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Hot Qs answered here

Got a question?

It might be covered in our hot topics list below or you can ask a pest management question by emailing our Biosecurity team



Other animals

Weeds (pest plants)

How are pests managed in the Bay of Plenty? Check out the Regional Pest Management Plan.

Pests on council-owned reserves and land

I’m concerned about pests or weeds in a City or District council reserve near me; who should I contact?

Contact the relevant City or District council and lodge a Service Request. City and district councils are responsible for dealing with pests on their own land and reserves. This may include beaches – to support Coast Care, scroll down the page.

Tauranga City Council: 07 577 7000

Kawerau District Council: 07 306 9009

Opotiki District Council: 07 315 3030

Rotorua Lakes Council (Rotorua District Council): 07 348 4199

Taupo District Council: 07 376 0899 or 0800 ASK TDC

Western Bay of Plenty District Council: 07 571 8008 or 0800 926 732

Whakatane District Council: 07 306 0500

Argentine ants

Argentine ants are a nuisance pest worldwide, known for swarming over exposed food, getting into screw-top jars and making outdoor activities unpleasant by crawling over people.

Argentine ants have become well established in the Bay of Plenty. Common ant sprays and baits are often ineffective at controlling them, and can cause the nests to split and make your infestation worse.

See our factsheet about Argentine ants in the Bay of Plenty. Ministry for Primary Industries website also has tips for controlling Argentine ants on their web page.

Bee swarms

There’s a bee swarm on my property – what should I do?

Approach the swarm with caution. Check that they are honey bees, which are ORANGE and black, and not wasps, which are YELLOW and black.

Don’t panic. Swarming bees are not usually aggressive and will usually fly away in a day or two. If they are not causing a nuisance, leave them to move on their own.

Contact a local beekeeper. They can try to collect the swarm for you, locate beekeepers in your area here. The beekeeper will want to know:

  • When the swarm arrived?
  • How big it is – soccer ball size?
  • Where it is – on a fence, up a tree etc.?

If the bee swarm is within 5 km of the Port of Tauranga, it is important to have it collected as soon as possible. Though unlikely, foreign bees can arrive in shipping containers and may escape, potentially introducing new pests and diseases to New Zealand.


The wasps are terrible at our place – how can we get rid of them?

Asian Paper Wasps

Control varies depending on which type of wasp is present. To help identify which wasp you have, check out our wasp fact sheet. Cautiously check for nests and keep people away from any that you find.

  • If the nest is at ground level or in a garden bank, it is most likely a German wasp or common wasp nest.
  • If the nest is attached to a wooden fence or cladding, or found under decking, it is most likely a paper wasp nest.

Ask your neighbours to check their property for wasp nests at the same time. If they find any, ask them to deal with the wasps straight away.

If the wasp nest is on City or District council land, contact the relevant council office and ask for the nest to be controlled as soon as possible. Be sure to provide accurate details of exactly where the nest is when you lodge a Service Request.

German wasp and common wasp nests

For your safety, we recommend hiring a local professional pest controller to get rid of the nests (look for pest controllers listed in your local Yellow Pages). Alternatively, wasp control products are available at hardware stores, garden centres and supermarkets.

Paper wasps

Thoroughly spray paper wasp nests with a long blast of aerosol fly spray. This is best done in the evening, when the nest is full. After spraying the nest, be sure to step quickly out of the way as the wasps will drop to the ground and take several minutes to die. They will still sting during this time.

Poisonous plants or animals

If you would like information about a poisonous plant or animal (also household chemicals), contact the New Zealand National Poisons Centre website or ring 0800 POISON. For urgent medical assistance, ring 111 or see your doctor.

Stray / unowned cats

What can I do about stray cats?

The Regional Council is providing financial support for the Bay of Plenty Community Cat Project, which is being coordinated by the Rotorua SPCA and ARRC Wildlife Trust.

The Aim of the BOP Community Cat Project

  1. Prevent unnecessary predation on our wildlife by cats
  2. Improve cat welfare
  3. Support a frustrated public with an important community service

For more information about this project, or help dealing with un-owned cats in an urban setting, see

Feral cats

The Regional Pest Management Plan for the Bay of Plenty defines Feral or Wild cats as “Any cat that is living without direct or indirect (sheltering under buildings, scavenging food) assistance from humans”.

The Regional Council will provide advice and support where feral cat control is part of the an integrated pest control programme (e.g. through Biodiversity Management Plans). Contact your local Land Management Officer to find out more about these programmes

Check out our Feral cats fact sheet


We have a pukeko problem - what can we do?

Fish & Game New Zealand is the organisation that manages game birds such as the pukeko. Pukeko may be hunted within the limitations of the licenced shooting season for your region. Check here for the hunting regulations for the Eastern Region.

Hunting pukeko outside of the shooting season is strictly prohibited. If you need help to control pukeko on your property outside the shooting season, contact Eastern Fish & Game for advice.

Telephone: (07) 357 5501



Chinese Privet

How do we get rid of privet?

Two species of privet can be found in the Bay of Plenty. Landowners with privet are strongly encouraged to control it, but are not required to. The Regional Council is generally unable to provide practical assistance but can give useful advice. Several options are available, including manual removal of seedlings, treatment with herbicide (conditions apply), cutting of mature trees and swabbing the remaining stumps.

Check out our privet fact sheet for detailed information.


Is velvetleaf present in the Bay of Plenty?

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is asking farmers to look out for velvetleaf, a highly invasive weed that has been found in fodder beet crops in North Canterbury and Central Otago. It's been found and removed from one Bay of Plenty farm so far, where an ongoing site management plan is in place to keep it contained.

velvetleafIf you find a suspected velvetleaf plant. please photograph it, mark its location so we can easily find it again and call MPI immediately on 0800 80 99 66. Quick reporting gives us the best chance of dealing with it.

It's a broad-leafed weed that grows to between 1m and 2.5m. It has buttery-yellow flowers over summer and autumn. Leaves are heart shaped and velvety to touch.

Velvetleaf is already present in the Waikato where it is well managed by the Waikato Regional Council. Please help us keep it out of Bay of Plenty by taking care to screen and clean any stock, machinery or feed before you bring it onto your farm from outside the region.

See more velvetleaf information on the MPI website .

Game birds

What can we do about game birds, such as ducks and geese, causing a nuisance on our property?

Hunting game birds outside of the shooting season is strictly prohibited. If you need help to control game birds on your property outside the shooting season, contact Eastern Fish & Game for advice. Check here for the hunting regulations for the Eastern Region.

Telephone:(07) 357 5501


Cinnabar Moth CaterpillarsWhat bug is that?

I’ve found an unusual bug - how can I find out what it is?

Although Regional Council staff are not experts in this field, we will try to help. For comprehensive identification resources for bugs, insects and invertebrates, try the Landcare Research website.

Report exotic pests/diseases

Contact the Ministry for Primary Industries 0800 80 99 66

Marine pests

Find out about marine pests in the Bay of Plenty (and New Zealand), what to look out for and how to report them.

We need your eyes and ears!

Coast Care / Estuary Care / Land Care

I would like to find out about community partnerships that help pest control, replanting or maintaining areas of coast / estuary or land

Check out Sustainable Communities – Care Group page

Funding options

I would like to find out if there if there is any assistance or support for an environmental project on my land (or other land near to me)

Check out Sustainable Communites – Funding and Awards