German (Vespula germanica) and Common (Vespula vulgaris) wasps
German wasps accidentally caught a boat ride to New Zealand in 1945 with some aircraft parts.
Common wasps arrived more recently, in the late 1970s, and have quickly taken over as the dominant introduced wasp species.
Both these introduced wasps prey on native invertebrates (insects) and also collect honeydew all through the warmer months when they are nesting. This honeydew is produced by a scale insect living in the bark of certain species of beech tree and is an essential food source for insects, birds and reptiles. These wasps are a competitor for the same food needed by our birds and insects, as well as a meat eating predator.
We use two methods of controlling wasps. In the national park, our volunteers assist the Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project with their wasp bait trials. The bait is put into bait stations (pictured) for a short time during the warmest week of summer. The worker wasps carry portions back to the nest, killing the queen and developing larvae.
Around the St Arnaud village, our 'Wasp Busters' use permex powder which is delivered straight into the nest entrance. The powder is then transported inside the nest by the worker wasps.
Please contact us if you would like more information about our wasp control.