"Wasps all over the place, wasps galore."
Those were Total Insect Control owner Rhys Wolfgram's quick words before he drove off to his next pest eradication job this week.
"I am getting calls coming in every hour about them," he said. And he's not alone.
The heatwave which has had locals flocking to the lakes all week has also seen creepy crawlies in the city thrive.
Bay Pest Services owner operator Chris Brunel told the Rotorua Daily Post he'd seen more wasp nests this summer than any other in his 28 years in Rotorua.
"There's been a notable surge since the start of December. We don't normally start to get rid of them until January when the nests tend to emerge."
He said sometimes the nests were flooded out by rain in spring or summer, but that did not appear to be the case this time.
"It's dangerous for people to try to get rid of nests themselves, they need someone who knows what they're doing. We have been to a few jobs where people have tried to do it themselves first and got stung."
Cantabria Home and Hospital assistant facility manager Polly Delfim said staff had come across a wasp nest in the past fortnight while doing regular gardening and maintenance checks.
"We had it successfully removed. We have to be extra vigilant especially when the residents want to be outside enjoying the warm weather."
Rotorua Pest Control operator Neil Olive said spider infestations had also been a widespread problem this summer.
"There's no one particular species that's the main offender, I am seeing all sorts."
Positive Pest Control owner and operator Murray Avery said he travelled to Murupara on Thursday to eradicate spiders at a property.
"They'd been crawling across the sensor and setting off the fire alarms."
He said he'd been busy removing wasp nests around Lake Tarawera and Rotorua.
Avery was also managing climbing demand for heat treatment services to remove bed bugs.
"With all the tourists being here in the summer season, that brings them out. In the winter time when fewer people are in the accommodation, the bugs go to sleep.
"They can sleep for up to 12 months in the nooks and crannies, without biting, mostly in the head of the bed. When visitors return they come back out in summer."
He said spraying bed bugs could take up to five weeks, but heat treatments were more expensive because they only took 24 hours, allowing rooms to be reopened quicker.
Avery said even seafarers were calling upon his services.
"We are starting to see more yachts at Mt Maunganui coming in from overseas needing bed bugs cleared up."
Wasps in New Zealand
- German and common wasps are a pest of urban, rural, and natural ecosystems, and upset the ecological balance
- New Zealand has the highest densities of these wasps in the world
- In beech forest with honeydew, the biomass of social wasps is greater than that of all the native birds.
- Wasps destroy or seriously damage 8 to 9 per cent of honeybee hives in New Zealand each year
Source: Landcare Research