TERRITORY and Municipal Services wasp expert Dr Philip Spradbery is giving notice that the yellow jacketed menaces are entering their most aggressive time of year.
“During the queen-rearing season, which continues until late May, wasps vigorously forage for food to give the growing queens the protein they need, from insect prey to carrion, pet food and the meat and fish from barbecues and picnics,” Dr Spradbery said.
“At this time of year wasps are particularly aggressive. If their nest is disturbed they will attack to protect their queen and brood, using an alarm pheromone to recruit hundreds of defenders.
“Canberrans are warned to be very careful if wasps approach food and to be aware that the only effective way to reduce their numbers is to locate nests and get them treated.
“Nests are rarely seen because they are built underground or in house structures like wall cavity and roof spaces. The signs of a wasp nest are the continuous flow of the striking black and yellow wasps flying in and out of the entrance hole to where the nest is hidden.”
If a nest is found, contact the European Wasp Hotline on 6162 1914 for advice. If you are stung, apply an ice pack to the area. If you experience difficulty breathing after being stung you may be having a severe allergic reaction and should seek medical attention.