wasp control


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    When one refers to ‘wasps’ it should be pointed out that there are many different types of wasps that are a threat to butterfly larvae and pupae. Not all target the same, and may have different feeding habits. The German wasp(vespula germanica)and common wasp (vespula vulgaris) are different to the paper wasps, Asian paper wasp(Polistes chinensis) and Australian paper wasp (Polistes humilis) The Asian paper wasp I have observed recently still devouring caterpillars. The two prominent parasitic wasps threatening pupae are the white spotted ichnueman wasp, and the introduced Pteromalus puparum which was introduced in 1932/33 to combat the white butterfly, but is not selective as it infects the admirals as well. These last two wasps inject their eggs into the soft newly formed pupae, before it hardens.



    If you’re not part of the email thread, you’re missing out on heaps of information Norm has just told me about this wasp:

    The wasp is the parastic Ichneuman wasp Echthromorpa intricitoria which parasites butterfly pupae. Large numbers of Red admiral pupae are parasited by this wasp in the wild. However it is not too fussy on the type. It only lays 1 egg in the pupae, and normally during the transformation from larvae to pupae, while the pupae is still soft.

    It is so good getting this information by email, it is a great complement to the forum. If you’re not signed up, look at this page here, or send an email to trust@monarch.org.nz.




    Hi Jacqui
    After not seeing any wasps around the plants for several weeks I too saw one of these red-legged ones just last week as I was looking out the window.
    So I rushed outside grabbing my ever-present spray bottle on the way. (This is how I deal with them, I spray them with water which stops them flying away, knock them to the ground unless they’ve already fallen there, and stomp on them. I like this method because the water doesn’t hurt the plants or caterpillars, plus I quite enjoy the stomping.)
    Anyway, I gave it the benefit of the doubt and watched it for a bit just in case it was actually after the lavendar bush next to the plants, but no, it was hovering around those plants slowly in that all too familiar way looking for something, and that was all the evidence I needed.
    Suffice to say that wasp won’t be coming around here again.
    As for that one eyeing your chrysalis I wouldn’t have taken any chances either !



    As I sat at my computer (too much, too often) I saw a wasp out the window. Now I tought the wasps had stopped annoying our butterflies… but this was hanging around ,looking around hte milkweed. So I watched it… took some photos and then despatched it to the great wasp heaven or wherever they go!

    Don’t recognise what it was doing though – very close to/on a chrysalis:




    Same here. Was wondering what happened to my midsized pillars till I noticed the wasps


    I have found that the wasps are feeding on nectar and pillers at the same time!



    The important thing (according to the entomologists in NZ who specialise in wasps) is not to kill the wasps outright, but to dust them with poison and let them go, so they will take the poison back to the nests. The important thing is to kill the wasps’ NESTS, not the individual wasps.

    Evidently, if we destroy individual wasps, the wasps in the nest will often breed new wasps to compensate for lost ones!

    Also, at this time of year wasps will be attracted to nectar (as they have finished feeding their young). They will not be attacking caterpillars. So the bait for wasp traps early in the season should be protein and I believe the sardine flavoured catfood works best, but at this time of year you can change the bait to sugar water or jam. You don’t want to attract bees though! Bees have enough of a problem at present.

    Friends have also been experimenting with a flytrap made in NZ – I will get an update today. You can see this for yourself at http://www.gordys-flytrap-fitting.com/

    Have you received the wasps handout from us? I will gladly send it to you, write to me (and remind me what you’re writing for!) at jacqui@monarch.org.nz.

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