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Wasps Making their Presence Felt

Media Release
18 January 2013

Wasps Making their Presence Felt

Environment Southland is currently receiving calls daily from people bothered by wasps.

Biosecurity Assistant Chris Morison said people are concerned about wasps and wasp nests on their properties and want them dealt with. Environment Southland does not provide a wasp extermination service, but can provide self-help advice. “There are some easy and very effective things that people can do to get rid of wasp nests,” said Mr Morison.

Garden centres, hardware stores and farm supply shops all stock wasp-specific, insecticide products that can be applied to the entrance of wasp nests. Nests are usually within 50 to 200 metres of where the wasps are Mr Morison said. “The best time to look for a hive is at dusk because the wasps are heading back to it. You can just stand and watch,” he said. Once the hive has been located insecticide powder can be liberally dusted into and around the entrance. It may take more than one application.

The quickest and safest way to take care of wasps is to call a professional pest controller, particularly for people who are hyper-sensitive to wasp stings said Mr Morison. Pest control businesses are listed in the Yellow Pages.

The other thing to do is to reduce food scraps. Wasps are attracted to rotting fruit and vegetables, and protein-based foods so keeping everything clean, especially pet-feeding areas and dispensing with meat scraps carefully is important said Mr Morison.

People on rural properties who have repeated problems with wasps may be able to improve the situation in the longer term with some habitat changes. Native environments such as wetlands, which support dragonflies, robber and hover flies may reduce the incidence of wasps, as may web-building spiders.

An information factsheet is available on the Environment Southland website, http://www.es.govt.nz/media/6879/wasps-and-bees.pdf


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