European wasp nest a rare find in Horsham

WARRACK Pest Control’s David Schache treated a European wasp nest ‘as big as a beanbag’ in Horsham last week.

It was the first time he had come across European wasps in Horsham in more than 35 years in the business.

“Because of its size, I’d estimate it could have started last year,” he said.

“It was at a property in Landy Street and I had to treat it twice, because I didn’t get them all the first time.”

Despite the size of the nest, Mr Schache warned Wimmera residents not to be alarmed, because the climate was generally too hot and dry for European wasps.

“I think people should be aware that they could be around, but they don’t need to worry,” he said.

Mr Schache first uncovered a European wasp nest in Warracknabeal in 1994.

He put that down to late, wet summers that made the climate more suitable.

“The only other time I’ve come across them was in Goroke about two years ago,” he said.

Mr Schache said the nest in Horsham looked similar to a bees’ nest.

“It was probably made from wood products, possibly soft wood, like bark off trees,” he said.

“You can tell it is a wasps’ nest and not a bees’ nest because bees make honeycomb on both sides of the nest, while wasps only make it on one side.”

Mr Schache said European wasps looked similar to bees in size, but were more slender and had thinner wings.

He said they had distinguishing black diamonds on their back and had yellow legs.

Mr Schache said European wasps posed little danger unless they were provoked, or a person was severely allergic to them.

He said the only way to get rid of European wasps was to treat their entire nest with insecticide.

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