Wasp Warning

They're the perfect Aussies - enjoy travel - thrive in warm weather - and love a drink and a barbeque, but the European wasp is an unwelcome visitor.

Marc Widmer from the Department of Agriculture and food is the commander general in the war against the wasp. Trying to stop it getting a foothold in the west like it has in the eastern states, it's a battle waging here for 38 years.

The area around Forrestfield and Kewdale is ground zero for wasps because of the transport and freight yards - but the wasps can be found anywhere.

In the wasps native Europe the cold winters kill off the colonies before they get too big, leaving only a new queen in hibernation who will begin the colony again in the spring but here the wasps survive our mild winters and the nests get bigger.

Once discovered destroying the colony is a simple matter of pumping in some insecticide. In Perth it's European wasp season, the queens have established colonies and they're now starting to be discovered by Marc and his team.

The European wasp is often confused with a native yellow paper wasp - there are some simple distinguishing features, "the way to tell them from the other black and yellow paper wasp is European Wasp has black feelers I always tell people black is bad the antenna on the head or all black on paper wasps they're yellowy brown."

You can help in the fight against the European wasp by setting a monitoring trap supplied by the department which can help identify areas of activity and keep the pests at bay. Marc says "European wasps can be considered dangerous like bees they kill people they kill people around the world no deaths in Australia yet."


People interested in adopting a trap, or who think they have spotted a European wasp, are asked to contact the Department of Agriculture's Pest and Disease Information Service on free-call 1800 084 881.