and we didn’t have a problem for years latter. Unfortuantly it looks like the stuff has worn off and they think it’s again a good place for a nest.

Pesty Pesty 7:03 am 13 Dec 08

el said :

HC – I probably wouldn’t worry too much unless you see them flying to nests underground (eg under pavers/footpath).

The main danger of ground nests is that you can sometimes stumble across them by accident. A guy in Redhill sustained multiple stings last year, and his dog is probably only alive thanks to it’s vet, it actully went into severe shock.

el el 12:52 am 13 Dec 08

HC – I probably wouldn’t worry too much unless you see them flying to nests underground (eg under pavers/footpath).

Pesty Pesty 6:16 pm 12 Dec 08

How many people do you know who have died from a Euro wasp?

Personally I don’t know of anyone, but however the potential is there. I do know that I have been stung! It hurts, and then it itches, for a week, drives you nuts, especially at night. I have seen rooms with a thousand wasps in them having eaten through a wall or ceiling, not a very pleasant experience for the occupant, so it’s not just a case of being killed, it’s a whole range of misery they cause, ruined barbies, spoiled picnics, scared kids, repairs to damaged walls, pest control bills even! (shop around!) Incidentally, their nests in Australia are far bigger than in Europe, I guess it’s just a lucky country for them. If you want expert advice on these bugs, give Dr Spradbery a call, 61621914 he is very passionate about his subject and always very happy to help.

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 1:21 pm 12 Dec 08

No need for Napalm but be vigilant! It’s that time of year again and our now some-what infamous friend / adversary is back in season!

I always still have to chuckle about the “danger” of Euro Wasps every year by the authorities. Here we are in a country with probably the biggest concentration of dangerous wild life – and here we are panicking about these wasps which when I was in Europe, were just standard wasps that people manage to live in harmony with.

I’m not trying to rudely take anything away from your post pesty, and I’m sure the wasps here are more aggressive due to the Aussie climate or something (would actually be interested to know). But it’s always something I’ve found quite OTT – even when I was a kid in primary school.

How many people do you know who have died from a Euro wasp?

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 12:22 pm 12 Dec 08

Cheers for the extra clarification. The one ins the window frame is mud-like. There’s one or two others around the house that I’ve been keeping an eye on. They’re pretty small at the moment, and they too may well be harmless.

Pesty Pesty 11:50 am 12 Dec 08

a few? are you sure these are euro wasps, sounds like it could be mud daubers, if there is mud involved, it’s probably native wasps, messy buggers, but no danger to you.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 10:52 am 12 Dec 08

Thanks for this heads up.

We have a few nests starting to grow around our place. Including a nasty looking one inside the frame on one of our casement style windows. Ahh, the joys of 1950s window construction and their lack of good seals, haha.

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