City on the Look Out for European Wasps

Published on 4 December 2018
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European Wasps

Our environmental health and horticultural industries are under continued threat by the European Wasp, a prohibited pest under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007. To date, Western Australia has so far avoided establishment, only possible by residents, business, industry and government working together to monitor and trap these pests. Residents are being urged to continue their vigilance this summer, by reporting sightings or adopting a trap.   

Mayor John Giardina said, “Summer is officially here and so is wasp season. A number of suburbs in and around the Perth Hills region have been identified as potential European wasp hot spots, including Lesmurdie where 13 nests have been located so far this year. The ongoing awareness and support of the community is essential in helping authorities to eliminate this invasive insect.”

Last year, the City of Kalamunda recorded its highest ever number of European wasp nests. Left unreported, these pests have the potential to establish and spread, creating a serious impact on crops and the outdoor lifestyle of the Perth Hills region. 

The City of Kalamunda has been working with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) to establish traps and exterminate nests. DPIRD’s public ‘Adopt-a-trap’ initiative has thus far proven successful, with more than 1,000 surveillance traps adopted to date.

DPIRD has attributed the success of the European wasp eradication program to the Western Australian public, noting they have been instrumental in reporting sightings, leading to a record number of colony eliminations this season.

Residents are reminded that European wasps are the same size and shape as a bee, but with yellow legs and are a bright yellow and black with black antennae. Body marks are similar to yellow paper wasps. 

If you notice any unusual wasp activity, contact the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on email padis@dpird.wa.gov.au or phone 9368 3080. Alternatively, you can download the free MyPestGuide reporter app via Google Play or the App Store.

If you would like to adopt your own surveillance trap, visit the department’s website mypestguide.agric.wa.gov.au. Traps can be hung in a shaded and unobstructed area with bait (raw fish meat) and cleaned every week to fortnight.

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