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
Abstract: 

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.