Residents in the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder are encouraged to join the Department of Agriculture and Food’s European wasp surveillance and eradication campaign following the detection and destruction of six nests in the last two summers.
Department senior technical officer Marc Widmer said there had been a concerted surveillance and eradication program in the region since the 2014-15 wasp season when four European wasp nests were destroyed.
Last summer an additional two nests were detected and destroyed with the help of local government and community.
“The European wasp is a declared pest in WA due to its potential to flourish and impact on horticultural industries, outdoor lifestyles and the health of people, pets and livestock,” Mr Widmer said.
“Regional cities including Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Albany and Geraldton are at risk of European wasp incursions by fertilised queens that arrive in freight and cargo from overseas and the Eastern States, where the wasp is an established pest.
“Biosecurity is everyone’s business. We rely on local government, industry and residents to help look out for unusual wasps, and ‘Adopt-a-Trap' to supplement the department’s own surveillance grid of more than 1100 traps.
“Traps adopted by the community improve our chances of detecting new colonies before they mature and release queens.”
Interested residents are invited to Adopt-a-Trap, provided free by the department, and set it in their garden with a non-toxic protein lure, such as fish, and check it for wasps throughout each wasp season.
Mr Widmer said European wasps are scavengers, so if a wasp settles on pet food, fish or other meat products, they should be reported immediately to the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS) on freecall 1800 084 881 or email email@example.com.
Reports can also be made using the department’s MyPestGuide Reporter app.
“European wasp reports made be residents, and wasps caught in surveillance traps, alert the department to nests nearby and help biosecurity officers track the wasps back to their nest so it can be destroyed,” he said.
“Biosecurity affects all Western Australians, not just those in the agricultural sector, so the assistance of Kalgoorlie-Boulder residents or local government in adopting European wasp traps and looking out for wasps helps ensure their community remains free of the serious pest.”
Media contacts: Jodie Thomson, Dionne Tindale, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937