Amongst the many hazards to aircraft from wildlife, the least well understood is that posed by mud nesting wasps.
Ecosure is investigating the ecology and nesting preferences of mud nesting wasps for our major airport client. These wasps are known to use airspeed pitot probes on the nose of aircraft as nesting locations – instead of building an elaborate nest from mud, female wasps have learned that these probes are ready-made homes for their larvae, and all they have to do is provision them with paralysed prey (spiders) and seal off the end.
If this activity goes undetected, aircraft and public safety could be at serious risk
Ecosure is working in collaboration with our client, airlines and the state Museum to determine if the wasps have preferences of types of aircraft and specific locations at the airport, and what environmental factors may influence their choice of aircraft as nesting sites.