Massive wasps’ nest inside Healesville house in Melbourne the ‘largest I’ve ever seen’, expert said
A nest of deadly wasps has been found in an abandoned house, and images of a huge ’empire’ looming over a toilet have gone viral.
A pest sanctuary has been discovered at a Hillsville home 50km north of Melbourne, and one alarmed expert called it the “biggest” he has ever encountered in the country.
The vision of the colossal nest was posted on social media this month by Dale Armel of DAP Pest Control, who was called in to fix the problem.
A pest hideout (pictured above) was discovered at a Hillsville home 50km north of Melbourne, and one expert described it as “the biggest” he has ever encountered in the country.
The footage shows how a gray mass measuring one by 1.5 meters was suspended from the ceiling of the bathroom, and wasps soared around it.
It showed a toilet under a hanging pile with thousands of dead wasps on the floor in a dilapidated house.
Mr. Armel said that the nest full of carnivorous wasps was huge and deadly.
“This is the biggest hornet’s nest in Europe that I have ever come across in my career in pest control,” he wrote on social media.
“It was a very dangerous situation – if any person or child stumbled upon this nest, they could repeatedly swarm and sting.
‘[It] must be removed as soon as possible to ensure the safety of all.”
The seasoned pest controller said that despite his experience in pest control throughout his career, the job terrified him.
He said he was attacked by pests when it took him three days to clean the nest.
The seasoned pest controller said that despite his experience in pest control throughout his career, the job (pictured) terrified him.
The pest exterminator said the nest in the abandoned house (pictured) harbored “thousands and thousands” of wasps for months.
“Wasps are attracted to the carbon dioxide in your breath, which they perceive as a threat, and they attack,” he told news.com.au.
He said The nest has been growing since at least September 2021, when it was discovered to resemble a basketball.
Mr Armel added that for several months it was home to “thousands and thousands” of insects.
The sheer size and warmer indoor location meant that it was a multi-season nest that could have an ever-increasing population.
The insects could stay warm inside, so the queens probably hibernated in the nest.
“That means they can start laying and incubating new eggs as soon as spring, so we’re talking about an absolutely huge population with no limits on how much it can grow.”
It showed a toilet under a pile of thousands of dead wasps on the floor and a bathroom sink in a dilapidated house.
Wasps that feed on other insects can be aggressive towards humans as they nest and forage near houses.
They are known to be destructive and invasive pests in Australia, but are a protected species in the northern hemisphere.
“Usually this species builds its nest underground to see the details of this [one] this is truly an incredible once in a lifetime opportunity,” he said on social media.
Mr. Armel was able to capture the unusual close-up footage because he had wiped out most of the wasps the week before.
But there were stages of extermination that caused a few stray insects to buzz in the video.
“I don’t recommend anyone approaching a nest of any size unless they are a trained professional,” he added.
European wasps build their dwellings out of organic matter, first creating an inner layer of honeycomb to hold their larvae.
European wasps are known to be destructive and invasive pests in Australia, but are a protected species in the northern hemisphere.
They then make the outer layer, shown in the shocking footage, using a mixture of saliva and wood fibers.
Insects create openings for entry and exit, as well as for ventilation.
The post about the critters inside the house went viral on social media and some were fascinated by the nest’s design.
“Not a fan of wasps, but I admire the design of their nests. This is a work of art,” said the commentator.
“This is really amazing,” said another, while the post led another to ask, “What if a brother needs a toilet?”
But others were shocked by the mammoth nest, comparing it to “Resident Evil 7th House”
Is this wasp equivalent to the Roman Empire? another online user asked about the nest.
European wasp in Australia
The European wasp lives in Europe, North Africa and Asia with a temperate climate.
But populations have spread from their natural range to North America, New Zealand, South Africa, South America and Australia.
It reached Tasmania in 1959 and has since spread to Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, with isolated nests found in southern Queensland.
The wasp was first sighted in Melbourne in 1977 and within five years it colonized much of Melbourne – being a scavenger insect, it prefers to co-exist with humans to share food and crops with them.
The European worker wasp is about the same size as a bee, about 15 mm long, but has prominent lemon yellow striped markings on a black body, and is not as hairy as a bee.
Queens and males are larger, 17 to 20 mm long, but marked like workers.
European wasps are attracted to food and drink and can interfere with eating and living outdoors.
European wasps are opportunistic predators and scavengers, feeding on dead animals, live insects, fruits, and processed food for humans and pets.
Unlike the honey bee, the European wasp can sting repeatedly, especially if its nest is disturbed.
European wasps can also be a problem for gardeners, beekeepers and food processors.
Source: Victorian and Western Australian Agriculture.