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paper waspAsian and Australian paper wasps

Common name: Asian and Australian paper wasp
Botanical name: Polistes chinensis (Asian) and Polistes humilis (Australian)
Management programme: Advisory

Where are they originally from?

Asian paper wasps are from Japan and parts of China and arrived in New Zealand in the late 1970s.

Why are they a pest?

While less aggressive than German and common wasps, they prey on insects and chew weatherboards. They are likely to be impacting on native and introduced invertebrate populations, known to negatively impact monarch populations.

Where are they found?

Limited to Northern New Zealand. They prefer gardens, around farms and in scrub and shrubland.

What do they look like?

  • Smaller than common and German wasps.
  • Asian paper wasps are generally 13-25mm long.
  • Australian paper wasps are slightly smaller, 10-15mm in length.
  • Both species are reddish-brown to amber-brown.
  • Both species have legs which dangle beneath their bodies during flight.
  • Asian paper wasps have yellow and black bodies and tan legs.
  • Australian paper wasps have reddish-brown bodies.

What are the rules?


Council does not enforce the control of advisory species. It is landowner/occupier responsibility to manage these pests. Council may provide advice on how to manage or control advisory species if required.

How do you get rid of them?

Insecticide needs to be strategic and well-coordinated or results will be limited.

Professional pest controllers are recommended.

Wasp nests are sprayed at dusk when the majority of wasps are back at the nest.


CAUTION: When using insecticide please READ THE LABEL thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

 Read more on pest control guidelines and regulations