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Wasps can be broadly classified under two categories – solitary and social. As the name suggests, the social wasps live in small colonies with queens and males while solitary wasps live alone and lay their eggs next to a food source. Some wasps are predatory/parasitic while others play an important role in pollination. The most common wasp that people encounter in Perth is the paper wasp. The European wasp is also occasionally sited and these need to be removed immediately; however, the Department of Agriculture and Food will come in and remove them free of charge.
There are over 12,000 different species of wasps present in Australia with some being aggressive in nature. The length can range from barely visible to the naked eye to a few centimetres in length. Wasps are generally slender compared to bees and they are less hairy and have two pairs of wings with the hind wings generally being shorter, they also have smallish antennae.
The solitary wasps, as mentioned, lay their eggs on, in, or near a food source, and often on another insect or its eggs. Once the wasp hatches it starts to attack the insect or its eggs. Once the adult wasp lays its eggs, it has nothing else to do with raising the wasps.
Social wasps tend to have a nest which looks like an inverted code with one queen and workers, eggs are layed in cells of the nest (not too dissimilar to the cells of a bee hive).
As a general rule paper wasps are actually beneficial to have in the garden ,as they feed on nectar (and thus pollinate plants) and also feed the larvae caterpillars.
Paper wasps are generally only aggressive if protecting their nest and as their nesting habits can include being around the house, they can pose a problem for people getting too close. Unlike bees, wasps can sting multiple times and as such can result in multiple bites, unlike bees where you generally only get stung once. A cold pack can often relieve symptoms such as pain and swelling.
You can remove the nest yourself; however, it is always best to get a professional pest controller in to remove the nest as they will have had experience and wear protective clothing to do so.
Please ask us about our Perth Total Extermination Plan which offers ‘on-demand’ protective services for specified pests in all areas inside and outside of your home. Telephone for termite inspections in Perth (08) 9313 2871 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about wasp control.