Summer is all about spending as much time outside as we can; barbeques, garden parties, picnics and just lazing around is what constitutes summertime. As we don’t have many months of warm weather in the UK we need to make the most of it – without annoying wasps buzzing around and ruining your day.
It is impossible to control wasps and entirely prevent them from coming into your garden – which you don’t want anyway. Wasps have important roles in the eco-system; they help pollinate plants and get rid of harmful insects. What you can do, however, is to minimise the number of these annoying stingers by making sure your garden isn’t a wasp magnet.
The reasons why wasps hang out in your garden are:
- They have a nest there
- They have food there
- They have water there
By eliminating these factors most wasps will choose your neighbour’s garden instead…Hopefully you don’t have a nest yet, so let’s focus on how you can prevent wasps from using your garden as a gathering place.
Wasps are drawn to water and like to hang around and have a drink or a pool party in your garden too. You can’t control the rain, but if you have an irrigation system try fixing the direction of sprinklers so that it doesn’t wet any possible pavement (wasps like that) or try reducing the watering duration altogether.
If you’re wondering why wasps are attracted to plants with no flowers it is probably because that plant is covered with insects they like to munch on. Wasps eat many kinds of insects such as aphids (also known as plant lice), spiders, caterpillars, ants, beetles and flies, as well as the honeydew some insects leave behind. By treating your plants for pests they will no longer attract wasps.
Wasps love flowers because of the sweet nectar, and will therefore always be attracted to them. However, there are also flowers that wasps don’t like, such as:
- Red flowers (wasps aren’t attracted to warm red colours)
- Marigolds (many insects don’t like the smell)
- Closed and double-flowered plants such as roses (too hard to access)
- Flowers that don’t produce much nectar such as Geraniums
- Flowers that bloom before wasp season
- Flowers that bloom in the evening such as Jasmine and Evening Primrose
To avoid wasps in the house try not to plant flowers near the house, or at least choose plants that wasps aren’t too enthusiastic about.
Never leave food outside, including your pet’s food. Also wipe your outside table after a meal to make sure there are no food scraps or liquids left. Also make sure you seal your bin bags carefully and don’t leave them lying around for days.
If you already have a wasp problem, have a look at our previous blog post on 4 DIY wasp traps you can place in your garden to get rid of these little critters.
If you suspect you have a wasp nest in your garden the safest way to get rid of it is to get in touch with Anglo Scottish Pest Control here.