How Do You Keep Bees and Wasps Away?
One of the summer’s great annoyances is the buzzing of insects invading your home and yard. Bees and wasps are some of the biggest culprits. So, how do you keep bees and wasps away? Understanding how they differ and what attracts them is as essential as steps to help keep bees and wasps away.
The Difference Between Bees and Wasps
Bees and wasps each have 4,000 different species found in the United States. Quite often, when people see ‘bees,’ they are actually encountering wasps. However, many things set them apart for all of the similarities between bees and wasps. Differences in color, body shape, and behavior highlight just a few.
The Buzzing Bee
Bees are pollinators. For this reason, fine fuzz covers their bodies. As they visit flowers, the pollen collects on the tiny hairs. Most bee species can sting only once. The bee dies because its barbed stinger detaches from its body when they sting. Due to this, bees are generally docile, but bee control is still essential. They avoid human interaction and stinging unless they perceive an imminent threat or are defending their homes.
The Wily Wasp
Wasps are far less fuzzy than bees. Often their colors are more vibrant and contrasting. Also, they tend to be larger than bees and have a very narrow waist and pointed abdomen. Wasps are predators who eat other insects, meat, and nectar. Unlike bees, wasps have a smooth stinger. This allows them to be more aggressive. They can sting multiple times and still fly safely away. For this reason, wasp removal is a must-have for your property.
What Attracts Bees and Wasps?
An important part of keeping bees and wasps away is to know what attracts them. By understanding what attracts them, you can keep bees and wasps away by minimizing what attracts them, and you can take steps to reduce the possibility they will find your home and yard enticing. The three main attractants for bees and wasps are food, water, and a place to live.
Eliminate Enticing Food
Flowers and sugar are the main attractants for bees. Products that contain floral scents, such as perfumes, sunscreens, and hairspray, bring bees and wasps in quickly. Try to choose unscented sunscreens and hairsprays. Additionally, avoid wearing floral fragrances for your backyard get-togethers. Sugary drinks are sure to have the bees buzzing. Cover sodas and avoid cans. You may not have seen the little bee enter the can to enjoy your beverage until it is too late.
In addition to sweets, wasps also feed on meat. This may include your hamburger or last night’s dinner in the trash can. When cooking and eating outdoors, cover unprepared food until ready to cook. Then, dispose of scraps in covered trash cans away from seating areas.
Plants That Keep Bees and Wasps Away
Modifying flowerbeds and landscapes is another way to aid in pest control. Choosing to incorporate plants that naturally repel them will aid in keeping bees and wasps away. Common herbs such as basil, thyme, and mint assist in keeping bees and wasps at bay. Also, citronella, eucalyptus, and wormwood are natural insect-repelling plants. Carefully planning out flowerbeds and containers allows you to enjoy the beauty of flowers while reaping the benefits of natural repellants.
Minimize Potential Nesting Sites
When searching for a place to live, bees and wasps look for cracks and crevices that lead to areas protected from predators and weather. Other frequent nesting places for wasps are under decks and along fences. Additionally, bees and wasps will build nests and hives in compromised trees and the ground. Therefore, diligence in monitoring common and at-risk areas is an important solution to preventing infestations.
Certain essential oils can help keep bees and wasps away. Mix a few drops of lemongrass, clove, and geranium essential oils in a spray bottle. Fill the bottle up with water and a couple of drops of dish soap. Spraying this mixture on areas at risk of, or prone to, wasp nests adds another layer of defense.
There are commercial and DIY wasp traps that will aid in wasp control. These do not keep wasps away but attract and trap them. Unable to get out, the wasps will drown in the liquid. Many commercial wasp traps have an unpleasant odor. Hang them away from seating areas.
Keeping Bees And Wasps Away From Pools
Bees require water for themselves and their larvae. They take advantage of water sources as small as raindrops to large pools of water such as lakes and swimming pools. Additionally, the smell of chlorine attracts bees. Once bees know the location of consistent water or food sources, they return regularly. Provide an alternate water source to help keep bees and wasps away. A birdbath or shallow dish placed in the surrounding area is the best place to start. Next, add some pool water with a bit of honey to attract them. It is also essential to provide a place for the bees to rest while they drink. Lastly, slowly change from chlorinated water to freshwater.