Photo: How to deter wasps

Did you know most wasps are solitary?(Credit: BWJones via Flickr)

As we head into fall, insect populations in general will start to decline. And wasps will begin to bother bumblebees and honeybees—especially if you're barbecuing less. (Wasps are carnivores.)

Did you know that most wasps are tiny solitary insects (not at all social) that lay their eggs inside of other insects? So, if you've planted a bee-friendly garden, you'll likely have wasps. And if you keep mason bees, your nest box could also attract parasitoid solitary wasps, but you probably won't notice!

The wasps you're referring to are likely one of the three more common species: yellow jackets (bright yellow with black stripes), hornets (black with white stripes), or paper wasps (brown, red or yellow with a skinny waist).

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How to deter wasps

  • Don't wear bright colours
  • Don't wear sweet smells like fragranced body lotion or shampoo
  • Cover meat and fish when barbecuing
  • Don't leave out sugary drinks like cans of pop
  • Clean up rotting fruit from your fruit trees
  • Cover your compost pile with a lid or lots of "browns" like dry leaves
  • Keep your trash bin clean

Never swat a wasp. They can release a pheromone that will attract other wasps and signal them to be aggressive. It's best to move away calmly. Also, check the exterior of your home for cracks, holes and unsealed vents where wasps might build a nest. They like to nest in roofs, eaves, in garden sheds or under decks and porches — anywhere that's sheltered, warm and dry.

Still want wasps removed from your property? Find insect-friendly wasp or bee removal service who can safely relocate a nest or swarm.

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