European Wasps

European wasps are well established within the Murrindindi Shire. Council's Community Local Law 2020(PDF, 907KB) - Clause 10.2 requires landowners to remove / destroy European wasp nests on private land. If required, Council can give written direction for this to occur.

It is Council's responsibility to manage nests on municipal (Council-managed) land. Council encourages members of the public to report nests so they can be treated as soon as possible.

Nests found on Crown Land should be referred to the relevant land owner / land manager, i.e. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). European wasps can only be controlled by finding the nest and destroying it.

The European wasp, Vespula germanica, is most easily identifiable by:
• Its black and yellow body;
• Its yellow legs; and
• Triangular markings on the abdomen.
While the European wasp is the same size as a bee (10 - 15mm), it is less hairy and folds its wings back at rest. Queen European wasps have identical markings and colouring, except are larger.

Do not aggravate an European wasp

If a European wasp is aggravated it may sting. Unlike the bee, a European wasp can sting multiple times. If left undisturbed the European wasp is not aggressive to humans or other animals.
If a nest is disturbed, the wasps release a chemical which triggers the wasps to defend the nest.

Finding the nest

In order for the nest to be destroyed you need to locate the nest. To find the nest you need to establish the direction the wasps are flying. To do this, place a food source (i.e. meat or pet food) in a visible location. Once the wasp has collected the food, it will fly in a direct line to the nest.

Observing the flight path of the wasp during the early morning sunrise or evening setting sun is best. A wasp may be scavenging for food up to 500m from the nest. Keep relocating the food sources in the direction of the nest. You may need to work cooperatively with your neighbours.

Nests are located where shelter is available. The most common location for nests is underground and nests will be evident by a stream of wasps entering and leaving a hole in the ground. Nests are also found in retaining walls, hollows of trees and wall cavities. The nest is made of grey paper mache-type material. Nests constructed of mud are not European wasp nests.

People requiring further advice on how to deal with a wasp nest on their property or to report a nest on Council land can contact us on 5772 0333