Jul 082017

As of today, there are over 200 names on our Pestbusters list.  Of course, several of these people have moved away or are not now actively controlling pests on their properties.  We have new supplies of bait and can get traps if required with a few days’ notice. Russell and I have just updated the pins on the noticeboard and the Otatara map looks quite impressive, but there are many areas with few pins – please talk to your neighbours and get them on board.

However, if you are moving or are contemplating doing so, please let the new owners know about Pestbusters, and maybe leave the bait stations etc that you have on the property for them. We are all fighting the introduced pests, it is not a slur on the property owner, and we are definitely helping the birds!

Remember the bait you purchase here is subsidised by the ES and ICC cover the cost of bait for rats in the reserves around Otatara, so it will save you money by belonging to our group. Now is the time to get into the little devils, while numbers are low and before they have a chance to get breeding in the Spring.

Winter 2015 supplies

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May 042015

It is some time since I posted on the site but I have some good news.  There were many more juvenile bellbirds and tuis around Otatara this past Summer, thanks to good work from a minority of our residents.  There are a few more people trapping or using bait stations to control mainly rats, and a few possums, but there are also people who have signed up a few years ago, and not been back for supplies.  These people are not really pestbusters!

Dave has been busy updating the flags and you should be able to spot your property on the Pestbusters map.  Also look up www.predatorfreenz.org and see Otatara on the map. We are in the competition.

You all need to talk to your neighbours and encourage them to also trap/poison so that you are not carrying all the burden.  Rats breed every six weeks and young have to go out and look for areas of their own so reinfestation is bound to occur if your neighbours are not doing their bit as well as you!

This Autumn seems to have brought lots of rats into the roof of Otatara homes.  If this is your problem you need to trap or poison outside the house as you do NOT want dead rats in the ceilings, getting smelly.

We will be away after 9 May but if you need bait or products please phone Dave Simpson, 2130424 or Randall Milne, 2130851 to arrange a time to collect bait etc or order any other products.

There will be family staying in the house and looking after the birds while we are away, but they are not authorised to deal with bait or pest products.

Russell has good supplies of bait if you come visit at 49 Bryson Road before 9 May.

Jun 282014

Just a reminder to all Otatara people of two special nights coming up soon!

The first, is to celebrate 10,000 hours of work at Bushy Point, successful pestbusting, Native Bird rescue and much more with a family night of Piping in and addressing the Haggis, a meal of Haggis, neeps and tatties; BYO dessert to share and BYO drinks and glasses. There will be a short film, plus slide show, tea/coffee and a chat, and assistance where you need it.

Friday, 4 July 2014 – piping starts at 6pm, at the  Otatara Community Hall, Dunns Road. Gold coin donation.

RSVP by Tuesday 1st July to brsmith@callsouth.net.nz or rances@ihug.co.nz

The second evening is for Otatara History and Memories in the Otatara Community Church, Oreti Road at 7.30 pm, Monday, 14 July. Please bring a small plate of food to share for supper.

If you have any old photos, maps, diaries, other memorabilia from early Otatara days please contact Lloyd so he can include it in the evening’s programme. Please name any items so they can be returned to you. Please also contact Lloyd if you need transport for the night.  Phone 2130404 or email esler@southnet.co.nz


Apr 132014

Bird life has been remarkable this year and at our place in particular we get comments from visitors about the bird song.  Thanks for all the good work those of you pest-busting have done! 

A reminder to everyone to come to 49 Bryson Road this week, either Wednesday afternoon or Saturday morning, or by phoning beforehand, to get your supplies of bait for the winter and spring.

We are away on holiday for several weeks from 20 April and don’t want our house-sitter to worry about pest supplies, so if you need any supplies while we are away, please phone Randall= 2130851, Dave Simpson= 2130424 or Dave Whelan = 2130602.   You can then work in with them to pick up supplies.

There are still many properties not represented so we ask for your assistance – please talk to your neighbours to get them into controlling pests on their properties!  This will help your pocket as well. Remember that bait is much cheaper buying through us rather than going to retail shops.

Springtime again

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Oct 142013

As you can tell by the wet weather just now, it is Spring again – the birds are doing their thing and we feel there are more birds around this year, thanks to all those busy Otatara Pestbusters.

But we know there are still many of you who do not think they have rats as they haven’t seen any.  We believe that most properties have some predators, mainly rats and would encourage everyone to speak to your neighbours and get trapping/ poisoning, or both to keep the predators away from our nesting birds.

Wednesday afternoons from 3 to 6pm and Saturday mornings from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm are the times to collect your product from 49 Bryson Road, or phone 2130530 if you can’t make it at those times and arrange a more suitable time for us, and yourself. Prices are much better than retailes and are subsidised by Environment Southland especially for Otatara people.

Oct 142013

The following is an extract from a presentation by Karen Maw who is a second year student at the Southern Institute of Technology, studying Environmental Management.  She is being assisted by Matt Milner, a first year student studying the same course, who is interested in developing a third year project of his own.

Karen states: “My third year research will involve the study of lizards and predators on Tiwai Peninsula and in the Otatara region.  I will be removing the stomach of predators and looking at what they have been eating.  I will then try to locate live prey animals by looking at how long it takes to digest the prey and the possible distance the pest animal may have travelled before being trapped.  I would then put tracking tunnels near the traps to get footprints of ground dwelling animals on ink coated cards.  If there are footprints of the animals I am looking for I would swap the tracking tunnels with Artificial Cover Objects {ACO}S.  These ACOs are made from a roofing material called Onduline, which has the same ridging as corrugated iron except it’s much lighter in weight and easier to move.  The ACOs would need to be left undisturbed for at least two weeks and then I would check them twice at one week intervals and try to get photographs of any small creatures that are on or under them.

“I am seeking the participation of individual property dwellers in the Otatara area who are involved with trapping predators such as possums, ferrets, weasels, stoats, hedgehogs, and rats.  Any participants would need to place the dead animal in a body bag and write the date and the location of the trap on the bag.  The location of the trap is essential for this theory to be tested.

“Lloyd Esler has kindly offered to act as a collection person and has a freezer available for storage of these animals.  He has suggested that smaller animals can be left in his mailbox while larger ones can be left in the porch area out of direct sunlight.  Any animal provided for this study needs to be in reasonable shape, it can be pretty flat or fly-blown however if it is severely decomposed or has substantial fly larvae then the stomach contents could be compromised [no good]. 

“I would require access to the trap site and the surrounding area in order to try and locate any prey animals.  In my research I will only write the coordinates and give the trap site a number.  There will be no names, addresses or other personal details used.  I will ask permission to write about any conversation with participants and they will be able to read anything relevant before it is included in my research paper.  All consent forms will be stored in a safe and at the end of my research all consent forms will be shredded or passed back to the individual participants.

“If you are interested in providing me with pest animals and allowing me access to your property then you may contact me at e-mail: karenmaw743@yahoo.com, or text: 027 2121415. ”

Consent forms are also available at 49 Bryson Road on usual Pestbusters days, Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings.

Jul 222013

Attention all Pestbusters!

Tim Riding has now left Southland and resides in Wellington. Our new ‘man in the office’ [and in the field] is Derek Richards, more young helpful blood to keep us in the picture with ES.

Randall Milne remains his off-sider and frequently delivers bait etc to 49 Bryson Road and Russell is back on board with product available after a phonecall, or Wednesday afternoon/ Saturday morning availability.

We have plenty of bait  available plus a few traps for possums. You may have seen that Russell and May received a Highly Commended Environment Award recently for their work with Otatara Pestbusters. Thanks to Jenny Campbell for the nomination and thanks to all those protecting their bush and sections. 

Peter Simpson is busy looking after the new Otatara South Reserve with DoC funding, and other members of the team are continuing in the other ICC reserves. We hope you will spread the word and get more neighbours on board looking after their own properties to help the birds this Spring.

Jul 032013

The next evening in the Otatara Landcare Group Winter Series is at 49 Bryson Road [Bush Haven], at 7.30 pm on Monday, 8 July 2013. If you’re having trouble with animal pests, this is the evening for you! Come to the downstairs lounge, there’s lots of space.

We’ll start off with a light-hearted pest animals quiz and then hear about how to cope with rats, stoats, possums etc in and around your house; an update on Pestbusters and the work being done at the South Otatara Reserve. There’s a raffle for 2 rat tunnels and supper – all for free!

If you don’t live in Otataa, you and your friends are still most welcome.  Spread the word with your neighbours, bring along a friend too.

Any queries, phone May 2130530 or Sally 2131403.  

May 062013



Hello again Pestbusters. It is some time since I sent out a newsletter, but we have slowly been adding Otatara people to the list and now have over 120 names – however we don’t believe everyone on our list is active, nor is everyone in Otatara who is doing some form of pest control even on the list!  We encourage you to get neighbours and friends in Otatara who are already controlling their properties for pests to get in touch, so that we can include them on the list, and put pins on the map we have on display.

 Looking at our records, some of you have not replaced your initial bait since joining.  Does this mean you are not now actively protecting your property?  If so, please do something about this now.  We also hope you will encourage your neighbours to work with you to help improve the birds’ breeding situation after the winter. 

From Saturday afternoon, 11th May, Russell and May will be on holiday for six weeks and there will be other people at 49 Bryson Road over this period.

 If you require bait or traps during this time please phone Randall on 2130851, or Dave Whelan on 2130602, or Dave Simpson on 2130424 in the evenings, to arrange pickup on Saturday mornings. You will still need to meet them at 49 Bryson Road at a time suitable to them.

Don’t forget to look at our website and email us at bush.haven@kinect.co.nz if you have obvious success, so that this can be included in our records.  We have not had very much feedback over the past year so any results would be welcome.

Remember that rats don’t ever stop breeding.  Over the winter they will eat anything on the forest floor including seeds, which would otherwise help the birds in the springtime when they need the food for their chicks… so we must continue to be vigilant and keep the bad critters’ numbers down!

The last year’s breeding season improved for the birds due partly to the fact that Pestbusters members are still taking care of the ICC reserves. New member Peter Simpson will soon be looking after the Otatara South Reserve once he and other members do the initial setting up of traps and bait stations. If you want to assist with any of these reserves please let us know, you will be very welcome.

 We are still supported by the Invercargill City Council and Environment Southland, and I have attached the pricelist for traps, bait stations, poison etc to this newsletter.

 Remember, the more people participating the better it will be for everyone, cheaper and better results.  There are more tuis and bellbirds around this year

 May Evans

Otatara Pestbusters




Timms equivalent possum kill trap                $13

Possum Master possum kill trap                        $35

DOC 200 stoat trap stainless steel                    $52

DOC 200 stoat double trap set box (S/S)    $150

DOC 200 stoat single trap set box (S/S)         $83.50

OLG tube rat bait stations                                       $ 5.00

Contrac rat poison blocks – small                       $0.30

Contrac rat poison blocks – large                         $4.00

Poison Bait Buckets with bait purchases of $10+   free

Victor rat snap trap                                                         $3.00

Victor mouse snap trap                                               $3 for 2

Trex Rat snap trap                                                            $6

Trex mouse snap trap                                                    $3 

Plastic rat trap tunnel                                                 $10

Remember you could buy DOC 200s or Possum masters between a few neighbours and swap them around between you!

Bait stations really need to stay on each property but are not very expensive.  Rats are everywhere!

Feb 112013

Hi folks, many people have reported more bellbirds and tuis around this summer – perhaps it has something to do with the fact that some people are keeping predators at bay?

However we do need you to spread the word and get your neighbours also protecting the birds and the bush from rats and possums.

Remember to get your supplies from 49 Bryson Road, Wednesday afternoons between 3 and 6pm and most Saturday mornings.  We are not always able to be here but if you need something call us on 2130530 and make other arrangements.