Euro wasp spike

EAST PERTH residents have been urged to keep an eye out for European wasps as WA’s agriculture department struggles with a spike in infestations.

The number of wasp nests spotted in the metropolitan area has almost doubled this season to 125, and while many have been in hard-to-reach areas out in the Perth hills, two nests were spotted in East Perth.

Chief plant biosecurity officer Sonya Broughton said nests could mature over winter and release many queens in spring.

“It is imperative that we find as many nests as possible and everyone in Western Australia, even outside of the metropolitan area can help by keeping an eye out and reporting anything that might be a European wasp,” Dr Broughton said.

• European wasp sightings have spiked.

The wasps are drawn to human and pet food, and the department said they’ve been spotted this year in lunchrooms and picnic areas.

It’s concerned that if the pests get established near popular parks, picnicking could turn into a painful nightmare.

Pets might also have to be fed inside in case they get a sting on the nose.

The wasps also present a major threat to WA’s orchard industry.

European wasps look similar to the yellow paper wasp, but are slightly longer, have black antennae and fly with raised legs (all other wasps dangle theirs).

The department says the wasps are becoming more and more established over east, leading to more queens making their way to WA on cargo.

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