Wasps hanging on in warm weather

NATASHA THYNE
Last updated 05:00 21/03/2014
timaru dave curry wasps
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ

WASPS BE-GONE: Pest controller David Curry exterminates a wasp nest.

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Wasps are showing staying power, with nests being found in South Canterbury later than usual because of warmer weather.

Although Julian Blacker of Insect and Weed Technologies said he had treated more wasps in past years, wasp season was extended this year.

The lack of a harsh winter has meant nests are still around from last year, causing them to become bigger this year.

Southern Spiders and Pest Control exterminator Barry Keates said a standard wasp nest was the size of a rugby ball.

The largest one he has found so far was around the size of a cardboard box.

At this time of year, wasps were preparing to line their nests for winter, said Craig Arras of Craig's Pest Solutions.

He said nests could get big "fairly quickly" if they went unnoticed.

The Exterminator David Curry said that, in warm weather, wasps became more active. On a hot day, he would treat between three to four nests because the wasps were more noticeable.

Mr Curry said that, when wasps became angry, they could be very savage, as seen when a Taumarunui sheep farmer w as attacked by more than 100 wasps earlier in the week.

In 2013, 14 insect-bite and sting-related claims were reported to ACC.

There has been an increase of the number of bite and sting claims in the past five years.

In 2009 there were only seven reported, 12 in 2010, with a spike of 18 in 2011.

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- The Timaru Herald

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