Wasps and Yellow Jackets are notorious for being useless pests that can quickly spoil a summertime gathering of family and friends.
While they’re pests in the sense that they don’t really help pollinate and they can (& will sting!) they are also beneficial, particularly if you like to garden. Here’s a simple tip for coexisting without having to spray harsh chemicals in your yard. . .
The main diet of a yellow jacket consists of flies, caterpillars and spiders. They do collect flower nectar and fruit sugars to feed their queens. Wasps tend to feed on house fly and blow fly larvae, but more importantly, they chow down on crop destroying insects such as grubs, caterpillars and weevils.
To prevent them from ruining your Summer Party without having to spray harsh chemicals and kill them off here’s a simple trick. Slice a fresh cucumber into thin slices and arrange them in a single layer on an aluminum pie plate (or 9×13 dish, round cake pan, etc). The point is, the cucumber must be fresh when you slice it and the pan must be aluminum. Place a couple out and around the patio, deck or picnic table.
The cucumber reacts with the aluminum and gives off a chemical reaction/scent that is undetectable to humans but drives wasps and yellow-jackets away and makes them flee the area.
While we’ve already addressed that wasps and yellow jackets are actually beneficial to have around, they have a tendency to build their nests in unfortunately places. If you must remove a nest you can place 1/4 cup of Dawn Dish Detergent (Or Joy or Sunlight) in a hose end sprayer, fill with water and blast the nest from 3-5 feet away. This is best done at Night because all of the wasps will have already returned to the nest. Before doing this, test your hose to ensure that it has Excellent water pressure!
The sudsy water will cling to each wasp, causing it to drop to the ground.
We’d Love to hear your Tried & True Natural Pest Repellent Ideas too…