Taking up the fight to wasp pests
Taking up the fight to wasp pests

Residents are being asked to ‘‘adopt a trap’’ in a new assault being launched by the The European Wasp Working Group to tackle the pest.

The initiative provides traps for councils and the public to install and check for the dangerous declared pests.

The wasps can sting several times and attack in swarms, with some victims requiring medical attention.

They are also an environmental and horticultural pest, attacking beehives, preying on native insects and threatening the stone fruit and grape industries.

European Wasp Working Group chairman and Department of Agriculture and Food senior technical officer Marc Widmer said reports of European wasps from the public were valuable. But he said without additional commitment to the surveillance trapping system each year, the battle would soon be lost.

‘‘We hope that more groups will become an integral part of efforts to keep European wasps from establishing in Western Australia,’’ Mr Widmer said.

‘‘As European wasp continues to spread throughout the eastern States, more fertilised queens are accidentally shipped intoWAto start new nests every year.

‘‘The Department of Agriculture and Food has destroyed 20 nests already since December.’’

Mr Widmer said European wasps could sometimes be mistaken for paperwasps but one way to tell them apart was that the declared pest was the only one which fed on meat and insects as well as vegetable matter.

More information about ‘‘adopt-a-trap’’ is available from Marc Widmer via email marc.widmer@agric.wa.gov.au or phone 9368 3759.

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