European Wasps (Vespula germanica) are shortlived insects with a sting that can remain painful and swollen for a few hours. Similarly sized to the native honey bee, European wasps have the same yellow and black bodies, but have yellow legs - different from the bee who has black legs. Wasp nests build up in numbers over spring and summer, reaching their maximum in autumn. As the weather cools off, they start to die out and should be all gone over winter.
European Wasps are attracted to left out food, such as pet meat or compost heaps. One way to keep them out of your yard is to pick up fallen fruit and keep pet food indoors.
If you find a European Wasp nest on your property, do not attempt to exterminate them yourself. Safeguard yourself, any children and pets, and contact a licensed pest controller.
If you find a wasp nest on Council land, please call (03) 9599 4444.
Honey bee swarms
Bee Swarming is an essential stage in the natural life cycle of honey bees and usually occurs during spring and summer (September to December).
Native bees and European honey bees play an important role in our natural ecosystem, pollinating our flowering fruit, vegetables and flowering plants.
European honey bees or native bees are not typically aggressive (unless they feel under threat), so by leaving them alone to go about their business, you shouldn't have any problems.
Bee swarms often clear by themselves with 2 to 3 days, as they search for appropriate sites to nest.
If you see honey bees swarming within your property and they are causing a concern:
- Keep children and pets well away from the swarm.
- Do not attempt to move or exterminate the swarm yourself as this could aggravate the bees.
- Call your local beekeeper who are prepared to remove free hanging and accessible swarms.
- The sooner you report a swarm the better the chance of capturing it – before it enters into walls or other cavities, becomes difficult to remove, and costs you more money.
- In some circumstances, local beekeepers will be unwilling or unable to remove the nest. If this is the case, you will need to call a professional exterminator, who will generally kill the bees before removing them.
Anyone who keeps bee hives is required to register with the Department of Primary Industries as a beekeeper. The Apiary Code of Practice (2MB) outlines the requirements for keeping bee hives. For further information contact Department of Primary Industries on 136 186.
Termites and white ants
Termites are often referred to as 'white ants'. Although they play an important role in nature, a few termite species attack human constructed wooden structures or objects, earning themselves a reputation as a destructive pest.
The City of Bayside is not a designated termite area. This means that new works are not required to be protected against infestation by subterranean termites; however, there is always a risk of attack so protection against termite infestation should always be considered.
Visit the Victorian Building Authority website for more information on termites.
Rodents such as rats and mice are a common problem in urbanised and rural areas. Rodents are attracted to food sources such as chicken pens, bird aviaries, compost piles, unsealed pet foods, defective rubbish bins and fallen fruit.
If there is a rodent problem on your land you can either treat the problem yourself or engage the services of a professional pest control company.
If the rodent problem is on your neighbour's land we recommend you speak with your neighbour to advise them of the problem.
Possums are native mammals and are not pests
Possums are Australian native animals and are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. Fines and penalties apply for harming of a native animal under the Act.
Possums can cause a nuisance when setting up home in your roof, but there are simple steps that can be undertaken to detract these native critters from your roof and eating your garden.
Simple steps such as blocking all entry points to your roof, and placing a possum box in a nearby tree is all that is needed to relocate your possum.
Possum trapping must be undertaken by a licensed professional who will come to your property and inspect and seal entry points to your roof prior to conducting any trappings or removals.
For further information on possums refer to our possum information page.
In Victoria red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are declared as established pest animals under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994.
Under this act, Council has a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to prevent the spread of, and as far as possible eradicate, established pest animals from their land.
Foxes are predators, feeding on indigenous mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds. In Bayside, they have been known to hunt and kill domestic chickens, ducks, rabbits and guinea pigs if they are not suitably caged at night.
Fox baiting and trapping programs have been difficult to undertake in Bayside due to the numbers of unrestrained pets roaming at night, and the risks of their poisoning. Rapid re-invasion occurs after control measures are implemented.
If you sight foxes along the foreshore or within our parks and reserves, please report them to us on (03) 9599 4444.
Indian myna birds
Birds are humanely euthanized using CO2 gas by volunteers who have been specially trained by a local vet and in compliance with RSPCA guidelines and in accordance with nationally endorsed standard operating procedures produced by the NSW Department of Primary Industries. An evaluation into the program showed a reduction in the numbers of Indian Mynas in Bayside.
Alternatively, for those residents who don’t want to trap the Indian Myna birds, but would like to encourage local native bird diversity in urban areas, the RSPCA believes the planting of indigenous trees and shrubs in your garden will improve the quality of natural habitat making it less suitable for the Indian Mynas who prefer highly modified habitats and artificial structures rather than native vegetation.
For more information please visit the RSPCA knowledgebase.
If you would like to know more, please contact the Bayside Indian Myna Action Group.