New-Zealand is known for its gorgeous nature and landscapes. Attracting tourists from all over the world to experience its environmental magnificence. Despite all the beauty, you will also encounter pests when hiking in New Zealand. Outdoor pests are a serious problem in New Zealand, threatening the original flora and fauna. Many measures are taken for pest control in New Zealand and it is of utmost importance not to interfere with the measures taken when tramping around the lush landscapes. Pests appear in many different ways, from mammals to insects and plants. Let’s dive a little deeper into the matter and protect the flora and fauna of New Zealand together.
Outdoor pests like possums, rats, and stoats are mammals introduced to New Zealand when colonists arrived. There were no land mammals under New Zealand’s native species. The native species were easy targets for these predators. Native birds are particularly threatened in their existence. Eggs and chicks are eaten, mature birds are attacked as well.
Rock Snot and Fungus
This is a tricky one because they are so hard to spot. One particularly threatening pest is the didymo or rock snot. It can be carried from one freshwater source to the next by humans when it sticks on your hiking gear. After you entered one freshwater source, clear all the obvious debris, spray your gear with biodegradable spray to disinfect, and let it dry before you enter a new freshwater source. It is still not perfect but decreases the risk of spreading didymo considerably. Even one drop of didymo infected water can spread widely into the next area, changing the circumstances and harming the environment.
Right now Kauri trees are in danger from Kauri Dieback. A fungus that kills Kauri trees and seedlings. Because there is no treatment known from this fungus the only thing we can do is to contain the Kauri Dieback, and not let it spread to healthy Kauri trees. Clean footgear before and after entering an area with Kauri trees, stay on the tracks, and stay at least 3 meters away from Kauri trees.
Leave traps and bait alone
We try to keep mammal pests under control by laying traps and bait. Whenever you see a trap stay away from it. No matter if there is no animal, an alive animal, or dead animal inside. Professionals will take care of it in the proper way. You can also encounter bait like peanut butter, chocolate, rabbit meat, or other types of bait. Always leave anything alone that could be the bait to lure animals.
Your own safety
Luckily, there are not many lethal human threats in New Zealand when hiking. Nevertheless, some species should be avoided when possible.
- Some of the most bothersome insects are mosquitos, ticks, bees, and wasps. Some basic measures can help reduce problems with these insects. Wear protective long sleeve cloth, put your pants in your socks, wear a hat, use DEET, and wearing Permethrin treated cloths will all help to protect against these insects.
- Never eat any fruits, seeds, or plants you encounter in the wild in New Zealand. Make sure you inform your children before the hike they are not allowed to eat anything they encounter in nature. Some can be lethal or make you very sick. Some examples are the Black Nightshade berries, Thorn Apple, raw Castor beans, and Jerusalem Cherry.
Always inform yourself at local tourist agencies before you start hiking. Together we can protect the environment and ourselves.