What Are the Different Types of Wasps in Albury/Wodonga?

What Are the Different Types of Wasps in Albury/Wodonga?

What Are the Different Types of Wasps in Albury/Wodonga?
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Our local service area spans from Rutherglen and Corowa to Albury/Wodonga. Across our whole service area, we have a very healthy native wasp population; with many different types of wasps.

The short story: native wasps like mud wasps and paper wasps are mostly harmless but will attack if provoked. Watch out for European wasps and don’t approach their nests – they are extremely dangerous.

For our native types of wasps, we recommend trying to leave them be. They are essential pollinators of native plants and contribute to our local ecosystem.

Invasive wasps must be controlled by a licenced pest controller, as they threaten our ecosystem and take food away from native bees and wasps. However, treatment is only recommended for native types of wasps if you believe your safety is threatened.

Mud Wasp: A (Mostly) Harmless Type of Wasp

These guys look mean but are mostly harmless unless provoked. Image from the Australian Museum.

Mud wasps build ugly nests on brick walls. They can also cause problems by nesting inside roller doors and machinery. But they’re a mostly harmless species of wasp unless you disturb them while they’re building their nest.

Adult wasps build a mud nest with multiple cells. They lay an egg in each cell and deposit several paralysed spiders which the larvae feed on when they hatch. So, these types of wasps are an important part of the ecosystem, because they help with spider population control.

The adult mud wasp leaves after the nest is constructed, placing the paralysed spiders inside. It’s safe to knock the nests down at this point. You don’t need a pest controller for this, but we can assist if you’re allergic to wasps or if the nests are up high.

Mud dauber wasps build ugly nests on brickwork.
Mud dauber wasp nest on some brickwork.
Organ pipe wasp nests.
Organ pipe wasp nest.

Species of wasps in our local area include the mud dauber wasp and the organ pipe wasp, which builds ornate tubular nests from mud.

Potter Wasp: Pretty Much Just Another Mud Wasp

This wasp is in its own section simply because they are in a different subfamily than the other species of mud wasp. They are more closely related to paper wasps however, they’re basically the same in behaviour and diet as mud wasps.

Potter wasp nests in a window track
Potter wasp nests in a window track.

The main difference between this type of wasp and mud wasps is that their mud nests look similar to pottery or vases. They fulfill the same ecological function as other mud wasps.

Common Paper Wasp: Another Native Species of Wasp

These types of wasps are dangerous if their nest is threatened. This one was found in Albury.
Australian paper wasps in their distinctive honeycomb-like nest. Image from the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

The Australian (common) paper wasp is another beneficial native species of wasp. It contributes to the ecosystem by pollinating flowers. These guys also hunt spiders, beetles, caterpillars and other insects, and so have an important part to play in population control.

Their nests have a distinctive honeycomb appearance. Unlike mud wasps, paper wasps live around the nest and guard it against attack. For this reason, they can be aggressive if they think you’re going to attack them.

We recommend leaving this type of wasp alone if they’re far enough away to not be a threat, as they are beneficial for the environment. However, if you’re allergic, or they’re in your outdoor area and may be a threat to you or your kids, a pest controller is the best person for the job.

European Wasp: Dangerous and Destructive

Unsurprisingly, European wasps are an introduced species. They displace native bees and wasps, destroying the natural habitats of our insects.

They build large papier-mache-type nests that are sometimes rather beautiful. But approaching the nest is a very bad idea. This species of wasp can release a pheromone when stinging you which causes others nearby to swarm you. This can be deadly.

European wasp nest in a roof void in Albury NSW
A European wasp nest in a roof void in West Albury NSW.

Do not attempt to control this wasp yourself. Contact a local pest controller, who will have the right protective equipment to prevent stings.

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