Bees and Wasps

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Summertime by the pool

In a perfect world, our backyards would be completely insect free and we could enjoy summer afternoons without constant buzzing in your ears or those itchy bites.  Tiki torches or a Thermacell can aid in fighting off mosquitoes but what about the bees?  Yes, they’re essential for the environment and endangered but they sure can be bothersome, especially if anyone is allergic.

 

Pesticides are never really the answer, so here are some natural ways you can rid bees and pesky wasps away from your summer time sanctuary.

 

Let’s start with the worst…. Wasps!

Vespula Germanica

Vespula Germanica

 

These small but callous little guys are very territorial.  Hanging a fake nest near your home or pool will help stop them from building their nest.  It’s like the old scarecrow in your garden trick.

 

Raw Meat

Ever notice how the wasps really start to swarm when you start cooking outside? They’re attracted to the scent of the grilling meat.  Aren’t we all?  If you want to get these wasps away from your grill space and pool, hang a piece of raw meat away from your designated area.  But close enough that it attracts them away from your food.

 

Tip: Place a bucket of water under the meat so the wasps fall into it. They’re not the ones on the endangered list.

 

 

Easy Trap Project

You’ll need a pair of scissors, 1 empty 2-liter bottle, and sugar water or syrup for the bait.

 

Directions: 

 

    • Use scissors to cut the top off a soda bottle
    • Remove cap
    • Grease the inner opening of the bottle top (making it harder for the insects to crawl out)
    • Insert the removed top into the bottle. Cap end first, like a funnel
    • Fill ¼ of the bottle with bait (sugar water, soda, syrup)
  • Handy Tip #2:  To make the trap no-kill, use only a small amount of bait (not enough to drown insects)
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    Dryer Sheets Repel Bees

    Honey Bee

    Honey Bee

    Place a basket of dryer sheets around the pool to keep them away from the water.  Probably one on either side if you have an in-ground.  For above ground, flower basket hangers work great.  Just leave out the flowers.   There’s an ingredient called linalool that repels other insects as well, including gnats.  This chemical is found in lavender and basil and is toxic to insects.

     

    The Amazing Mosquito Trap

    Tiger Mosquito

    Tiger Mosquito

     

    You’ll need 1 2-liter bottle, 1 cup of water, ¼ cup brown sugar, and 1 gram of yeast.

     

    Directions: 

     

      • Cut plastic bottle in half
      • Mix brown sugar with water with hot water, let cool. Once cold, pour into the bottle part of the cut bottle
      • Add yeast. This creates carbon dioxide which attracts mosquitoes.
      • Place the top of the bottle upside, creating a funnel, into the bottom part of bottle.
      • Tape them together
      • Cover or paint the bottle with something black. This will attract them even more.
      • Place outside, away from normal gathering area.
      • Change the solution every 2 weeks.


     

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