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Act now to reduce wasps this summer

European wasps are black with yellow markings.

Friday 26 October 2018

Have you ever had a picnic or barbecue cut short because of an onslaught of European wasps? These unwelcome visitors are attracted to meat and sweet foods and can be very annoying during summer.

The good news is that if you act now and put out traps, you can help to reduce the numbers of wasps in months to come.

Trapping in October and November means queen wasps will be targeted before they can establish a nest. This interrupts the breeding cycle and can make a considerable impact on the number of European wasps within the community.

You can purchase traps and baits from hardware stores and some nurseries, or look online for ideas to make a trap yourself.

European wasps aggressively protect their nests and can sting a victim repeatedly. Not only is their sting nasty, it also emits a chemical that alerts other European wasps to attack.

To reduce the risk of stings:

• Keep compost heaps and rubbish bins covered at all times
• Remove old or damaged fruit from trees and fallen fruit
• Avoid leaving food, drink or pet food outside
• Water the garden in the evening when wasps are least active
• Cover bird baths and fish ponds with fine mesh or shade cloth
• Check and use fly screens on windows and doors
• Pour canned or bottled drinks into a glass to avoid swallowing them
• Leave wasps alone as they are more likely to attack if provoked.

Take care if eradicating a nest on your property. Treatment products are available but it is important to take precautions as wasps will actively defend their nest. It is strongly recommended that you hire experts to destroy any wasp nests on your property.

In the meantime place a few traps around your place to reduce the likelihood of European wasps ruining your outdoor fun.

Mount Alexander Shire Council will treat wasp nests in public areas on Council land. If you see a nest you can report it to Council on 5471 1700 or info@mountalexander.vic.gov.au.

For more information visit the Better Health Channel www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au.

Image: Now is the time to put out your traps for European Wasps.

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