SUMMER sunshine, barbeques and picnics often come with some very unwelcome guests – wasps.
Here's how you can get rid of them and what to do if you find a nest or an infestation in your home.
How can I get rid of wasps?
There are several methods to get rid of wasps, some of which are less nice than others.
A man called realAlaska shared a crafty way of trapping wasps on TikTok recently.
You just need a small scrap of fish on a piece of string, an empty plastic bottle, washing up liquid and some water.
The plastic bottle must already have a hole cut in the side around one-quarter from the bottom. The hole should be around the width and height of a credit card.
You then tie a piece of thin string around the scrap of fish and insert the bait into the bottle through the top, screwing the lid back on after.
Then fill the bottom of the bottle up with water and adds a splash of washing-up liquid.
As demonstrated at the end of the video (below), wasps are attracted to the fish meat and will visit the trap.
They take a bite of the meat and then fly upwards to get out of the trap. Unwilling to drop the meat, wasps continue to fly up until they are exhausted and drop into the water and washing up liquid mixture.
Inverted plastic bottle
Similar to the fish trap, take a plastic bottle, cut it in two at the shoulder, about 1/3 of the way down. Throw away the screw top.
You should have a funnel-shaped top part and a deeper cup-shaped bottom.
Pour an inch of sweet liquid, like coke, juice, or sugar water in the bottom of the bottle.
Rest the top section upsidedown in the big bit so that it forms a funnel but doesn't touch the liquid. Tape the part where the cone meets the cup for extra security.
Wasps are attracted into the bottle opening by the liquid but are trapped by the funnel, leaving them to fall into the liquid and drown.
Try mixing up some peppermint tea, let it cool off and load it into a water spray bottle.
Spray it in areas that wasps like to frequent.
You can also dilute a little peppermint oil in water, or grow some in your garden or in your house.
Another option is to mix a cup of white vinegar with a cup of water and put it in a spray bottle.
This makes an effective solution to spray at stray wasps – a few blasts should kill them.
Break loose the commercial wasp-killer.
You can get a variety of insecticides and surface sprays to kill them off or keep them out.
Please read the recommendations on the can first though as some may be more harmful than others.
You can also buy commercial wasp traps.
A slipper or rolled up magazine
Swing to win if you want to get rid of a rogue wasp or send it fleeing back outside, but be careful because they could fight back if you miss.
Similar to the inverted bottle top method, the honey trap, or using sugar and water, works by attracting wasps to the glass or bottle of sugar and water solution, where the wasp will then crawl inside and not be able to escape.
The wasp will then get trapped and likely drown.
Spraying a wasp with soap will suffocate them almost instantly as it works by clogging their breathing spores.
Pour two tablespoons of dish soap into a spray bottle, fill it to the top and give it a shake to mix it.
What should I do if I find a nest?
The nest is likely to be the source of your problems.
The safest way to deal with it is to call in professional help.
If you're on a budget, or the situation is extremely urgent then you can squirt dishwashing liquid into the end of your hose pipe, and run the water until suds appear.
When the pressure is high and the water is soapy and frothy, blast the nest from a distance.
Wasps’ nests can also be smoked out by putting a small fire, BBQ, or any other lit material beneath it, which will suffocate the wasps and force them to evacuate.
Please wear as much safety equipment as you can as wasp nests can be dangerous.
What attracts wasps and how can I avoid an infestation?
While you can never guarantee that you won't get an infestation, there are some things you can do to try to make your home a little less appealing to wasps.
- Keep sugary foods and drinks covered when eating or cooking outside or near an open door or window.
- Pick up fallen or rotting fruit from your garden.
- Always clean up food spillages right away as the insects are attracted to items high in sugar and carbohydrate.
- Always close kitchen doors, especially when cooking, to throw the critters off the scent.
- Make sure you thoroughly clean your home, especially the hard to reach places, which are often a breeding ground for creepy crawlies.
- Avoiding brightly coloured furniture in your garden.
- Always being vigilant to the signs of a nest, especially if you have had one on your property before.
- Plant flowers further down your garden, a good distance away from your house or shed.
- Get screens for your doors and windows.
- Inspect the house for potential entry points like holes in attics or under the roof and seal them with a bit of poly filler, particularly around wooden structures.
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