WASPISH FACTS

North & South - - Review -

Are there na­tive wasps in NZ? • Yes, but they’re not con­sid­ered pests, like the so­cial wasp in­vaders. • There are no na­tive so­cial wasps. What’s the dif­fer­ence between a soli­tary wasp and a so­cial wasp? • So­cial wasps con­struct large nests with a so­phis­ti­cated so­cial sys­tem. • Soli­tary wasps ei­ther don’t make nests or make them only for their own off­spring. What’s the dif­fer­ence between a Ger­man wasp’s nest and a com­mon wasp’s nest? • Ger­man wasp nests are grey, whereas com­mon wasp nests are brown. • Both species of­ten, but not al­ways, build their nests un­der­ground. When are so­cial wasps ac­tive? • Queens emerge from hi­ber­na­tion in spring (Au­gust to De­cem­ber) to make a nest. In sum­mer (Jan­uary to May), wasps are for­ag­ing and the nest ex­pand­ing. In win­ter (June to Au­gust), the new queens hi­ber­nate and the nest usu­ally dies. Can wasps kill me? • Yes. In 2012, a 62-year- old man suf­fered a heart at­tack in Kenepuru Sound af­ter dis­turb­ing a huge wasp nest. • It’s es­ti­mated that com­mon or Ger­man wasps kill two people each year in New Zealand, from car­diac ar­rest or ana­phy­lac­tic shock. • From 2000 to 2013, stings from ants, bees and wasps killed more Aus­tralians than sharks and croc­o­diles com­bined. I have a se­ri­ous wasp prob­lem on my prop­erty. How can I get rid of them safely? • A Nel­son-based com­pany has de­vel­oped with DOC a bait called Ve­spex. Wasps take it back to their nest, where it is shared among work­ers and, cru­cially, the queen, killing the nest. • See doc. govt. nz/na­ture/ pests- and-threats/ an­i­mal-pests/wasps/

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