The Department of Conservation (DOC) is planning to use a targeted wasp baiting method to reduce wasps in public conservation land in various parts of the district. Notices will be posted here as we receive them.
Able Tasman National Park
The treatment area includes 46km of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track from Marahau to Whariwharangi hut and around huts and campgrounds along the track. The Falls River Block between Torrent Bay and Bark Bay won’t be treated this year. Note that although the maps are dated 2018 the areas of activity remain current.
Motueka - Sylvester Lakes Hut
What to expect
The Department of Conservation usually carries out wasp control operations to coincide with times when wasp numbers have reached threshold amounts and wasps are known to be feeding on protein. This will happen sometime from the end of February 2019 to the end of March 2019.
The wasp poison, Vespex™, a paste bait incorporating an insecticide (active ingredient Fipronil 0.1%) mixed into a protein matrix will be used.
All remaining bait will then be removed from these stations within 7 days and arrangements made to dispose of it through the appropriate facility.
Warning signs will be placed on all walking tracks leading into the control area. Bait stations that are accessible by the public (i.e. bait stations on public walking tracks) will also have individual warning labels. All bait stations have been placed at least 1.5m above ground to exclude pets and small children. Poison bait is also dyed green to discourage bait take from non target species. Although Vespex ™ is extremely effective at poisoning wasps, it is not that toxic to birds and mammals.
Vespid wasps (wapi) are now one of the most damaging insect pests in New Zealand’s natural areas and their numbers seem to be increasing.
Introduced wasps threaten our native birds – particularly in our honeydew beech forests where they have been seen killing chicks as they emerge from their eggs and taking available honeydew, which is a valuable energy source for birds such as kaka, tui and bellbirds.
High densities of wasps exert intense predation pressure on native invertebrates (insects), in particular,native caterpillars and orb web spiders.
Wasps also attack honey bees, raid their hives and rob their honey. The flow-on effects include lost honey production, the cost of replacement bees and in turn higher pollination costs for horticulture.