New Zealand Journal of Ecology (2004) 28(2): 279-282

Can trapping control Asian paper wasp (Polistes chinensis antennalis) populations?

Short Communication
Richard J. Toft *
Richard J. Harris  
  1. Landcare Research, Private Bag 6, Nelson, New Zealand
*  Corresponding author

Asian paper wasps reach very high densities in some areas of the far north of the North Island, and concerns about their impact on native biota have led to a search for potential control methods. We simulated the effects of kill-trapping adults by manually removing either 50% or 75% of adults from nests and comparing subsequent counts of adults and capped pupal cells with paired untreated nests. Five weeks after treatment, the 50% removal group had an average of c. 29% fewer wasps than the untreated group, while the 75% removal group had c. 34% fewer than the untreated group. The rate of growth of both the 50% and 75% treatment groups after manipulation was similar to the untreated nests. We conclude that trapping is unlikely to be viable as a control tool unless it can be targeted at early-season queens, and that other options are better pursued at this stage.