Agrochemical Updates, eBulletin

Agrochemical update February 2019 – Wasp control permit

13 February 2019

Wasp control permit

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has approved a permit for control of European wasps (PER86492) to be used nationally. The permit is for use of the active ingredient non-repellent fipronil (100 g/L) in orchards, vineyards and berry farms, and is in force from 14 September 2018 to 30 September 2023. The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is the permit holder.

An outline of the approved baiting method is provided below. It is mandatory that all instructions detailed in the permit and label are followed.


Bait station

Use 130 mm EnviroSafe™ fly traps (available from hardware stores) to house the bait. The traps require 23 mm holes drilled into adjacent sides of the trap body using a spade-bit wood drill for wasps to enter and exit. The label provided in the permit must be attached to the trap.

Non-poisoned baits

To establish a wasp-feeding habit and to establish that non-target species are not being attracted to the food, start with a non-poisoned 85 g tin of cat food. European wasps are more attracted to seafood or sardine cat foods.

Place non-poisoned cat food into the EnviroSafe™ fly trap and install the traps following permit instructions.

Ensure traps are less than 150 m apart. European wasps have been sighted up to 500 m from their hive but prefer to forage within 100–150 m.

Monitor until 3–5 wasps are feeding during the warmest part of the day. European wasps smell food on other wasps returning to the nest and follow their co-workers back to the food source. They will generally eat the bait and fly back to the nest to feed the queen and larvae.

Once 3–5 wasps are identified feeding on non-poisoned baits and there is no risk to native or non-target pests, remove non-poisoned cat food. Care should be taken when wasps are active to avoid being stung.

Poisoned baits

Replace non-poisoned bait with a poisoned bait by adding 3–4 drops 100 g/L non-repellent fipronil (equivalent to 17.5 mg fipronil) to 85 g of cat food, mix thoroughly and reinstall into the EnviroSafe™ fly trap.

It is important to apply the correct dose, because if more than four drops are used the European wasps will die before returning to the nest and the poison will not reach the target.

When the returning worker returns to the nest and dies from ingesting fipronil, it is cannibalised, and this is how the rest of the nest is poisoned.

Allow three to seven days for the nest to be killed.

End of baiting program

At the end of the baiting program all poisoned baits are to be buried 500 mm below ground and fipronil containers should be disposed of at an approved management facility when empty.


Records required as per APVMA PER86492:

  • date and location of bait placement
  • amount of product used
  • names and address of persons undertaking use
  • pre-baiting non-target monitoring and observations.

Further reading

NSW DPI fact sheet on the European wasp pilot control program 2018 – 2019. Available from:

For more information or to request a copy of the ‘Dog book’, please contact the AWRI helpdesk on 08 8313 6600 or email


Bruce Browne from NSW DPI is thanked for his assistance in getting this permit extended from NSW to all states.

This information is provided to inform the Australian grape and wine sector and should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any product.