Summer is here in the garden, and with it a lot of great things, and a few that really can ruin a summer day. Among them, wasps. Nothing will haul the best backyard bbq to a halt faster than a football hitting a wasp nest, sending every human on the block running for the indoors. The best way to prevent wasp stings and the nuisance that they cause is to take preventative action in controlling them. We did some research and found out some good information to help you create DIY wasp solutions for your garden. As usual, we try to use the least amount of insecticides first, preferring to use natural methods of control. But when it comes to wasps, sometimes you just have to get serious. We won’t judge, promise. In any case, we have some tips, and a variety of solutions to choose from.
Wasp Control Tips
- First, wasps aren’t inherently bad. Like bees, they pollinate and contribute to our environment in a positive way. As long as they are FAR away from people, that is. Wasps are bad around people, simple as that. They are aggressive, and many people are allergic to their stings. And anyone stung multiple times can need medical attention. So wasps need to be controlled in the garden.
- Bees are not wasps. Bees also sting, but rarely. They are not aggressive unless provoked, and our gardens would be nothing without them. I regularly garden in among bees, and have not been stung in 30 years. (Knock on wood!) Know the difference, and don’t kill bees. Period. The photo below is a bee, compare it to the one above and you will see distinct differences.
- Eliminating wasp nests before they get large is the key to control. Start looking in the spring, and keep looking every few days. They love horizontal surfaces, usually under something. Roof eaves, bbq’s, and even the underside of benches are prime spots.
- Late summer wasps and yellow jackets get more aggressive around food, and you may have to take further steps even if you have no active nests in your yard. Traps can be effective in keeping the numbers under control. Remember, place the trap AWAY from where you gather, you don’t want to lure them right into your midst! A good bait recipe is one cup of vinegar, and 4 tablespoons each salt and sugar…seems to attract more wasps and few beneficial bees.
Wasp Control DIY
Gina at Kleinworth & Co. has the prettiest DIY wasp trap I’ve ever seen! Made from a recycled plastic creamer bottle, the tutorial is easy to follow. And you don’t see the dead wasps either! Love it!
From ‘Calgary Garden Coach’, this idea is a little bit of pure genius. Make fake wasp nests from paper bags, and hang them in your eaves where wasps like to nest. Apparently, wasps don’t like to build nests near other wasp nests, so they leave the area alone. Check out his wasp control tip.
This DIY soda bottle wasp trap is the most repined one on Pinterest, but I tracked down the original blogger… ‘Prairie Story’ tells you step by step how to make this easy trap. One tip I’ve picked up in my research though…if you add vinegar to your bait, it won’t attract as many bees…remember, the bees are not our target!
If you need a little clarification on that soda bottle trap, ‘Casa Sugar’ has a graphic that breaks it down pretty well. Apparently, this can also be used for flies.
From ‘Garden Therapy’ (if you haven’t been to her site, go!) this simple DIY wasp trap has a little different way of going about it, but what I like about it is that she made is attractive. Make it in 15 minutes!
P. Allen Smith (the garden expert!) has a great video on YouTube on how to repel wasps with simple, harmless ingredients…one being simple peppermint oil. (Not mint oil, must be peppermint!)
From ‘Warsztat Mamy’, this easy and natural solution should repel wasps from the picnic table!
And always remember the old standby… aerosol hairspray will drop any bug in it’s tracks! And yes, we do use insecticide based wasp spray in our yard when we need to… Enjoy that garden, wasp free!Image Credits: Kleinworth and Co, Calgary Garden Coach, Prairie Story, Casa Sugar, Garden Therapy, You Tube