Vespula germanica (F.) is a social vespid that has invaded many parts of the world, including Argentina. This wasp usually becomes a pest, affecting several economic activities. It also may impact the host community through predation or competition. The purpose of our study was to field test toxic baiting for reduction of wasp abundance. Wasps were poisoned with 0.1% fipronil mixed with raw minced beef in two beech forest sites on 20 February 2000 in northwestern Patagonia. All nests (46) within the two 6-ha sites with poisoned bait stations were killed, whereas Malaise traps in those sites captured 81.1% fewer wasps at the end of the season than traps in the two control sites. The average reduction of forager wasps on nontoxic baits was 87%. Fipronil was very effective in controlling wasp numbers, although there are limitations to the method, especially concerning conservation purposes. Toxic baiting can be useful in controlling wasp numbers in honey bee hive yards, farms, and parks.
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Vol. 94 • No. 4