There are a lot of insects worldwide that strike fear into the hearts of human beings and wasps are one of them. This seems to be particularly true in Ireland since we have so few to choose from. Without intending to do you any harm they can totally ruin your day. The mere sight of one has many people looking over their shoulders for the rest of the day. But, it may surprise you to know that they are useful insects and do their share of the work in maintaining our ecosystem.
Why Are Wasps Good?
You may well ask. Wasps are hunters and scavengers and do not only raid our beehives to feed their own young, they also feed on many other insects in the garden helping to keep their numbers down. If there were more wasps we would have fewer aphids and other pests like midges and flies etc. They also scavenge the dead insects in the garden.
What to do About Wasps
First of all try to avoid them if at all possible… obviously. But if you do have one buzzing around you don’t swipe at it. Generally speaking they will only attack if they feel threatened. They are most likely attracted by your perfume or a sugary drink that you have.
If you find there are wasps continually visiting an area such as your picnic table in your back garden and bothering you and your family, you may have a nest in the area. It is also possible that you have something there that they want. Having such a diverse appetite they may visit your compost heap or rubbish bins and discover that what is on your table is more appetizing. But if they come in large numbers it may be time to call pest control. You do not want to tackle the nest unprotected.
There are many examples of wasp traps on the internet. This young man has some good ideas on that in his video: Best way to kill wasps
Wasp traps can be useful if you are trying to have a BBQ or other party in the garden and have these unwanted visitors.
One of the traps shown in the video above; you can cut the top from a large fizzy drink bottle and turn it upside down and put it pointy end into the now open top. Add water and sugar and jam to about two or three inches. They will find it easy to get in through the opening, but almost impossible to get out again. The effort tires them out and they drop into the liquid and drown quickly.
Do not keep the trap nearby or you may simply attract more of them to the area. It is best to hang it in an open area in sunshine away from you and your food, where they will be easily find it and it will help to keep them away from you.
Don’t forget to check on the trap from time to time. You will need to empty and reset it or the layer of dead wasps will build high enough that they will be able to climb over their dead comrades up to the opening and out again.
If you are a nature lover, you may not want to kill the wasps. Yo may want to choose a repellent instead.
How to Repel Wasps
There are a number of very clever ways in which you can repel wasps rather than kill them. A fake wasps nest for example, is said to keep them away. They are territorial creatures and will think twice before building their nest in someone else’s territory.
Another way to deter them is to spray peppermint oil around your house. It is said to keep many other pests out too. Always worth a try unless you also have a strong dislike for it. You could also try chilli peppers. Just heat them in water for a little while and spay the water around places they are likely to frequent. You can always eat the peppers afterwards if you like that sort of thing.
If you are not bothered by the presence of wasps, then you can just leave them alone and be happy in the knowledge that you are doing your bit for the environment.
If all the above does not work for you, you can do what we recommend. Call in a professional.