As we move well into spring, the days are starting to get much warmer and one pest that can cause some grief to home owners is the Paper Wasp. Throughout Sydney from now and through summer, these wasps can be found building their nests under eaves, window ledges and various other places around homes.
There are many species of native Paper Wasps which vary in size and appearance. Their nests are made from chewing weathered wood and mixing saliva which produces the soft paper like nest. Naturally they attach these webs to a branch, rock face or twig but in urban environments such as ours they often construct these nests on our property. If you look around your home to see if there are Paper Wasps present, they are usually found on north and west facing sides of a building so they can gain maximum benefit of the sunlight.
Where wasps are found at your home
New nests will be started by female wasps that have been in active through the colder months. They are social insects like bees and will build up a nest and tend to it in a similar way. The queen is similar in appearance to the workers. The queen will move through the nest and lay eggs into the bottom of empty cells. These eggs will hatch and larvae are fed with chewed up caterpillars fed to them by the workers. Once the larvae are fully grown the cell is closed by the workers and the larvae turn into pupae and emerge an adult wasp and remain with the colony. Nests will grow in size over summer. When the weather starts to cool male wasps are produced and mate with the females which will then find a place to hide such as cracks and crevices. The females that survive the winter will then begin new colonies the next spring.
How to get rid of wasps?
Control of this insect is best left to professionals who have very good products capable of controlling the adult wasps very fast and have the appropriate protective equipment to avoid stings.
They are not an aggressive wasp most stings from these wasps are inflicted when a nest is disturbed or threatened. Most stings will happen when you don’t realise that the nest is there for example if you brush past a branch or plant which they have built a nest. The wasps in this case will swarm out and sting. Sometimes they will pursue the threat. They’re capable of stinging multiple times which can be painful and may swell and remain itchy for several days.
What to do if you are stung by wasps
Wasps will sting when threatened and we recommend that homeowners DO NOT try and address any infestations themselves.
For any patient that is allergic to bee stings and shows signs of anaphylaxis, call 000 for an ambulance, and have the patient taken immediately to the emergency department of the nearest hospital.
If you or a family member are stung by bees, follow these general first aid steps:
- Remove stings by scraping sideways with your fingernail or with the edge of a knife.
- Apply a cold pack.
- Watch for allergic reactions – breathing difficulties, rashes, itching, or swelling around the mouth or eyelids.
If an allergic reaction takes place call 000 for an ambulance.
- Observe and record pulse and breathing.
- If casualty is carrying medication for the allergy it should be taken at once.
- If conscious: help casualty to sit in a position which most relieves breathing difficulty.
- If unconscious: open and clear casualty’s airway and prepare to resuscitate if necessary.
If you would like more information on how to manage wasp pest problems at your property, call Amalgamated Pest Control Sydney.