Whether you’re enjoying gardening, a family barbecue, or just watching children as they play in the backyard, having to be on the alert for wasps can spoil your mood. Yes, wasps are important pollinators, but when they become a nuisance, it’s time to get control of them.
If you are being bothered by hornets and yellow-jackets, both of which are considered wasps, try the steps below.
Step 1 - Keep a Lid on Outdoor Foods
When stored out of doors during summer months when wasps are active, keep dog or cat food, garbage cans, etc., covered with lids. Or, better yet, keep them indoors.
Step 2 - Keep Protein Foods Indoors
Yellowjackets in particular are attracted to foods high in protein, so keep meat you plan to barbecue covered, or keep it indoors until you're ready to put it on the grill.
Step 3 - Keep Your Yard Sugar-Free
Wasps love sugar – particularly refined sugar. You’ve probably noticed that if you are out of doors, either in your yard or at a park having a picnic, you will often find several wasps hovering around your soda.
Step 4 - Keep Hummingbird Feeders out of your Yard.
Another main attraction for wasps is the sweet nectars found in hummingbird feeders, so keep your hummingbird feeders away from areas where you, your family, and your friends congregate.
Step 5 - Use a Citrus Spray
Use citrus sprays to keep wasps at a distance while you are gardening or working in the yard.
Step 6 - Use a Wasp Trap
Purchase from your local hardware store a mechanical wasp trap and hang it from an eave of your house or a tree located some distance from areas frequented by your family or guests. Follow the manufacturer’s directions before using this kind of trap.
Step 7 - Make Your Own Trap
With just a few materials, you can make your own wasp trap. Use a sharp knife to cut off the top third of an empty 2-liter soda bottle. Turn the top section upside down and place it in the bottom section of the bottle. With duct tape or staples, secure the two sections together. Then, fill the bottle with soda or a sweet juice that will attract wasps. Wasps that crawl into the conical shape will become confused and unable to find their way out.
To attract the wasps to the trap’s scent, merely trickle some juice around the outside of the bottle. Hang the trap, using a wire or string, on a tree or eave. Alternatively, you can place the bottle trap on a tree stump or some other surface in your yard.
After a few days, you will want to clean out the trap and refill it with soda or juice. Or, if you think your wasps are gone, cover the trap with a plastic bag and dispose of it in the garbage.