Wasp menace Making Outdoors Hell
The high population of wasps in the outdoors is making outdoor recreation outings a horror story says a noted outdoorsman and leader of the new Outdoors Party.
“Ask any hunter, fisherman or tamper what it is like in our beautiful beech forest in March/ April and they immediately will tell you horror stories about wasps,” he said. “They will tell you cannot sit down anywhere without being attacked.”
Many people allergic to wasp stings, carry self injecting Epipens because they know inevitably they will get stung.
“In some places wasp nests are every 100 metres or less and to push through dense undergrowth becomes a wasp-sting suicide”.
Alan Simmons said fishermen and hunters were particularly vulnerable as the wasps homed in on the fish or carcass.
“Land a fish or shoot a deer and the race is on between you and the wasps who will fight you for the flesh, carving off small chunks and flying them back to the nests.”
Anything that gets in their way was attacked including humans and retreat became the only option. As a consequence many people were forsaking a visit to forested areas because of the prevalence of wasps. He questioned the impact on other wildlife in forests such as birds..
“If it is bad for humans imagine the impact it must be having on the forest fauna, the birds and insects that rely on honey dew for substance and the numbers that must be stung to death by the wasps in their hunt for protein.”
He said it was not uncommon to see wasps carving up a large stick insect or a dead bird so it was conceivable wasps were destroying much indigenous wildlife. He called on the Department of Conservation to take action against the wasp plague.
“The Outdoors Party believes it is now time for DoC to attack the wasps with all the vigour they have put into opossums.The means to rid large areas of wasps is now available and DOC needs to be planning for next wasp season. Outdoors people need to feel confident that they can go into the mountains with having to carry an Epipen or a box of antihistamines. Peoples lives could be at risk and help is a long way off.”
Alan Simmons said the wasp problem was beyond forest and national parks and was also present on back country farms, around school playgrounds and in communities in general. They continued to increase in amazing numbers to such an extent the noise of wasps in the forest can drum out any other sound.
“It is quite horrific,” said Alan Simmons.
Not only was the honey dew fuelling them but with a warming climate and the giant willow aphid also providing a huge food source the wasp plague would be the death of many birds and insects that rely of honey dew. The outdoors party called on DOC to urgently develop a comprehensive plan to deal with wasps and to begin a fight back this coming wasp season.
“Instead of wasting millions on imagined pest problems and dosing public lands with damaging 1080, DOC should be addressing a real pest in wasps. Wasps are a public health issue as well as threat to our biodiversity,” he said.