European wasps found in Busselton

Residents and pest controllers in Busselton are asked to look out for and report European wasps, after a nest was found in the roof cavity of a house in Busselton.

The Department of Agriculture and Food’s Pest and Disease Information Service received the report of a nest from an alert pest controller who detected the nest while undertaking work on a client’s property.

The European wasp is a declared pest in WA due to its potential to flourish and impact on horticultural industries, outdoor lifestyles and the health of people, pets and livestock.

Department senior technical officer Marc Widmer said he was concerned by the find because European wasps had n’o been found in the South West since 2007, when a nest was found in Capel.

Mr Widmer said European wasps were more frequently found in metropolitan Perth or in regional cities such as Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Albany and Geraldton where fertilised queens arrived in freight and cargo from the Eastern states, where the European wasp is an established pest..

“It is important that we find every nest each season, because there is a risk that fertilised queen wasps will emerge from mature nests and start new nests the following spring,” he said.

Residents and pest controllers in the region have been asked to look out for European wasps and report them immediately to the department to enable their treatment and removal.

Mr Widmer said residents, local governments and business could also volunteer to Adopt-a-Trap to supplement the department’s own surveillance grid of more than 1100 traps.

“The department implemented the ‘Adopt-a-Trap' initiative in 2011 and since then, it has resulted in a positive response from the community that sees residents and local government place traps in their gardens with a lure, and check them regularly,” he said.

“This helps in the surveillance and eradication of European wasps.”

The traps are free and more information about the ‘Adopt-a-Trap’ initiative is available on the website agric.wa.gov.au.

Contact 1800 084 881 or email info@agric.wa.gov.au.