Numbers of creepy crawlies are "exploding" in Tauranga as the hot weather helps insects thrive.

Pest control businesses across the region are dealing with high numbers of wasps, ants, cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes and even fleas.

Paul Corkin, owner of Resolvit, said January had been "particularly busy" with his phone "ringing off the hook".

Extended periods of sweltering heat has been bringing extra insect activity to the area.


Corkin said ants had been flourishing in the heat, along with a "horrible" number of flies.

However, fleas and wasps were causing the biggest fuss, he said.

Owner of Bugs or Us, Duncan Kerr, said his staff had been dealing with upwards of six wasp nests a day, specifically German and European wasps that live in colonies of up to 5000 wasps per nest and have multiple sting capacities.

"These wasps can sting a person as many times as they like, but they can also warn others of danger, meaning a person can find themselves in a bit of trouble if swarmed."

Kerr said an unusually large amount of mosquitoes had been in and around the area - particularly in houses surrounded by foliage.

Michael Locke, owner of Pest Control Bay Of Plenty, said the hot temperatures had created a bit of a "perfect storm" for houses to be inundated with a number of different bugs.

"The humidity has triggered a wave of flies and with the spiders cottoning on to that, webbing has become a big problem too."

Locke said he has had a number of calls with people struggling with cockroaches on the floor and ants in the pantry.


But it is not just humans battling the bugs, furry friends are also dealing with their fair share of creepy crawlies.

Tony Outswick from Tauranga Vets said flea numbers are "exploding" at the moment.

Fleas thrive in hot and humid conditions, with an unusually large number of eggs making it all the way to adulthood this season.

Dogs, cats and even rabbits were among the affected, he said.

People treating their pets for fleas were having trouble keeping them off as the hot weather allowed flea populations to continue to grow and be replaced in the environment all the time.

Outswick suggested that people consult their local vet to find an effective way to keep the fleas off.

People have also been taking bug management into their own hands.

Grocery buyer from New World Brookfield, Jane Nicholls, said sales in items like bug spray and bug bombs have almost doubled in the last six weeks.

Supermarkets do often stock up with items of that nature over the warmer months, she said.

Dr Steve Pawson, the research leader of entomology at Scion, said the influx was not surprising as insects were cold-blooded and therefore more active in the warmer months.

Insects relied on their environment to keep warm, so when the temperatures were cooler, they were less likely to move as it would use important energy stores, he said.

Warm weather also highly speeds up the development of many insects, often creating a higher number of generations - resulting in increased insect populations.

How to deal with a wasp nest in your garden:

- If you come across wasps, stay calm. Put food down and quietly move away.

- Wasps are unlikely to chase you unless you have disturbed a nest. Be wary of where you put your hands and feet and what you brush against.

- Wasps are attracted to dark colours, particularly blue.

German and common wasp nests:

- Look for flight paths at dawn or dusk on warm, sunny days when large numbers of wasps will be leaving or returning to the nest. Place a dessert spoon of insecticide at the nest entrance after dark.

- Wasp control is best done at night or twilight on cool days.

Asian and Australian paper wasps

- Spray the nest with fly spray. The nest can then be removed by placing a bag underneath it, pulling it up over the nest and clipping the nest off into the bag. Seal and dispose of it in the rubbish or burn it.

- Alternatively, arrange for a local commercial pest control contractor to fumigate the nests.

Source: Waikato Regional Council

Weekend Forecast: Tauranga


Morning cloud clearing to fine. 25C, cooling to a comfortable 17C in the evening.

Saturday: Partly cloudy but a warm day getting up to 27C, down to 16C at night.

Sunday: A fine 24C, down to 16C in the evening.

Source: Metservice