PEST CONTROL GUIDE - w

Wasps

Large, conspicuous buzzing insects with yellow and black striped, wasp-waisted bodies, 10-15mm long. They have a sweet tooth at one end and a painful sting at the other.

The queen wasp is larger (20mm) and she hibernates over winter, making a nest in the spring in which to lay her eggs. She feeds the grubs on insects until they develop into worker wasps, three to four weeks later. Workers, all sterile females, forage for over a mile in search of food. One nest may produce 30,000 wasps in a year.

At their peak in August and September with the youngsters reared, the workers turn to the sweet food they prefer and become a nuisance wherever this is available. If annoyed or threatened, wasps will sting and the best remedy – after removing the sting with a clean finger nail – is to apply an anti-histamine. Some people react violently to being stung with several dying each year.

Weevils

A term frequently misused to describe beetles in general, but actually applicable only to a distinctive group of beetles with long, pointed “snouts” which they use for boring into whole grains, hard processed cereals such as pasta, and timber.

Mainly pests of stored cereals on farms.

Wharf Borer

A brown beetle, about 1cm long, with pronounced antennae and a tendency to emerge from damp basements and fly about near rivers or estuaries in early summer.

The grubs live in very decayed wet timber such as old jetties or wooden piles. Buildings built over old bombed sites with timbers buried under them are sometimes invaded by these beetles for a few odd days.