New Zealand Insect Guide

General Article


New Zealand is like any part of the world and it has its own collection of insects.  Many of these insects can bother you during the summer and some of them can even harm you.  With this guide you will be better able to identify any insect problem you have on your hands.

African and New Zealand Praying Mantis

Mantis are stick like bugs that look very unusual and you are probably familiar with them.  You might think that these little creatures should be removed from your yard but they are actually pest eaters.  As mantis grow up they start to eat crickets, beetles, and other insects of that size.


Most people know cockroaches and know how hard they are to kill.  These pesky pests will eat your food and spread disease if they are not eradicated from your property.  Cockroaches scurry around and love dark places.  Commonly roaches will start to appear when food has been left behind or there is a dead animal.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs have been around for a while but were recently brought to light when a wave of infestations spread around the world.  Like the name implies, bed bugs can be found on beds as well as other cushions.  Each bug is tiny and will feed off your blood and the blood of your animals.  Diseases and irritation can be spread by these creatures.


Animals are the biggest carrier of fleas but once they have them, they will quickly spread them to humans.  A flea infestation should be stopped as soon as possible to prevent it from getting out of hand.  Fleas won’t live for long off a human but can be transmitted to others.


There are multiple species of flies that can be found in New Zealand.  Gadflies are one type and they bite animals and can spread disease.  The Queensland Fruit Fly is another one, these eat fruit and devastate crops instead.

Harlequin Ladybird

Ladybirds are very cute and many kids collect them but you shouldn’t encourage it.  Ladybirds are pests.  The Harlequin Ladybird is an invasive species of ladybird that has been introduced to New Zealand.  While the species likely can’t be eradicated from the whole country, you should keep them away from your yard.


Mosquitos are a problem around the world and are found in damp areas.  If you have standing water of any significant size, they will be attracted.  Certain types of mosquitos are more likely to carry disease than others, but all should be treated as if they can harm you.

Snails and Slugs

Snails and slugs leave behind a wake of destruction in addition to their slimy path.  You will find that both snails and slugs will eat parts of your garden and can damage whole plants.  These insects are considered to be amongst the most bothersome of all pests.


Ticks live in tall grass and can cause a number of health problems.  Not only can they affect humans, but they can affect animals too.  Any time that you go in tall grass in a tick infested area you should inspect yourself for ticks.  A tick will look like an unusual bump on the skin.


Traditionally, wasps aren’t from the New Zealand area.  They were introduced to the area by the airplane and boat.  These pests live in hives and will attack anyone they deem to be a threat.  Wasps eat local plants and can take the food away from native animals.  Unlike bees, wasps can sting multiple times but many people are still allergic to them.

As you can see there are a number of insects in New Zealand.  The majority of the ones on this list are pests that can harm animals, humans, or food.  Keep an eye out for these pests on your property during the summer.

Should you happen to spot one of these pests on your property you need to contact a pest control specialist.  Pests that are given time to live on your property will grow and attract more pests.  Stopping the problem early, prevents you from having a bigger situation on your hands.