vegetable patch management
pest control
DYNAMITE - European wasps
Since being introduced into Australia in the 1970's European wasps have become a major pest in this country.  Here in Australia it is vital that all European wasp nests be destroyed as soon as they are discovered to prevent their spread.

Unfortunately there is no really environmentally safe way that I know off to destroy a European wasp nest, which is why this method is in the DYNAMITE category.

how to destroy a European wasp nest
Photo of Hortico and And Roach Dust container
Hortico Ant & Roach Dust will apparently kill European Wasps.

Photo of torches with red filers on them.
On the left is a dolphin torch with red cellophane covering it's light. On the right is a child's torch with an in built red filter.
A. During the day watch the wasp nest (from a safe distance) so you know exactly where the entrance to the nest is. In daylight hours wasps will be regularly flying in and out of the entrance, though they can be dormant during very cold weather.

B. Cover a torch's light with red cellophane. A large rubber band or hair band can be used to hold the cellophane in place. You need to do this because a normal torch beam offers enough light for the wasps to see by at night. Red cellophane gives off sufficient light for you to see what you are doing but not enough for the wasps to spot you as they cannot see the red spectrum.

C. Use the torch to guide you to the nest after dark. All the wasps will be in their nest as they don't fly at night. Thoroughly dust or spray the entrance with a poison that is suitable for killing wasps. Hortico Ant & Roach powder will apparently do the job, however I cannot vouch for it as the only product I have used is Baygon Dust, which is now no longer commercially available. There are also pressure pack sprays available which may be better for forcing the poison down the entrance of the tunnel.

D. Watch the nest over the next couple of days. If the nest is a small one then one dose will usually be enough, but if you see further signs of wasp activity return in the evening and repeat the process. Once you can no longer see any wasp activity use a spade to bury the entrance. I am still using the original poison bottle I bought many years ago, so this process only uses a small amount of chemicals. It is certainly much cheaper than calling in a pest exterminator.