An invasive wasp species has descended on Nowra, posing a threat to butterflies – Australia’s most crucial pollinators aside from bees.
Nowra beekeeper Ron Witz recently discovered a newly-built home on Journal Street, Nowra, was housing two large colonies of Chinese paper wasps.
The baby larva start on nectar from flowers and graduate to grubs, feeding off native caterpillars which would otherwise transform into butterflies, and pollinate flowers.
Mr Witz said he had no choice but to eradicate the wasps on his neighbour’s home with pest control spray purchased at a local hardware store.
“By the time council addresses it, you could have 6000 of them swarming around,” he said.
Mr Witz has acted upon advice from Dr Michael Hindmarsh from Gerringong, who has researched the species extensively, and has one recommendation for those who happen upon a colony of Chinese paper wasps.
The advice – destroy immediately.
“They will even attack bees,” Mr Witz said.
The discovery of the invasive species in Nowra comes just months after original sightings of the wasp in Gerringong.
Mr Witz has “no doubt” there are more colonies of Chinese paper wasps in town.
“The size of this colony is phenomenal,” Mr Witz said.
“[Once the nest has been fumigated] the new larva are likely to migrate to new buildings and start again.”