Be on the look­out for lo­cal wasp nests

Euroa Gazette - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

EURO­PEAN Wasps are a grow­ing prob­lem across Aus­tralia – and more so in the warmer sum­mer months in the North East of Vic­to­ria.

Now is the time to catch the Queen wasps as they emerge from win­ter hi­ber­na­tion and seek out suit­able new nest­ing places.

While these wasps have been ‘sleep­ing’ the prob­lems of an­noy­ing wasps try­ing to grab at your food has not hap­pened – how­ever, as new nests are es­tab­lished and their pop­u­la­tion hatches so to the prob­lems.

From mid-Septem­ber to mid–Oc­to­ber the Queen wasps come out of hi­ber­na­tion and se­lect suit­able sites to es­tab­lish their new nests.

These nests can be along­side creek beds, dams, un­der ve­ran­das, in old logs, be­side com­post heaps – any­where that will give them food and shel­ter.

A favourite place for new nests is in creek and river banks where they will dig down in soft soil leav­ing only an en­trance hole in the ground.

At present these queens are out and about get­ting ready to lay 100-200 eggs a day – so now is the time for ac­tion.

Any­thing res­i­dents and busi­ness own­ers can do now will make all of our lives bet­ter come next au­tumn (and will help our bee colonies, which get at­tacked by wasps).

Sev­eral shires in the North East and Cen­tral dis­tricts have en­cour­aged busi­nesses and lo­cal res­i­dents to make and set out traps to catch the queens – which then stops the es­tab­lish­ment of the new nests.

Aware of the dan­gers of be­ing stung by these pests, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties ask res­i­dents to watch for nests and de­stroy them.

Strath­bo­gie Shire ad­vised that Coun­cil will re­move any wasp in­fes­ta­tions found on coun­cil-man­aged land.

If res­i­dents lo­cate a wasp nest on coun­cil land please con­tact Strath­bo­gie Shire Coun­cil on 1800 065 993.

How­ever, it is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of prop­erty own­ers to treat wasp in­fes­ta­tion on their pri­vate prop­erty.

You can hire the ser­vices of a pest con­troller or treat the prob­lem your­self with prod­ucts from hard­ware su­plliers or su­per­mar­kets.

Here’s some gen­eral tips for deal­ing with wasp nests:

ac­tiv­ity is low;

in­sects can­not see red light;

dis­tance from your­self, yet still il­lu­mi­nat­ing the area to be treated;

your body, a floppy hat or veil and gloves; and

where you will be.

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