Testing Time for Wasps

You may have thought they had miraculously disappeared. And I was fooled for a while also. But wasps have returned. After only a few rare wasp sightings in early January, now I am observing a steady increase in wasp activity through the Hawkes Bay.

Now is the time to get prepared. Here's a simple first step that anyone can undertake. It involves testing for wasp feeding activity. It helps determine the best time for applying Vespex and ensuring a successful knock down of wasps- before they reach plague levels.

If you don't have the time or wherewithal to do this, I can carry this out. Just call if you need help or advice.

Testing firstly involves observing wasp numbers. Once they become common, then it's time to test for feeding preference.

Whats common? This is a bit subjective, because for some people one wasp is one too many. But ideally control using Vespex should be timed when wasps are building up in numbers, i.e my rule of thumb is seeing numerous wasps flying about, for me that is anything from 4+ at various points on a property.

Once you have determined levels of wasps are becoming high, then check your kitchen cupboard for a tin of sardines or tuna. Fish cat food will do but make sure any fish used is of the plain variety: preferably canned in water.

Choose a fine day when wasps are active. Wander around your property and set out teaspoons of fish at regular spots around your boundary. Fence posts are ideal.

Then…. just walk away. For an hour. In this time you could do something such as have a cup of tea, read a novel, or bake a cake. Whatever. Then return and check the number of wasps (if any) feeding on the fish bait.

If you find several wasps feeding on the majority of baits, then that confirms wasps are actively feeding on protein. This then is an ideal time to apply Vespex. If you find little or no interest from wasps, then repeat the process in after several days. Sooner or later the feeding pattern of the wasps will change. Wasp feeding preferences depends on what exactly is being demanded in the nest building cycle.

Right now I'm observing wasps actively feeding on protein (meat or fish)- but numbers are still relatively low. I'm picking wasps will ideally be controlled towards the end of February and into March. But this may differ according to wherever you live.

Here's some wasps feeding on non toxic fish test bait . This is the sort of activity you are seeking with setting out test baits:


The main thing is to keep observing numbers, then test for feeding if you can. Then aim to get control done at the correct time.

Individual wasps nests discovered can of course be controlled at any time. But for larger properties with a wide scale wasp infestation problem, application of Vespex in bait stations will be the best way to ensure successful control.