Wasp

Common wasp, Vespa vulgaris workers are a major social pest to almost outdoors activity in which food or drink is involved.

The sting of the wasp is dangerous to human health. The common wasp, nests in cavities in trees and buildings. They occur in natural forests, planted forests and urban areas.

Adult worker wasps obtain carbohydrates from fruit and flowers, by feeding on fermented fruit pulp and by collecting honeydew from insect secretions. Workers will also hunt arthropods, including flies, mosquitoes and caterpillars to feed their wasp larvae which require a protein rich diet.

Wasp
Biology
  • Adult worker wasps are 12-17mm long (queen wasp up to 20mm); social insect; body colour black and yellow banding. Wasps have 3 sets of two legs. In addition to their compound eyes, wasps also have several simple eyes known as ocelli.
  • Annual colonies initiated in spring by one queen. Colony expands through season and then produces sexual stages in autumn, before colony breaks down.
  • In each cell of a new nest, the queen lays a single egg, which hatches into larvae in 5 to 8 days.
  • After five moults over about 90 days (the length of time spent in each stage is determined by environmental conditions), each larva spins a silken cap over the cell and pupates.
  • After about 80 days an adult worker wasp emerges.
Monitoring

Russell IPM manufactures and supplies Wasp and fly lure to combat wasps in affected areas.

The wasp attractant with fly trap is an effective parameter or prevention measure against wasps in gardens, patio and outdoor food serving areas.

Nature of Damage
  • Common wasps are a major social pest to almost outdoors activity in which food or drink is involved. The sting of the wasp is dangerous to human health.
  • Wasps impact a range of human activities and values, from conservation, forestry, beekeeping and horticulture sectors to human-health. Wasp stings are painful, but can also be life-threatening. A small proportion of the population will have a severe allergic reaction (called anaphylactic shock), which can be fatal unless treated promptly.
  • In forests, wasps may eat huge numbers of native insects and consume large quantities of sugary honeydew. By eating so much, wasps take potential food sources away from native species and disrupt the natural food chain and ecosystem cycling of the forest (Landcare Research 2007).
  • Wasps are economic pests of primary industries such as beekeeping, forestry and horticulture (Beggs 2000). Wasps totally destroy or seriously affect 10% of beehives, which translates to a significant financial loss (Clapperton et al. 1989). Beehives are often placed near honeydew forests or other unique sources of nectar to produce strong-flavoured honey. However, wasps can reduce honey production by reducing nectar and honeydew supplies and cause honeybees to stay in the hive to conserve energy and protect the hive from raiding wasps (source: Global invasive species database).
  • Adult worker wasps obtain carbohydrates from fruit and flowers, by feeding on fermented fruit pulp and by collecting honeydew from insect secretions. Workers will also hunt arthropods, including flies, mosquitoes and caterpillars to feed their wasp larvae which require a protein rich diet
Menu