Targeted Pest Control for Wasps in Canberra
As the weather warms up in early spring, wasps become more prevalent in Canberra and surrounding areas. Wasps become aggressive when their nests are disturbed or they’re shooed away from food sources. The European wasp is the wasp that most Canberra families fear most, particularly if they have small children. Unlike bees, wasps can sting repeatedly, which can cause an allergic reaction in some people (anaphylaxis).
Signs that wasps could be a problem
Wasps have a nasty sting, as well as the ability to eat away internal wall plaster and wood. Generally speaking, you should be on the lookout for the following signs when it comes to wasps in Canberra:
- Increased activity – if you see wasps congregating in a particular area of your home or business, it’s important to contact a licensed pest control company in Canberra.
- A visible nest (the most obvious sign) – wasp nests can be made from mud, clay or a special paste-like pulp (produced by the wasps themselves). Although the classic wasp nest (made from pulp) has a honeycomb appearance, many nests resemble a circular blob with a threaded texture.
- Chewed wood – chew marks on architraves, skirting boards and wooden furniture can indicate wasps. (Wasps chew wood in order to create the paste-like pulp they use in nest building.)
- Damaged wall plaster – wasps can eat away at both wall plastering and plasterboard to create access tunnels to a nest.
Problematic wasps found in Canberra
There are several wasps in Canberra that can be a problem: the European wasp, the yellow jacket wasp, the common paper wasp and the Asian paper wasp. As local pest controllers, we encounter the following problematic wasps in Canberra.
European Wasp (Vespula germanica)
The infamous European wasp is a solidly-built wasp that’s sometimes mistaken for a traditional honey bee. The European wasp is around 15mm in length, and has a bright yellow body with black markings. It likes sugary foods and drinks, as well as pet food. European wasps are prevalent across Canberra in the warmer months. Nests are usually situated in the ground, as well as in wall and roof cavities.
Yellow Jacket (Vespula spp.)
The yellow jacket – also known as the social wasp – is similar-looking to the European wasp in Canberra; however, it has black dots on its face. The typical yellow jacket is around 13mm in length, with a narrow waist and lance-like stinger. Yellow jackets feed on insects, as well as sweet and sugary foods. Yellow jacket nests are commonly found in wall and roof cavities, and under floors.
Common Paper Wasp (Polistes humilis)
American cockroaches are large (30-55mm in length) and reddish-brown in colour. They’re active, fast-moving and able to fly as well. American cockroaches – sometimes referred to as “Palmetto bugs” – emit a particularly strong odour (pheromones) to attract other American cockroaches.
Asian Paper Wasp (Polistes chinensis)
Asian paper wasps are well-established in Canberra. The Asian paper wasp is an invasive species that’s larger than the common paper wasp. Asian paper wasps have long slender bodies (usually 15-25mm in length), and are primarily reddish-brown to black (with yellow rings) in colour. Asian paper wasps feed on honeydew, nectar (from flowers) and invertebrates, such as caterpillars.