Plan to introduce insects to kill wasps

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The Tasman District Council wants to release two new wasp-killing insects to New Zealand.

Common wasp

Introduced European wasps are a significant problem in New Zealand beech forests – could a gene drive be a way of getting rid of them? Photo: CC BY 2.0 Sid Mosdell / Flickr

It has applied on behalf of a wasp control action group to the Environmental Protection Authority, to release the wasp-nest beetle and a hoverfly.

The introduced insects would combat the invasive wasps that cost the country about $130 million a year in damage and control measures.

Wasps attack honeybees, butterflies, flies and spiders and can be harmful to people – sometimes seriously.

The council says biological control agents are a sustainable option.

Public feedback is being sought until late on Tuesday.

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The wasp-nest beetle Photo: Pinterest

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