New Zealand has some of the highest densities of German and common wasps in the world.

waspNew Zealand has several kinds of native wasps which have evolved here and have never become a nuisance. But five social species of wasps have been accidentally introduced since the 1940s and are classed as pests (German and common wasps, and three species of paper wasp). 

Introduced wasps are a significant pest which harm our native birds and insects, and are a threat to human health and recreation.

The approach to wasp control depends on whether wasps are a nuisance over larger areas of land with several nests or you have one or two wasp nests in an urban area.

Methods of control 


If you search on sunny days, near dawn or dusk, the low light angles will highlight the flight path as wasps enter and leave the nest.

Place a dessert spoonful of insecticide at the nest entrance after dark when the wasps have stopped flying. You can use a puffer bottle for this job. Hardware and garden stores supply a range of insecticides suitable for this method. These include Wasp Killer Dust and Permex Insect Dust, which have permethrin as the active ingredient, and Rentokil Wasp Killer.

Successfully controlling wasps over large areas is now much more likely with the registration of the insecticide Fipronel as a wasp toxin under the trade name of Vespex, Vespex is designed to target both the common wasp and german wasp, but not the paper wasp. Vespex needs to be used by Approved Handlers and used when the wasps seek protein foods as part of their natural life cycles.

Worker wasps flying in and out will spread the powder into the nest and the colony usually dies within a day. If activity continues repeat the treatment until wasp activity ceases.

Follow the safety instructions supplied with the insecticide.

For more information you can check out these useful links:

Legal requirements 

For a list of legal requirements check out the legal requirements page


The information on this website is intended to provide information about pests and pest management in New Zealand. We've made every effort to make sure that the information set out in this website is accurate. If you have an update to the information listed here please contact us.