Pictured abouve is WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Inspector, Kris Armstrong, with a large European wasp nest found suspended from a tree in Bunbury. The find is highly unusual, with most nests found underground.

18 March 2024 DPIRD Media Release

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is calling on Bunbury residents to be alert for European wasps, after destroying two nests in the area.

The nests were recently located in the suburb of Glen Iris, as part of DPIRD’s regular surveillance program. European wasp program manager John Van Schagen the European wasp was an unwanted pest which posed a risk to WA’s environment, horticultural and agricultural industries, along with our outdoor lifestyle.

“We encourage Bunbury residents and businesses to be on the lookout for any unusual wasp activity and report any suspect finds to the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service,” Mr Van Schagen said.

DPIRD runs a surveillance and eradication program for European wasps, which has prevented this pest from establishing in WA. “Each year fertilised wasp queens arrive in WA as hitchhikers via freight and cargo from the eastern states,” Mr Van Schagen said. “While there have been previous detections in Busselton, Capel, Australind and Donnybrook, this is our first detection in Bunbury. “One of the nests detected this time was suspended from a tree, which is highly unusually as most nests are found underground. “The department will deploy surveillance traps throughout the area to check for further activity.”

European wasps look similar to yellow paper wasps but are distinguished by their completely black antennae and shorter legs, which they tuck up under their body when they fly. Wasps scavenging on pet food, meat, fish or dead animals is also a tell-tale sign

Reports of suspect European wasp sightings can be made via:

More European wasp information is available from: www.agric.wa.gov.au search ‘European wasp’.

 Image from DPIRD:
European wasp on fish lure