This user-friendly development tool has made the logging of wasp reports more accessible to the public which allows for a quicker response time to have wasps removed. Since September, the City’s Invasive Wasp Control Project’s team has removed more than 1 300 nests.
The City’s new online wasp reporting application is gaining popularity as more than 600 wasp reports have been logged via this tool, mostly in January. It takes less than three minutes to log a call, according to the data that was sourced.
The extracted data also indicates that more than 2 000 people have used or engaged with the online reporting tool. Furthermore, statistics show that 51% of people are accessing the site via cellphones, 39% from desktops and 10% from tablets. It also shows that people across the world, including the USA, Canada, Brazil, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Namibia and Kenya, have visited the reporting tool.
The City’s Environmental Resource Management (ERM) Department’s Invasive Wasp Control (IWC) Project, which forms part of its Green Jobs Unit, officially launched their reporting tool in November last year to make reporting wasp sightings easier as well as allow for a quicker response time to have wasps removed.
‘The online tool has made the reporting of wasps more accessible to the public. This tool minimises delays in the reporting process, especially considering the high volume of phone calls and e-mails that have been received. By using a simple mobile app, the wasp project is now able to find the location of new sightings and confirm the status of these sightings instantly,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Johan van der Merwe.
IWC controls the invasive European paper and German wasps within City boundaries. Since the project’s inception in October 2014, residents have reported wasps via e-mail, phone and the Spotter network (on www.capetowninvasives.org.za).
Wasp season usually occurs during warmer periods, from September to May.
Since the launch of the IWC Project in 2014, over 9 000 European paper wasp nests were removed, mostly from the core areas of infestation such as Durbanville, Kuils River, Brackenfell, Kraaifontein and Bellville. European paper wasp nests have also been removed from homes in Somerset West, Gordons Bay, Bothasig, Ottery, Plumstead, Constantia, Woodstock, Athlone, Wetton, Parklands, Sunningdale, Bothasig, Pinelands, Newlands and Rondebosch, which indicates that the invasion is increasing.
‘From our reported cases, we can see that the wasps are spreading across the city. However, since the start of the wasp season, we have removed over 1 300 nests, which is far less than the previous year when 2 500 were removed over the same time period. Wasps seem to be lower in numbers than usual, likely due to the weather patterns. The City is therefore taking this opportunity to remove as many wasps as possible to try and decrease their presence ahead of the warmer days. Residents are encouraged to use the online tool to report wasp sightings so that the nests can be removed as soon as possible,’ said Cllr van der Merwe.
How to use the app
If residents wish to use the tool to report an invasive wasp problem, they should visit www.edrr.co.za/wasps (Click here) and follow the prompts, starting with which species has been spotted. As much detail as possible should be added to the report so that it is dealt with as efficiently and quickly as possible.
Removal happens on a first-reported, first-response basis and calls are queued according to the order of time reported.
The wasp project team will go to a starting area/suburb and attend to the closest report which they receive and then move to the following closest from there. The report which has been outstanding for the longest period of time becomes the starting point for the next visit to the suburb.
For more information, residents should please visit www.capetowninvasives.org.za or visit www.facebook.com/ctinvasives. For queries or problems uploading wasp reports, residents can send an email to: with ‘WASPS’ in the subject line.
- Residents are advised to be aware that the sting from these wasps is particularly painful. Last season there were numerous reports of the German wasp stinging workers harvesting grapes and other fruit. The wasps also present a hazard to residents who may unintentionally disturb a colony.
- Property owners are primarily responsible for pest control on their premises, and the City will assist according to available capacity. If nests are removed privately, property owners are urged to send a report containing their street address and the number of nests removed to as this helps with the City’s future planning and research, as well as determining the movement of the wasps.
- The City’s IWC Project does not respond to reports outside the city boundaries, or to indigenous wasp reports, or reports of bees.