“Wasps are a massive annoyance and their multiple stings can cause a lifetime effect of making young people reluctant to return to forests and parks.”
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Dr Erik van Eyndhoven said that reducing wasp abundance would produce major flow on benefits to pastoral farming and horticulture through increased bee pollination services.
“This study shows it makes economic sense, as well as environmental sense, to invest in research to control wasps,” he said.
“MPI is working with DOC to encourage the science community, and their funders, to further explore a range of tools needed to control wasps in the long term,” Dr van Eyndhoven said. The MPI Sustainable Farming Fund has recently supported investigations into the bio control potential of a new mite discovered in wasp nests. And DOC has been actively working on a programme to better control wasps and has been piloting a targeted bait station method on conservation land.
An evaluation of the cost of pest wasps (Vespula species) in New Zealand, by the Sapere Research Group, was jointly funded by the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for Primary Industries.