Wasps are likely to be a problem again this summer as they were last. A group of neighbours is planning and training for an upcoming blitz on these pests. We are getting ready to target the invasive wasps and by cooperating with others on the same street we can get the best results.
The Common Wasp and the German Wasp are the two most often seen in the area. The planned blitz, using Vespex bait, is aimed at these two varieties – not at the Paper Wasps (which are attracted to live prey, including Monarch Butterflies, rather than bait). Paper wasps can be controlled using products available in hardware stores.
German and Common Wasps prey on native insects, invade beehives and can even attack newly-hatched chicks in the nest.
Wasps build their nest in warm sheltered spots in banks or in gardens and can sting (sometimes repeatedly) if you disturb them. It is easy enough to disturb them when walking in the bush or when gardening.
Wasps are destructive as they attack other insects to feed their brood. They will invade your barbeque in search of protein to feed their young. The Vespex bait we are using exploits this aspect of wasp behaviour and is a protein based product made in Nelson. The bait is put out in bait stations at the point in the breeding cycle when the wasp is searching for a protein rich food to take back to its nest. Once back at the nest the wasps share the bait, destroying the entire colony.
Timing is everything when it comes to eliminating wasps! The best time of year is February and March when the wasp breeding season is in full swing.
Purchasers of Vespex need to undertake a short online course in the safe use of the product and once they register with the manufacturer they can buy the bait. Our plan is to have a registered user who will distribute bait stations in their immediate location in South Titirangi.
Although not attractive to bees Vespex is a poison and is toxic to marine life. Safety is important and bait stations are positioned on private property out of reach of children and animals like dogs and cats.
We are recording wasp numbers in the ‘activity testing’ phase of the blitz and post-baiting to see how effective the project is. Anyone interested in registering to use Vespex bait and in setting up a wasp blitz for February/March is welcome to join our group of (so far) six interested neighbours. We ran a small trial-run last summer and are happy to share our experience.
Please get in touch if you are interested to know more or be involved.