NZ’s most wanted pest – the wasp

Invasive ‘social’ wasps put major pressure on New Zealand’s biodiversity and cost the economy an estimated $130 million every year.

New Zealand has one of the highest concentrations of wasps on the planet, with the invasive common wasp (aka Vespula Vulgaris), the German wasp, and our three species of paper wasp among our most hated introduced pests.

The Royal Society, the Department of Conservation and some local communities are dedicating time, money and energy into putting an end to their predatory behaviour, which affects birds, bats, bees and other insects.

Entomologist and author of The Vulgar Wasp Phil Lester talks to Simon Morton about New Zealand’s problem wasps and the latest ways of keeping them under control, which include insecticides and genetic manipulation.

NZ’s most wanted pest – the wasp
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