Saturday, 10 November 2007

Paper Wasp

Generally speaking I don't go round killing things. I do, however, make exceptions and will trap mice when they try and infest my property which they did with very great success in my garden shed in Lewis when I was here last year. They had a real ball. All the wellington boots became nestboxes. The grass seed all disappeared into mice stomachs or into wellington boot stores - a whole box! The mess was indescribable. Well that's probably putting it a bit strongly but my powers of descriptive writing are not good. Probably the most adventurous phrase I've ever used was in my GCE when I managed to get in "stentorian reverberations". But I can think of no way of relating that to mice.

Anyway to get back to not killing things. One of my neighbours (right outside the kitchen window in fact) is a Paper Wasp (identified as such by CJ, of course). Now one of the creatures that I will kill without any compunction is a wasp. A wasp building a nest outside my kitchen window is sure to die. Unless he/she is a Paper Wasp. CJ pointed out that they are not social and don't sting. So he/she continues to live in front of my window, thanks to CJ.


  1. Oops. I should have said that they were not Vespulids if I had realised I was going to be quoted on the web! Vespulids - the only social wasps in Britain - include all the stinging ones we have here. However, strictly speaking the Paper Wasp is a social wasp. This is an Asian Social Wasp (Polistes chinensis). I had assumed it was native to NZ but it isn't - it was introduced in 1979 since when it has risen to pest proportions. Attempts to eradicate it failed but it is still not welcome on the Islands so.... Sorry wasp but I think your future is about to be shortened!

  2. Oh well. It had a reprieve for a few days. One of the problems New Zealand faces is the variety of introduced species in all areas of plant and animal life which have become major problems either by dint of sheer number. Gorse, for example, virtually overran parts of NZ and has had catastrophic spin-off results. There are so many examples. Another Blog posting for the future no doubt.