European wasps are bad news.

European wasps are native to Europe, northern Africa and temperate Asia but they have been introduced to much of the world, including Australia. They have become established in the eastern states but not in Western Australia.

However, each year wasp queens arrive in Western Australia, hidden in freight, and start new colonies. And each year the Department of Agriculture and Food does its best to destroy every new colony. So far they have not become established.

European wasps threaten our way of life and our agricultural industries. Having no natural predators here, and not having their colony size restricted by our warm winters, colonies can grow to be many thousands of individuals strong. They love to eat protein and will happily invade an outdoor picnic or eat your pet’s food.

They mostly eat other arthropods, like insects and spiders. This is not only bad news for the arthropods they eat, but also for the animals that would have eaten those arthropods, like birds and bats, as there is now less food to go around. European wasps will have a devastating effect on the native wildlife. They are also very aggressive and can sting multiple times.

If you are in Western Australia and see or suspect you have seen a European Wasp call the Department of Agriculture and Food on 1800 084 881. They will investigate your sighting, confirm the identity of your wasp and find and remove the nest – all free of charge. We all need to do our part to stop European wasps becoming established in Western Australia.