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European Wasps

Locating and Destroying Nests

European Wasp

The location of European Wasp nests is the responsibility of the landowner.  If you locate a nest do not disturb it.

  • Wasps on Private Land
    Once you have located a nest and it is on private land please contact the European Wasp Hotline directly on 1800 150 080.  This is at no cost to the residents of the Campbelltown City Council.
  • Wasps on Public Road
    If you have located a nest on Council owned property please contact Campbelltown City Council on 8366 9222 to report.

Seeing a few wasps on your property indicates a nest is nearby but it may be difficult to find. To make sure there is a nest on your property, you need to check and look for signs of numerous wasps flying in and out such as:

  • a hole in the ground or retaining wall
  • vents in the outside of your house
  • hollows of trees
  • eaves of houses

If you do not find a nest on your property, but you have seen a wasp, alert your neighbours to check their properties. You can destroy the occasional wasp by using a burst of flying insect spray, DO NOT use a spray if there are many wasps as this may aggravate the wasps.


Tracking European Wasps
European Wasps have very direct flight pattern between their nests and food sources, They can fly up to 500 metres from the nest in search of food and fly directly back to the nest once food has been obtained. When looking for the nest you will only see an entrance hole with wasps flying in and out. The nest normally cannot be seen.

Step 1. Observe in which the wasps fly during daylight hours. Warm, calm, sunny days are probably the best conditions for observation.

Step 2. Put out food sources such as kangaroo meat for wasps to collect. This makes them easier to see in flight and trace to the nest. The food should be placed in a safe place (away from children and pets) that can be easily observed. Wasps move very quickly once they have obtained food.

Step 3. Establish the direction wasps are flying in and move in that direction. Repeat your observations and keep on moving in the direction the wasps fly. Keep relocating your food source in the direction the wasps are heading. In residential areas where the wasps fly over neighbours' fences, you should notify your neighbour and work with them in locating the nest.

Step 4. Keep a look out for the nest which is often in the ground but could be in a retaining wall cavity wall or ceiling of a house, or hollows of trees. Remember the nest will not be visible but its location will be evident by the presence of wasps flying in and out of a hole or opening leading to the nest. Any nests constructed of mud are not European Wasps.

Things you can do to discourage the wasps and avoid being stung include:

  • Don't leave fallen fruit or food scraps lying around your yard
  • Avoid leaving pet food outside
  • Make sure rubbish bins have tight fitting lids
  • A dichlorvos pest strip can be attached to the inside of bin lids. These can be purchased from your local supermarket
  • Remove any water source as these attract wasps
  • Make sure all sweets and soft drinks are covered

Your food is their food. Both sweet and meat food smells attract European wasps and they will invade picnics and barbecues to find the source. Soft drinks being sticky and sweet are extremely attractive and wasps will crawl into the openings of cans and bottles. To avoid being stung when eating out doors Cover food which is exposed at picnics and barbecues Don't drink out of cans and bottles, use clear drink containers. If a wasp has crawled into a drink can or bottle you will not be aware of it until it is in your mouth where it may sting your mouth of throat.

What if I get stung?
Wasps can sting repeatedly. The sting results in fiery pain and red swelling. Stings to the face or multiple stings may lead to severe swelling and/or allergic reaction. If this occurs and/or the person has difficulty breathing, contact the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.

If in doubt seek medical advice.

Female Citrus Gall WaspCitrus Gall Wasp

Originally, this native wasp was limited to Queensland and northern New South Wales and its preferred host was native finger limes.

Damage Caused

The Citrus Gall Wasp can be very damaging to citrus trees and has recently established itself in suburban Adelaide. 
The wasp is a tiny (2.5mm), shiny, black insect that lays eggs between the soft bark and woody tissue of young citrus branches. Feeding by the resulting larvae causes the formation of small cylinder-like galls around the infected area.

Each gall may contain up to 100 larvae. If left uncontrolled, the larvae can kill or severely stunt the tree. The wasp larvae grow within the citrus stems until late summer when gardeners start to notice unsightly galls appearing on their trees. These galls or calluses are formed in response to the presence of the feeding larvae. Galls cannot be cured or reversed. Old galls are unsightly but are also empty as the adult wasp will have left through the tiny exit holes.  Developing galls can be removed but this may also mean the loss of developing fruit at the end of the infected stem. Citrus gall is more damaging to younger citrus trees than older trees.

Avoiding an Infection

Avoid high nitrogen fertiliser in spring as this promotes soft sappy growth. Feed trees in late autumn and early winter instead.

Removing all newly formed galls that don’t show signs of exit holes before the end of winter.  Old galls have already been exited Prune only a maximum of 1/3 of the tree to avoid stressing it too much.

From mid-August, hanging yellow sticky traps with a chemical attractant inside to trap emerging adult wasps. The yellow is an attractant and the sticky coating makes it impossible for the wasp to escape. Remember to twist the top so that the chemical is released.

Since beneficial insects may also be attracted to this trap, do not leave on after November as the wasps are no longer about and even small birds may become trapped.

Destroying infected stems by burning or bagging in waste bin (not green bin).

Bee Swarms

Bee on a yellow flower

What do I do when I find a swarm of honey bees?

Honey bees swarm as part of a natural reproductive process. During this time the female bees (called worker bees) and the male bees (called drones) leave the main colony with their queen in a quest to find a new place to call home. The bees will often settle on a branch nearby and generally move on with one week. But sometimes they may settle somewhere inappropriate. At this time, it is important to remain calm and not to disturb the bees.

Please DO NOT:

  1. Spray the bees with water in an attempt to move them on. You will only drown them.
  2. Spray the bees with insecticide or thrown objects at them as this may upset them as they are merely trying to take care of their queen.
Removing Bee Swarms

To request assistance with the removal of unwanted bee swarms contact the Beekeepers Society of South Australia at http://www.bees.org.au/.

Please be aware that beekeepers may charge a call-out fee, an hourly rate, or a flat rate for their time and travel costs.  These charges are typically less than those charged by a pest controller. Charges should be negotiated before the work commences.  Some collectors will ask you to sign a simple agreement form which protects them from liability.

 

 

PO Box 1, Campbelltown SA 5074 | 172 Montacute Rd, Rostrevor SA 5073
(08) 8366 9222|mail@campbelltown.sa.gov.au| ABN 37 379 133 969
ERACampbelltown Made South Australia
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