Wasp Control – Newcastle and Hunter Valley
Wasps are certainly a safety issue, especially around children and pets – a single sting can be painful, but multiple stings can be a serious health concern. For those who suffer allergic reactions to wasp and bees stings, a single sting can be life threatening.
Trying to deal with a wasp problem yourself, especially with European wasps, can be very dangerous without specialised products and the necessary protective clothing.
For quick and safe wasp nest elimination and removal, call the experts at Rebel Pest Professionals.
How we get rid of wasps
Our wasp nest treatment process:
- As with all our pest treatments we start with a thorough inspection to fully understand the nature of the problem. If you know the location of a nest, do not approach it, just direct our professionals to the location.
- Once we have located the nest or nests, nest entry points and identified the species of the wasp present, we can determine the best treatment method. For nests in roof voids or wall cavities, we will also check inside the building to make sure there are no escape routes which will allow wasps to enter the building.
- Typically we will use a liquid spray to treat the nests, but sometimes we blow insecticide powder into the nest, depending on its location.
- We will then return the following day to remove any nest material (if it can be reached) and block any visible flight holes.
We will always discuss any safety concerns you may have before carrying out a treatment. We do this over the phone at the time of booking and also carry out an on-site risk assessment before carrying out a treatment. If we are carrying out a spray treatment, it will be necessary to keep children and pets out of the area until the treatment is dry. We always choose the products with the best safety and environmental profile.
What to expect from our wasp treatments?
The nest should be destroyed within minutes. However, we generally return the following day to ensure all the wasps are dead, including any wasps that return after the treatment.
How do you know you have a wasp nest on your property?
Increased number of wasps around the home
Observing an increased number of wasps is a sure sign of a nearby nest. However, they can fly quite a distance from their nest, so the nest may not be on your property. If you can, try and track where they are flying to / from – this will help you find the nest.
You can check for nests (but be careful!)
Native paper wasps will build their nests in sheltered areas, typically under the eaves of homes and under leaves or branches in the garden. Native paper wasps tend to have smaller nests (up to a few hundred individuals) but there can be a lot of nests in a small area. Be careful when you’re gardening as it is easy to knock a nest on a plant without knowing it’s there!
European wasps are a different beast altogether. This invasive pest can develop huge nests of over 10,000 individuals. Although homeowners are more likely to spot nests under the eaves of their home, in the roof void or occasionally in trees, actually around 80% of European wasp nests are underground, often dug out of raised areas of soil with good drainage.
Spotting European wasps around the BBQ!
Native paper wasps generally go about their own business, capturing caterpillars to feed their young. Although European wasps like protein to feed their young – they love petfood and BBQs – they also like sweet foods for themselves, so soft drinks and cakes are favourites too!
How to prevent a wasp problem
Stop wasps building their nests
A general pest spray from Rebel Pest Professionals, where the external surfaces of the building are sprayed with insecticide will help prevent wasps building their nests on the building.
Remove potential food sources
To make your home less attractive to European wasps:
- Don’t leave pet food out
- Make sure garbage is placed in sealed bins
- Cover up any soft drinks and sweet foods when entertaining outdoors
Keep wasps out of your home
Well fitted insect screens will do the trick!
Types of wasps
In Newcastle and the Hunter Valley there are a number of native paper wasps as well as the dangerous European wasp.
Native paper wasp
There are a range of native wasp species, all of which build paper nests in protected areas. Generally their nests don’t exceed a couple of hundred individuals. They will sting, but only a few species are considered aggressive. The different species come in a range of sizes and colours, some have a similar colouring to the European wasp.
The easiest way to tell whether a black and yellow wasp is a native or European wasp, is that the native wasps tend to be a more slender wasp and fly with their legs hanging down, while the European wasp is a more solid wasp and flies with their legs tucked under their body.
The European wasp first arrived in Australia in 1959 and has spread northwards. Actually the Hunter Valley is perhaps as far north as it has spread, as it gets too warm further north.
As the winters in Australia are a lot warmer than Europe the nests don’t always die off in winter, which allows them to get bigger year after year. Sometimes they develop into super nests of as many as 100,000 individuals.
In the USA, it is called the yellowjacket.
Wasps vs Bees
Most people would be able tell the difference between a wasp and a bee – wasps have a smooth body, obvious waist and bright colouration (typically yellow and black), bees have a hairy body, less obvious waist and are a brown striped colouration.
Wasps and bees will both build their nests in and around buildings, so if you hear a buzzing in your walls it could be either. However, you should be able to spot the insects flying in and out of the nest and a beehive will give of a distinct honey odour.
Bees will feed on plants, collecting nectar and pollen. Wasps generally feed on protein which they collect for their young. However, wasps will also feed on sugary materials for energy (especially European wasps).
Generally, bees are very docile and will only sting if provoked. In contrast wasps can be very aggressive and can attack anyone approaching their nest.
Wasps will sting multiple times with their lance-like stinger, but a bee can only sting once – their barbed sting gets lodged under your skin and pulls out the poison sac from their body (and they die shortly afterwards). This poison sac continues to pump venom into your body, so if you are stung by a bee it is important to run your nail under the sting to remove the poison sac as soon as possible.
Removal of bee nests
If you have a wild bee nest in or around your home, killing the nest is a last resort. Typically the best option is to contact a local beekeeper to see if they want to collect the nest. However, sometimes the location of the nest makes it very difficult to collect or they may have concerns with regard to the health of the colony (bees can carry very destructive parasites). In such cases it may be necessary to destroy and remove the nest.
Bee nest removal follows a similar process to eliminating wasp nests, although the removal of nest material after elimination along with all the honey is an essential part of the process.