European wasps are calling Canberra home with nests popping up across the city in walls, ceilings, and in the ground.
CoreEnviro Solutions senior pest and weed officer Jim Bariesheff said the company's European wasp hotline, eWasp, was inundated with calls for advice.
"In just over six weeks, there has been a big jump in European wasp nest reports, going from 50 to 400 in a short period of time," Mr Bariesheff said.
Transport Canberra and City Services said eWasp's data indicated this year's wasp season would be above average. The season is expected to last until May.
The Directorate said that during this stage of the season nests could contain between 3000 and 5000 wasps.
The two suburbs with the highest number of recorded wasp nests are Kambah with 24 nests followed by Weetangera with 17 nests.
A1 Pest Control owner Jenny Jordan said she had felt the demand with her company responding to up to 29 wasp nest removal jobs a week.
Ms Jordan said the 2019-20 summer bushfires had pushed pests, including wasps, spiders and rodents towards the city.
Ms Jordan took to Facebook to share a story of one man who had discovered a large wasp nest inside his ceiling.
"If you have not had European Wasps at your property, think yourself lucky as these pests are everywhere [at the moment]," the post said.
Ms Jordan said the pests were so ferocious that they had stung some workers despite the fact they were wearing full bee suits.
Following the Facebook post, Ms Jordan was swarmed by questions and calls for help.
Ms Jordan warned European wasps could make nests in flowerbeds and warned gardeners to be careful when turning over soil.
She said wasp nests begin with only a few insects, but can quickly grow into a huge colony.
"Wasps can gain entry [into houses] through various cracks in the mortar," she said.
"We're seeing them coming in through the tiles, too.
"When the nest grows to a certain size the moisture they generate within the nest will weaken the plaster."
Mr Barrieshief said other signs of a nest include steady streams of black and yellow wasps coming from a hole in the ground, wall or roof.
"European wasps can also nest in conifer trees and, in some cases, gardens," he said.
"When inspecting outdoor areas around the home for wasp sightings, keep in mind that in some cases a nest may not be on your property but up to 500 metres away."
After hearing strange sounds inside his study and witnessing a wasp fly into a small hole outside his house Damian Smith discovered a colony of European wasps had gnawed the inside of his wall.
"The wall was paper thin," he said.
"[After tapping on the wall] wasps started coming out and I had five or so quickly coming out."
Mr Smith resorted to creating a makeshift barrier out of a thin strip of metal and gaffer tape to stop the wasps flooding the house.
"They haven't come out yet but I'm still a little bit concerned," he said.
Landscaper Craig Willock was stung 10 times after hitting a nest while excavating at a park near Ginninderry earlier this month.
He said it took about a week for the swelling to subside.
"It didn't matter what I put on it, Stingose or antihistamines, it still swelled up. The pain was pretty bad," he said.
Mr Willock said the nest had up to 5000 wasps.
As luck, or lack thereof, would have it, Mr Willock found another nest on Monday, this time in a log.
Mr Willock said during his 10-year career as a landscaper he had not encountered this many wasp nests.
European wasps are 12 to 16mm long, and are identified by their black-banded abdomen, a pair of black spots on each yellow band and two pairs of clear wings, with one pair larger than the other.
Unlike bees, European wasps can sting multiple times and are aggressive. When threatened, European wasps emit alarm pheromones to alert the colony to attack.
If stung, eWasp recommends applying a cold pack to the sting and to seek medical attention in the case of a severe reaction.
EWasp recommends hiring professionals to remove nests.
The eWasp website at www.ewasp.com.au has information and advice on first aid and safety and the precautions to take against European wasps and how to decrease the likelihood of being stung.
For all reporting and advice on European wasps, contact the eWasp Hotline on 6258 5551, email at email@example.com or visit the eWasp app which is available at both app stores.
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