Author Topic: European Wasps  (Read 2599 times)

deborah

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European Wasps
« on: February 12, 2015, 03:54:44 AM »
We had a nest of what are called European Wasps (Vespula germanica) around here. Well, maybe we still have a nest.

They were coming in at the eaves  (a hole in the brickwork where a wooden strut sticks out to support the eave) and appear to have made a nest in the wall cavity (we heard what I guess are wasp munching noises). So, as it is more than two floors up, and we don't have a long ladder, and the house there is on a slope, and we are lazy (as well as being sick)... we got a pest exterminator. He sprayed the hole. A couple of days later wasps started appearing in the family room, and dying. They were still appearing two or three a day a week later, so the guy came again and sprayed again. They didn't appear for three days, but have started appearing again, two, three and even four a day. Nothing appears to be going into the nest from outside. The wasps normally just walk around the floor, and then get thumped with a piece of footwear (Yes, animal cruelty - we even kill them). Only one has been flying. But it is getting beyond a joke. Since the first week we have been gathering corpses in ziplock bags (the occasional wasp has proved not to be completely dead after collection) so that we can prove that they are there. This was good to show the guy when he came back to re-spray.

I have talked with the local wasp hotline and they seemed to say that there was no point in respraying again because there is no outside activity, and spray needs to be tracked into the nest, and the nest is probably a long way from the entry hole. They appeared to agree with me that the wasps we are getting are probably newly hatched, so I guess we need to put up with it until they are all hatched - and from my reading, I think (although I am not clear about it) that it takes about three weeks for the current crop to finish hatching. So we should have less than a week more of this nerve wracking existence (I really don't want to be stung inside by a European wasp - one crawled into my sleeve)!

As it is midsummer here, they wouldn't be making new queens, I think.

The real problem is that the wall is one of those decorative wooden walls which has grooves every few inches, so they could easily be getting in by going up any gap between the skirting board and the wall. To make matters worse there are three book cases along that wall. But there are no dead wasps on the top of the bookcases, so we think they are getting in at floor rather than ceiling level.

So, my fellow MMMs - what do you advise about this situation? What would you do? Should we just wait it out (we have been sick, so this is a good option), or should we be more proactive? And if so, what should we do?

mozar

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Re: European Wasps
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2015, 05:50:42 PM »
I'm really sorry this is happening! I'm not a professional (anything) but I would wait a week, then if nothing changes open up the wall near the strut to find the nest and exterminate directly.

Greg

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Re: European Wasps
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2015, 06:27:51 PM »
Are you sure they're european wasps?  Usually they nest under overhangs and build open umbrella-shaped nests.  They have a thin waist and yellow, slightly curled antennae.

Edit: I'm thinking of european paper wasps.  You have european wasps, like yellowjackets, much meaner.

Anyway, they will eventually die off regardless.  Would in the fall even if you didn't spray.  You should try to fill any holes on the outside with caulking.  Spray foam might work, but is easily chewable by determined insects.

deborah

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Re: European Wasps
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2015, 07:07:36 PM »
Anyway, they will eventually die off regardless.  Would in the fall even if you didn't spray.  You should try to fill any holes on the outside with caulking.  Spray foam might work, but is easily chewable by determined insects.
Unfortunately in Australia it doesn't always get cold enough for them to die off, and that is why they are such a menace in Australia - particularly this year as it has been a wet January

worms

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Re: European Wasps
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2015, 01:03:09 AM »
Any time I have had wasps (normally nesting between our sloped ceiling and the slates) when you spray in to the nest you get dopey wasps on the floor inside for a week or two.  They drop down the inside of the walls and find ways out to the light that you never knew existed.  I would give them a wee while yet to all die off and keep the vacuum handy to get rid if the dead and dying as and when you see them.

Compared to everything else in Australia, I would have thought European wasps were at the tame end of the insect world!

DragonSlayer

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Re: European Wasps
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2015, 07:17:24 AM »
No real advice, but as someone who is allergic to wasps/bee stings, I would just leave the house and let them have it! I might come back in the winter. I feel for you as this wold be my worst nightmare!

Greg

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Re: European Wasps
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2015, 09:32:30 AM »
Unfortunately in Australia it doesn't always get cold enough for them to die off, and that is why they are such a menace in Australia - particularly this year as it has been a wet January

Ah, details.  I'd give it some time and see if the pesticide worked.