Wasp Nest Tracking Brainwave

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  • #46889


    This might be just a farce as I’m not sure of the potential of dogs doing this nor the feasibility/popularity of this idea.

    I have problems with aphids on my swan plants and today I took up spraying the plants with garlic-laden water to try stop the aphids returning after doing my best to squash them all. While doing that some of the numerous paper wasps from nearby hidden nests flew in to scan my plants for baby caterpillars and in my anger I got satisfaction in spraying some wasps and stamping on them when they lay saturated on the ground, but no – that’s not the idea I had.

    The best way to get rid of wasps is to hit them where it hurts which is at their nest, but the problem I have is trying to find the damned things even having attempted numerous times to chase wasps I’ve doused in flour near dusk. The garlic-laden water has a quality of having a very distinctive smell to it and the idea I had was to saturate wasps in garlic water and allowing them to fly away. Then maybe a tracker dog could track the free wasps back to a nearby nest and a human could destroy the nest. Keeping in mind the danger of the dog being stung it would have to be kept on a lead while the trainer kept a close look-out for any wasp activity to prevent the dog getting too near.

    I know dogs are good at tracking such things kiwis in the wild and drugs in airports, so could this idea be feasible or is there a flaw in it? I know that garlic is a very common smell around homes, but maybe an alternative type of smell could be used in the water? I read lately about some new wasp poison being tested in Nelson that has one flaw which is that the nest is not destroyed and the following season an emptied nest can be found and repopulated by new wasps, but that might have a more unique smell and the dog would then could also be tracking dead wasps lowering the danger to it.

    Also does the garlic-water versus aphids idea work or is it just a wives tale?

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  • #46980


    I wish Asian Paper wasps would be eradicated…they are most aggressive wasps that stinging people that walk by where nests are…I had seen nests under outdoor window sills and in small trees in retirement buildings, no wonder poor aged people are common targets for Asian Paper wasps to sting….Not fair.
    In Asian Paper wasps’s native countries, they had so many predators from insects to monkeys and large reptiles, so these Asian Paper wasps had became the most aggressive Paper wasps and any humen walk near nests, are stung by wasps.
    Think about defendless aged people who cannot run fast and cannot avoid get stung by wasps.
    If Asian Paper wasps are allowed to increase their numbers and roaming over NZ, we will have no caterpillars of NZ butterflies, and Monarch butterflies and Red Admiral butterflies will be extinct, at same time the hospitals will be overrun with sick aged people that were stung by Asian Paper wasps.



    A dog could certainly be trained to track a nest but as you mentioned you would have to watch it getting stung when it found the nest. Years ago a dog on mine stumbled across a german wasp nest and it was horrible – she came running back into the house with about 20 wasps on her all repeatedly stinging her. After a rushed trip to the vets and a dose of antihistamine she came out relatively unscathed but I’m sure the whole experience was very unpleasant for her.



    Interesting idea, Jarad. I am sure it would work… after all it’s how the wasps find caterpillars – from their smell.

    I guess it takes so much money to train a detection dog that those who would be able to do it would think it a low priority exercise…

    Not sure if the garlic water works. I haven’t found any great formula. We want to grow lots of swan plants to have lots of caterpillars, but of course the “lots of swan plants” to aphids spells PARADISE.

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