Danger - European Wasps

‚ÄčEuropean wasps are dangerous pests and must be reported.

If you believe you have sighted a European Wasp, contact the Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS) on (08) 9368 3080 or padis@dpird.wa.gov.au

or load the MyPestGuide app to report sightings.

Why are they dangerous?

  • Aggressive and sting repeatedly.

  • Attack pets.

  • As omnivores, they are attracted to human and pet food; putting your family (furry or otherwise) at risk around picnic and BBQ spots or at home.

  • Attack in defense, especially as nests are underground and hard to see.

  • Agriculture under threat with damage to crops, especially fruit.

  • Apiaries with bees are preyed on, the impact of which is incalculable.

How do you identify European Wasp?

European Wasps can be difficult to tell apart from the common Paper Wasp.

 European Wasp vs Paper Wasp. Note a different colour antennae. 50c piece for scale.
Click to enlarge

Distinguish them by the following features and traits:

  •  Black antennae, Paper Wasps' are yellow.

  •  Legs folded up  when flying, other wasps dangle their legs.

  •  90% of their nests are underground, with wasps flying in and out of a single hole in the ground.

Other strange behaviours to be observed:

  • Just like us, they love sweet food and protein rich foods such as meat. If you see wasps gather around such foods, they are likely European wasps.

  • Feeding on dead animal carcases or dead insects (such as on the front bumper of cars).

What is being done?

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is working closely with the Shire, other local governments and state government departments such as the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) to provide inspection and maintenance of surveillance traps, wasp tracking, nest location and destruction, public awareness and community trapping programs.

Go here for the latest sightings and trap locations.

European wasp statistics for 2018/19

How did they get here?


The European Wasp is native to Europe, North Africa and parts of Asia. They were first found in Australia in Tasmania in 1959. European Wasp queens are accidentally transported into WA by freight and cargo from over east.

The first sightings in WA were reported in 1977. Since then, an aggressive eradication program has been ongoing.

What can you do?


The recent detections of nests in the Mundaring area came about from public reports. DPIRD act on all suspicious wasp reports and work with land owners to set traps and locate nests. Therefore it is vitally important that if you spot suspicious wasp activity to report it through to DPIRD using the methods linked at the top of the page. 

For more information, visit the DPIRD website.

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