Bees and wasps can be confused for one another because of their similarities in appearance, but treatment of a wasp nest is a very different to clearing a bee hive. Wasps will feed on insects like flies and caterpillars yet once a colony is larger, they will also be attracted to sweet things and human food.
The English Wasp and the European or German wasp have become established in southeast Australia including Tasmania and over time will be found all over Australia. The Paper Wasp generally builds smaller nests than the others and are the ones you’ll more likely see on the outside of your home.
Wasps are sometimes mistaken for hornets because they share distinctive yellow and black markings, but wasps are smaller in size. They have a distinct head, thorax and the abdomen and workers vary from 12mm – 17mm in size.
The earlier a nest is treated, the safer your family and pets will be. If you spot a nest, keep family members away and don’t attempt to treat the nest yourself, especially if you’re sensitive to stings. Wasps can be easily provoked and will aggressively defend their nest if disturbed.
Nests constructed of chewed wood pulp and saliva are often found in sheltered spots under eaves, high on walls, in outdoor entertaining areas or on sheds and even in hollow trees or shrubs where there is shade and protection yet easy access to the outdoors. They can also establish nests in wall cavities making them particularly difficult to see and eradicate.
They are most active during the warmer months of the year. A queen starting a new nest in the spring can build a nest the size of a walnut, then as the temperature increases towards summer, the same nest can grow to the size of a football or larger with thousands of stinging wasps living in it.
Only female wasps sting. Unlike bees, wasps can sting repeatedly without consequence. The stings are notoriously painful and can be extremely dangerous to those who are allergic. Some people are so afraid of wasp stings, they are reluctant to go outside into the garden. For reliable information about reactions to stings, see the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy.
If you have a wasp problem, professional treatment is the most effective and safest solution. Our technicians have all the necessary protective gear to wear and can offer expert advice to help prevent another problem in the future.