European paper wasp

​​European paper wasp and nest

                                                                                                         European paper wasp nest

European paper wasp and nest

​The European paper wasp (Polistes dominula), and other Polistes species, are Declared Pests and Diseases under the Biosecurity Act 2019.

European paper wasps are native to the Mediterranean region and are now found in southern Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East, China, the USA and Australia. Within Australia it has become established in Western Australia (since 1977) and more recently in Victoria.

European paper wasps are about 1.5-2.5 cm long, yellow and black in colour with orange antennae. They appear similar to European wasps but are thinner with slightly different yellow and black markings.

European paper wasp nests have exposed cells and are situated above ground, often on structures such as walls and fences, but also in vegetation.

In areas where they become established, they can become a public nuisance and have potential environmental impacts by feeding on native insects and competing with native species for nectar.

A European paper wasp nest was found in a garden in East Devonport in February 2021 and on the outside of a house in Latrobe in February 2024. Both nests were removed by a pest controller organised by Biosecurity Tasmania. Subsequent detections of wasps indicate that there may be other nests that have not yet been located. Biosecurity Tasmania would like to hear from any residents who think they may have seen a nest or other signs of European paper wasp activity.

What to do if you think you have seen European paper wasp

Report it to Biosecurity Tasmania

To report by email: Please include “Suspect European paper wasp” in the subject heading, an address of where the wasp was seen in the body of the email, if possible attach a clear photo of the nest/wasps and email to

To report by phone: Please call Biosecurity Tasmania on 6165 3777

WARNING: European paper wasps sting. Do not disturb nests or provoke wasps in any way.


Biosecurity Enquiries