Short- and long-term control of Vespula pensylvanica in Hawaii by fipronil baiting



BACKGROUND: The invasive western yellowjacket wasp, Vespula pensylvanica (Saussure), has significantly impacted the ecological integrity and human welfare of Hawaii. The goals of the present study were (1) to evaluate the immediate and long-term efficacy of a 0.1% fipronil chicken bait on V. pensylvanica populations in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, (2) to quantify gains in efficacy using the attractant heptyl butyrate in the bait stations and (3) to measure the benefits of this approach for minimizing non-target impacts to other arthropods.

RESULTS: The 0.1% fipronil chicken bait reduced the abundance of V. pensylvanica by 95 ± 1.2% during the 3 months following treatment and maintained a population reduction of 60.9 ± 3.1% a year after treatment in the fipronil-treated sites when compared with chicken-only sites. The addition of heptyl butyrate to the bait stations significantly increased V. pensylvanica forager visitation and bait take and significantly reduced the non-target impacts of fipronil baiting.

CONCLUSION: In this study, 0.1% fipronil chicken bait with the addition of heptyl butyrate was found to be an extremely effective large-scale management strategy and provided the first evidence of a wasp suppression program impacting Vepsula populations a year after treatment. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry