Invasive Species

The European Paper Wasp

The European paper wasp, first discovered in Kuils River in 2008, is quite common in the Cape metro area, especially in the Northern suburbs and since 2008 it has spread quite far and can now be found in the South as well. They are quite docile when compared to the German wasps but caution should still be exercised when dealing with them as an allergic reaction can still prove fatal. They have no natural enemies and are prolific breeders, outcompeting indigenous paper wasps for resources such as food and nesting sites. They are also significant pests, for example, people and pets often step on them, and get stung, when they hover over the lawn.

The European paper wasp nests are always above ground. They are single layered, honey comb like, papery nests with exposed cells which can be found under roof overhangs and similar structures. The wasps are usually visible on the nests especially in summer months when these wasps are active.

Have you spotted the nest?

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