Spring has sprung here in the South along with all of the critters dusting off their wings and getting busy (in many ways)! Round one of the pollen explosion came on quickly last week and will continue for several more weeks. While simply -trying- to enjoy a cup of tea on my balcony a few days ago, I noticed a couple of wasps flying around the balcony banisters and crawling inside the crevices. I wasn’t terribly bothered by this as it appeared benign and the carpenter bees were taking care of it, chasing the wasps away. Apparently my balcony is high value real estate to various buzzing creatures to move in to. After talking with my Dad, mentioning my bee problem and uncertainty over what it meant, he warned me to get these wasps under control ASAP as they are just beginning to build their nests in order to lay their eggs. Wasps nests and hatching eggs becomes a serious problem fast. I’ve never had to deal with wasps before, except for being stung as a child, and was pretty hesitant about it all. Early Spring is the best time to get wasps under control when they are getting started in hive making and smaller in number. My preference is to approach everything in life as naturally, and non-toxic as possible and this even extends to scary, aggressive wasps. So, I researched natural methods to fend off wasps and the most effective method is simple and cheap. Certainly not the most humane but there really isn’t a nice way to get rid of them when they are threatening to take over your balcony and potentially your home as well. If you are feeling brave, cover yourself up as much as possible to avoid being stung. The ideal time to eliminate wasps and nests is around dusk when all of the wasps come home and stay until dawn. Sounds crazy, right? Let me wait until all of them come home to attack and hope that I don’t get stung. But… if you are going to do this on your own, dusk is the time to do it.
Last week, the wasps were seemingly just flying around and being annoying. However, while trying to string up a hammock to the balcony banisters today, I saw a wasp hanging on its nest. To my horror, I then noticed 2 more hives with wasps resting near the ceiling. Time to reclaim my balcony. The solution? Fill a spray bottle with the Wasp Repellant Spray (see below), wait until dusk, set up close enough so that the spray stream
will reach the wasps but far enough away to retreat if things get dicey. When your position is secure, quivering knees are steadied, trigger finger is locked and loaded, SPRAY SPRAY SPRAY. Spray fast, continuously, like your life depends on it. The soapy, pepperminty mixture will stun the wasps, weigh down their wings and cause them to fall down. Once they have fallen, keep dousing them until you feel safe and scoop them up with something to toss them somewhere far, far away. This all sounds awful written down and trust me, I do not enjoy killing anything at all, even a wasp, but it is a necessary evil when they are building their dangerous nests near your home. I was nervous to do this but fortunately there were only 4 wasps total and I was successful in removing the wasps and their hives without getting attacked. I went on to spray my balcony, ceiling and all nooks and crannies with this wasp mixture. Let’s hope that it will do the trick. Can’t a girl enjoy a cup of tea in peace?!
Wasp Repellant Spray
- Spray bottle (or spray hose if you have one)
- Available at dollar stores, grocery stores, Target, Walmart, etc. Or empty/reuse a bottle you already have.
- 2 tbsp (or more, the soapier the better) of dish soap. I used Seventh Generation Dish Soap plain. Wasps despise lavender so for extra oomph, you can use the lavender variety.
- Buy online at Amazon, or stores such as Target, Whole Foods, natural stores. Possibly other stores but these stores I know for certain.
- 20 drops, or more, of peppermint essential oil. Also despised by wasps.
- Buy online at Amazon, Whole Foods, natural stores, Walmart, Target.
- Warm tap water
Directions: Combine all ingredients in the spray bottle. Shake it up. Get ready to spray and take care of business.