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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Increased European wasp activity to continue until May

Recent data has revealed that European wasp season in the ACT is only just heating up, with peak wasp season continuing until May.

CoreEnviro Solutions senior pest and weed officer, Jim Bariesheff said that the Canberra community is noticing increased wasp activity around their properties and public spaces.

“European wasps have become more active in foraging for food and building material for their nests,” Mr Bariesheff said. 

“In just over six weeks, there has been a big jump in European wasp nest reports, going from 50 to 400 in a short period of time.”

At the current stage of the season, Kambah has the highest recorded number of European wasp nests on the southside with 24 nests, and Weetangera has recorded 17 nests on the northside.

According to Mr Bariesheff, nests currently contain anywhere between 3,000 to 5,000 wasps, while reports have found most nest are in wall cavities, with several reports of wasps gnawing through gyprock and entering homes.

He provided some advice on where people may find wasp nests around the home.

“A steady stream of yellow and black wasps entering or leaving a hole in the ground, a small entrance around doors and window frames or activity around the roof of a home are some common signs of where wasps have built their nests,” he said.

“European wasps can also nest in conifer trees and, in some cases, gardens. When inspecting outdoor areas around the home for wasp sightings, keep in mind that in some cases a nest may not be on your property but up to 500 metres away.

“If a nest is located, stay clear of the site, and contact the European wasp hotline for advice,” Mr Bariesheff said.

The eWasp website has information and advice on first aid and safety and the precautions to take against European wasps and as well as information on how to decrease the likelihood of being stung.

If stung by a wasp, the eWasp website states to apply a cold pack to reduce pain and swelling. If there is evidence of a more severe reaction, seek immediate medical attention.

For all reporting and advice, contact the eWasp Hotline on 6258 5551, email at [email protected] or visit the eWasp app which is available at both app stores.

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