26 September 2023

DPIRD campaign to take sting out of wasps

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The annual European Wasp Surveillance Campaign is to be launched next month (November) by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

Technical Manager at the Department, John van Schagen said the wasps could hide in drink cans or land on food, particularly meat and fish.

“They are one of the world’s worst social pests, having the potential to impact our health and outdoor lifestyle, agricultural industries and the environment,” Mr van Schagen said.

“The Department aims to build on the State’s recent success in combatting European wasps, encouraging members of the public to ‘adopt’ a surveillance trap and monitor it during the upcoming wasp season, from November to May,” he said.

Mr van Schagen said the Department’s Adopt-a-Trap Program was a key part of the annual European wasp surveillance and eradication effort, with trapped wasps helping identify suburbs where nests might be located so they could be tracked down and destroyed.

“Nest numbers from last year’s surveillance Program dropped to the lowest level in 12 years, with only 14 nests found, down from 162 in 2019,” he said.

Mr van Schagen said the Program’s success was the result of three years of sustained efforts to detect, delineate and extinguish wasp hotspots.

“WA is unique in the world for having prevented the establishment of European wasps for such a long time, with the community playing a critical role in the early detection of this pest,” he said.

“Last year’s great results can be attributed to additional resourcing, collaboration with Local Government, other Departments and the community, along with strong community reporting.”

Mr van Schagen said this year more than 2,300 traps would again be deployed across Perth and regional areas by Christmas to detect the presence of European wasp.

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