Wasp count climbing

The first wasp was on the window sill about 10 days ago.

A second was spotted on the floor. Both were dead. I disposed of them but a couple of hours later found another couple.

Every day since then we’ve spotted up to a dozen dead or dying wasps in the house.

If you have to have wasps, that’s the way to have them but I’d prefer not to have any at all. They may have an important role in nature’s story but if so, it’s as villains and I have no compunction over dealing with them as such.

But killing those we see is dealing with only part of the problem. To rid ourselves of the pests we have to destroy the nest and we haven’t been able to find it.

I’m hoping the poor state of health of the wasps we’ve seen indicates someone else has and has poisoned it but the the climbing wasp count suggests that hasn’t yet been wholly effective.

20 Responses to Wasp count climbing

  1. Craig Watson says:

    Hi Ele,
    I had the ‘joy’ on Tuesday of accidentally kicking a wasp nest next to our back vege garden. I was stung several times and ran like a girl as fast as I could inside! They are everywhere, we have poured petrol down the hole and I swear they have just gone and found another entrance to go into.
    I you have any tips for the ridding of nests I would love to hear them.



  2. pdm says:

    We had a nest under our house a number of years ago. We got some repellent stuff from the local Mitre10 and spread it round the obvious entrances – they were gone when we checked the following day, never to return.


  3. Fredinthegrass says:

    Craig, unless you light the petrol – which can be a little exciting if it goes wrong!! – you will have little success.
    I wait till after dark – less stings and more wasps ‘at home’ – then pour a liberal amount of diesel into the nest entrance and then block off the entrance.
    The fumes locked in seem to kill most of the grubs as well as the adults.

    If this fails or you would prefer someone else to do it try your local council or the Yellow Pages for an “Exterminator”!


  4. homepaddock says:

    Last time we had a nest we got some powder (I think form the District Council but it might have been Mitre 10) and put it at the entrance to the nest. The wasps touched it as they went in and it killed them.

    If you keep an eye – from a safe distance – early morning and evening you can usually find out where the wasps come and go from.


  5. Craig Watson says:

    Thanks folks 🙂


  6. pdm says:

    HP – that sounds like the stuff we got.


  7. robertguyton says:

    Wasps kill blowflies. They eat carrion, including bird carcases (have you seen the reports of birds falling from the sky?).
    I’ve not seen any at all in Southland this season and last year there were very, very few. I have noticed there is a smaller wasp here now – half-sized.
    I use petrol, the cover of near-darkness and a wet sack to block the entrance. Wasp stings hurt. I’ve found that using hand-tools like sickles to clear herbage gives you a far better chance to eascape un-stung if you uncover a nest, than a weedwhacker/brushcutter with attendant earmuffs and whining motor.
    Wasps like dry soil to nest in. So do bumblebees. Bumbles are good, very good. No petrol required.
    To find a wasp nest, catch your wasp, tie a long thread to one of its legs and release it – easy to follow home to its nest – good luck with the tying.


  8. robertguyton says:

    Craig – when you say you ‘ran like a girl’, does that mean your hips undulated differently and you held your elbows to your side and let your wrists occilate in which ever direction they wanted to?
    Or were you holding up the hem of a skirt as you scampered?
    Just trying to get the picture.


  9. david winter says:

    The common (or possibly German) yellow jacket does have an important role in Nature’s story, not in this hemisphere! I’m about as big an invertebrate cheerleader as you’ll find but these wasps are an unmitigated disaster in NZ. Competing with native birds for honey dew, killing native inverts and tarnishing the name of our (several thousand) native wasp species.

    If you can’t find the nest and they continue to make pests of themselves you can probably find someone who will sell you carbaryl baits. That’s almost certainly the poison you used last time, the baits are much weaker so foraging wasps don’t notice the poison and unwittingly bring it back to the nest.


  10. Craig Watson says:

    Robert, mainly the arms waving widly, to be fair I was trying to fend of the very persistant little spawns of satan!
    No skirt, but apparently wasps are attracted to blue, like the bright blue gym t-shirt I was wearing.
    Hope the picture in your head is now sorted 🙂


  11. robertguyton says:

    Almost got the image Craig – how were you wearing your hair?

    (Don’t answer – it’s a joke).


  12. JC says:

    “Hope the picture in your head is now sorted”

    Getting there. Did you run knock kneed and throw a leg and go eek! eek! with each step?



  13. gravedodger says:

    Some slightly sexist comments here. My love of nearly fifty years can dispatch vermin with any of the weapons in the arms safe without so much as a by your leave but a wee timorous beastie runs madly from the heatpump(console model) to the Rimu bookcase and she almost dies. She was a bit of a runner in her day but it is a little humorous when she pulls her feet up onto the seat of her chair and screams and that is about 3 meters away from the little mousey’s track.


  14. robertguyton says:

    You have mice that read GD?
    So far today, we have a bloke that runs ‘like a girl’ and a mouse that runs ‘madly’.
    What gives?
    This is more mysterious than the ‘birds are falling from the sky, fish are washing ashore dead’ stories in our local rag.


  15. homepaddock says:

    “So far today, we have a bloke that runs ‘like a girl’ and a mouse that runs ‘madly’.”

    And now a wasp that stings slightly – one got my daughter but only just.

    Couldn’t remember if it was baking soda or vinegar for wasps – consulted Google, one source said both but Landcare Research NZ: http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/research/biocons/invertebrates/Wasps/firstaid.asp said vinegar. Only bottle in house was balsamic – she now smells like a well dressed salad.


  16. robertguyton says:

    Doesn’t really matter what you hit them with Ele – a packet of baking soda or a bottle of vinegar – the wasp will be pulp.


  17. homepaddock says:

    A rolled up Listener also works for the wasp (eight and counting today) but what I ought to have made clear was that it was the sting on the stung not the stinger which stung I was wanting to treat.


  18. Suz says:

    Over the past two summers I’ve noticed seriously huge mutant type bumble-bees at our place..they are so large it looks like there’s one on top of the other? We reside on the top of a very windy hill in Wellington, so maybe the littlies get blown away…I can totally relate to Mrs Gravedodger…I jump out of planes at 13,000 ft on a regular basis, as well as bungying, but by Christ, if I see a wee mouse, I’m a blubbering idiot much to my shame.


  19. robertguyton says:

    That’s all the Listener is good for really Ele.
    Maybe for mosquito as well.
    And bed bugs (for our North Island friends).


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