Residents of Baw Baw have been warned to be wary of infestations of European Wasp with reports of the aggressive insect rising in the region.
Above: Paul Shields from Pest Control Services in front of the massive 2.5 metre tall European Wasp nest in Neerim South. Source: Facebook.
The Baw Baw Shire Council has advised the public to refrain from removing the nests without appropriate protection or knowledge and to call the council’s public health team as soon as possible.
Director of Growth and Economic Development Matthew Cripps said a home owner should only try to tend to the nest if they can find it and flee easily.
“European Wasps are more aggressive than native wasps and bees in protecting their nests, so it pays to be cautious,” Mr Cripps said in a media release.
An abnormally large 2.5 metre high European Wasp nest was found in Neerim South in late March and was promptly removed.
Paul Shields, who removed the nest, said it was the largest he had ever encountered and could have proved dangerous.
“Nine years of experience hadn’t prepared me for what I [saw],” he said in a summary posted on social media.
“If anyone had disturbed the nest unprotected, serious injury would have been highly likely.
“Knowing that we’ve made a really big difference to the township of Neerim South in that one particular job is quite a fulfilling feeling.”
European wasps can be up 25 millimetres in length with black and yellow stripes, yellow legs and longer and thicker antennae than bees.
European wasp nests are identifiable by the high level of movement around the nest, where the wasps fly in a straight line.
The entrance or structure of the nest could be covered or hidden, making it hard to see where the wasps are coming from.
Federal Minister for La Trobe Jason Wood has called for $1.5 million in federal funding to find a permanent solution to the infestation of greater Melbourne.
If you are concerned about a nest on public land or have questions about wasp nests, please contact the council’s public health team on 5624 2411 or visit their website.
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