Vespex wasp bait now available

  • Creator
  • #46265


    Now there’s hope against Vespula wasps.

    The German wasp (Vespula germanica) is native to Europe and northern Africa.

    Vespula germanica

    It was first found at an air force base near Hamilton in 1945, and it has been suggested that hibernating queens arrived in New Zealand in crates of aircraft parts from Europe after the Second World War. Although considerable efforts were made to eradicate nests German wasps spread very quickly, and within a few years were found in most of the North Island and parts of the upper South Island.

    The common wasp (V. vulgaris) is native to Europe and parts of Asia (e.g. Pakistan and northern China).

    Vespula vulgaris

    This species has also become introduced in Australia and, most recently, Argentina. Single specimens of the common wasp were recorded in New Zealand in 1921 and 1945 but these apparently did not establish. The common wasp was confirmed as established in Dunedin in 1983, although, examination of museum specimens showed that queens had been collected from Wellington as early as 1978. It rapidly spread throughout New Zealand and almost completely displaced the German wasp from beech forests in the upper South Island because of its superior competitiveness.

    In general, wasp populations are large in New Zealand because of the mild climate, lack of natural enemies, and very abundant food sources (especially honeydew). However, recent reviews of invasive invertebrates continually point to social insects as one of the top problems around the world because of their high level of ‘ecological plasticity’ (i.e. flexibility to adapt and utilise resources). Factors such as nest size and longevity, a very wide diet range, feeding at different trophic levels, and ability to reach very high densities, all contribute to the successful invasion of social wasps.

    Both the German and common wasp are now widespread throughout New Zealand. In some habitats, they can be some of the most common insects encountered. As a result, wasps have had detrimental impacts on native ecosystems, and human health, cause economic losses for beekeepers, and disrupt recreational activities.

    If you’re plagued by Vespula wasps, then you’ll be thrilled to hear about this:

    Cost-effective wasp control over large areas is now a reality with Vespex® ‒ a bait designed specifically for the control of Vespula wasp species. There is no requirement to find the nests, as the wasps gather the bait from Wasptek™ bait stations and carry it back to the nest. The wasps then share the bait around nest-mates, including the queen, quickly destroying the whole colony.

    Vespex® is not at all attractive to bees, and is of very low risk to birds, pets and people. The bait does contain an ecotoxin though, and there are some strict stewardship controls in place to ensure that the bait is used in a way that does not present a threat to the environment. The yellow links on the left-hand side of the following website will provide the information you need to plan a wasp baiting operation and become an approved user.

    Sadly, there is no known product for the fight against Asian wasps, Polistes spp. at the present time.

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  • Author
  • #46599


    there is very little caterpillar predation by german wasps on the North Shore, although I did once see two german wasps eating a newly hatched butterfly

    it’s the Asian paper wasps that are our particular problem and they’ve learned to patrol swan plants and clean up newly hatched caterpillars, so we take those we’ve found into the greenhouse where they grow and pupate quickly

    as the paper wasps are fast and difficult to catch (we use a butterfly net then stomp them) I’m looking forward to an effective bait for the paper wasps,baits available from the garden centre seem only to attract german wasps



    Butternut, we have wasps in Mosgiel. I notice them most on the waterlily leaves in my fishpond – they seem to be hanging over the side drinking the water, often a dozen or more on hot days. I would love you to help me get rid of them. By the way, I had a Yellow Admiral eclose on my glass recycle bin at the weekend. The chrysalis managed to hang on after being put out on rubbish day and tipped into the recycle truck! I didn’t know he was there. Thanks, Jan



    I am now an approved user of this product and will soon be able to purchase and lay Vespex Wasp Bait in the Dunedin/Mosgiel area and will occasionally be in Cromwell.

    Please get in contact if have a wasp problem and live in the Dunedin area.



    That looks promising Jacqui – I would definitely consider becoming an approved user.

    The wasps down here are certainly looking for protein at the moment as I have seen them chomping on some baby birds that had blown from a nest in the big winds we had the other day.

    I also came across a heap of wasps wandering over some young sycamore tree shoots – does anyone know what they are after?

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