Wasps are infamous for ruining patio season. Like many homeowners, you may have set up your backyard for lovely gatherings, only for them to be rudely interrupted by wasps. Wasps are everywhere in the summer, and they will build their nests wherever they can find food. They will fly up to your sugary drinks and sneak a few bites off your plate. And, if you get too close, they may bite! Thankfully, there are a few easy tricks you can use to keep wasps off your property. The following article lists what you can do to prepare for wasp season.
Keep Food Away
Wasps are omnivores that like sweet and fatty foods. While it depends on the species, most wasps live on a diet of insects, nectar, and rotting fruit. These are scavengers that will forage half a mile away from their nests every day. They have an excellent sense of smell and will visit your property on a regular basis if they know there is food available.
What is perhaps the most effective way to keep wasps off your property is to eliminate their sources of food. If you can, store garbage cans and recycling bins in a shed or garage until collection day. Hose them down every few months or so to remove the smell of food. Garbage cans should have securely fitted lids. Always clean up after a meal outside as well. Bring your dirty dishes indoors as soon as you are done eating and clean the barbecue after each use.
Block Points of Entry
Wasps usually build their nests in the spring and expand them throughout the summertime. In Canada and the northern US, where it gets cold, nests do not make through the winter. Most wasps build grey, papery nests above ground, on overhangs such as tree branches, soffits, gazebos, sheds, and attics. Anywhere there is a gap on the exterior of the home, they may attach a nest. In some cases, wasps will build a nest underground.
You can stop wasps from nesting on your property by sealing the cracks you find in your window frames, door frames, siding, and soffits. Using a silicone caulking or expanding foam, seal every gap you find. Check that there is no crevice between the soffits and the outer walls of the home. You can also block weep vents with metal covers, which you can find in hardware stores or online. Fill any holes you find in the ground and keep the soil moist to prevent an infestation underground.
Set Traps and Decoys
Wasp traps are excellent for nest prevention. The wasps that come exploring in your yard will be attracted to the trap’s bait and get stuck inside. You can make a wasp trap by cutting a large soda bottle in half, then filling the bottom with sugar water or fruit juice. Add a splash of vinegar to the mix so that you do not attract honeybees. Remove the bottle cap from the top, then invert that side of the bottle into the bottom to create a funnel. Set the trap wherever you do not want to see wasps.
Though they are not as effective as traps, decoys help prevent the formation of nests by visually deterring wasps. Decoys look like nests and can be hung anywhere a real nest may appear, like a tree branch or edge of the roof. Hang one or two near areas of wasp activity. You can purchase decoy nests in stores that sell pest control products.
Plant Herbs and Flowers
Believe it or not, there are some plants out there that wasps avoid. Wasps have been known to dislike the smell of mint, basil, wormwood, thyme, and citronella. They also steer clear of marigolds, geraniums, and pennyroyal flowers. Plant these around the garden and deck to keep wasps away.
There is also some anecdotal evidence that suggests that wasps are deterred by the smell of essential oils. Mix a few drops of clove, geranium, and citronella oils together in a spray bottle, then pour a few cups of water and a drop of dish soap into the mix. Shake the bottle and spray areas of wasp activity. The smell will help stop the insects from building nests.
Hire an Exterminator
Hiring an exterminator is a sure-fire way to keep wasps off your property. Professionals can find where the pests are coming from and remove their nests safely. They can also apply a preventative treatment to keep wasps from coming back. The pesticides that professionals use are much more effective than any DIY solution or store-bought product. Exterminators know how to use these products effectively, and they are safe for indoor and outdoor use. These pesticides are also specially formulated for wasps and will not cause any harm to honeybees.
The Exterminators is pest control company that serves the Greater Toronto Area and beyond. With a growing team of experienced professionals, the company provides long-term solutions to all pest and wildlife problems.