It is not necessary to treat for an individual flying bee or wasp. However, if  you see a nest or swarm around your home, contact Austrapest professionals to help safely remove the nest.
Many bee and wasp species are not harmful to humans and are an important part of our ecosystem. They are extensive pollinators, which helps our flora, and predatory and parasitic wasps are a natural control of other pests. Many native bee species are under threat, and we encourage you to avoid killing them where possible. However, when bees and wasps nest around our homes, they can pose a safety problem and may need to be removed by a specialist. 

Austrapest Treatment for Bees and Wasps

The first step in the control of European wasps is to locate their nest. It is important to note that the wasps can forage for food up to 500m away from the nest. Nests are sometimes found off the ground, sometimes in the ground. Once the nest is located, Austrapest's trained local experts carefully inspect the nest and ascertain the best course of action. Control of the wasps is done in the evening, when they are less aggressive and when they are back in the nest. As treatment can be a dangerous process, it is best to contact Austrapest for professional help.

Honey bees may leave commercial hives and become a problem around homes by nesting in walls or cavities. European wasps are often confused with bees, which are more orange in colour and have much shorter antennae. Often bees will swarm for a day or so and, and we recommend staying indoors away from the area. Often they will move on to nest somewhere else. However, if bees build their nest in wall or roof cavities, the hive may have to be destroyed especially if the occupants are allergic. Control methods are similar to the European wasp.
Many native bee species are smaller than the honey bee and a dark colour, and often do not sting. It is not necessary to eradicate a native bee nest as native bees in NSW are under threat. They are an important part of our ecosystem, and should be encouraged by planting native pollinating plants on your property.

Types of Wasps

Paper wasps 

This native wasp is usually brown or orange in colour, approximately 22mm in length, with shorter antennae than the European wasp. They make a small nest about the size of a tennis ball to 30cm in length and will sting if disturbed. Care should be taken as some people are very allergic to wasp stings.

Chinese wasp 

These wasps seem to be coming more evident in Sydney. Their nests are similar to the paper wasps nest. However, they can be more aggressive when disturbed, and their stings are painful and dangerous to people who are allergic.

European wasp 

The European wasp originated in Europe but found its way to America, Asia Minor and parts of Africa. It arrived in Australia in the late 1970's and is now classed as a pest.
If a nest is found, it is the homeowner's or occupier's responsibility to have it eradicated. Due to the aggressive nature of this wasp, this is best done by an experienced licensed pest manager.
There are two castes - the workers, and the reproductives (the queen and the males).
A worker is about the same size as the honey bee. It has black arrow striped markings and bands on its stocky and smooth, vivid yellow body. Its antennae are about half the length of its body and it has longitudinally folded wings.

Parasitic Wasp  

Parasytic wasps are native to Australia, and are generally harmless to all vertebrate animals including humans. They are solitary wasps, and the pest controllers of the natural world. They feed on and parasitise insect prey to lay their eggs. We do not recommend treating for parasytic wasps.

European Honey Bee

Bees are often confused with ‚ÄčEuropean wasps. Unlike the European wasp, which are more orange in colour and have much shorter antennae, the wings of bees do not fold when at rest. Also, bees only sting once. Honey bees are approximately 12-15 mm in length. Bees are highly beneficial to the natural environment and only pose a problem when a nest is established in an undesirable location, for example in our roof or wall cavities. 

How to get rid of wasps or bees 

- To avoid unwanted attention outdoors, close lids of sauce and cover food. Wasps are often attracted to cooked meat and sweet smells. 
Keep lids on garbage bins and keep garbage areas tidy. 

- When encountering a wasp or bee, avoid swatting, and keep your distance. If indoors, open doors and windows to encourage them to head outside on their own. Avoid spraying or attempting to kill them. 

- Wasps and bees will often build their nests in roof spaces, under eaves, awnings and gutters, and under verandahs and decks. If you encounter a nest, avoid the area and call a pest specialist, such as Austrapest, to safely remove the nest. We will often do this late in the day or at night when they are calmer and less likely to sting. 

How to treat a wasp sting or bee sting

- Wasp stings and bee stings can be very painful and dangerous for people with allergies.  If there is any sign of allergy, medical attention should be sought immediately.

- There have been some cases where European wasps have entered open drink cans and have stung victims in the mouth and throat, leading to swelling of the throat, causing choking and even death.

Biology and Habits

In colder climates, European wasp nests usually last one season, but in warm climates, like Australia, colonies may survive and extend all year round. Grey and papery, the European wasp nest is commonly found in the ground, behind retaining walls, in roof cavities, and in tree stumps. Nests can vary in size from 15 centimetres to 5 metres and may contain thousands of wasps.
European wasps are extremely aggressive, especially in spring and summer. They can sting multiple times until their supply of venom is exhausted. They are attracted to cooking meat, sweet drinks and decaying food. 

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