Don’t let wasps ruin your next picnic
This time of year wasps are especially annoying, but they don’t have to ruin your outdoor activities. A few simple tips can help you and the wasps stay out of each other’s way.
Why are wasps so bad this time of year?
While wasps are active all summer long, in late summer they become more aggressive as they prepare the hive for winter. Wasps can’t forage for food during the winter. In most species, workers and soldiers die off leaving the queen alone in the hive. This means that she will need to have all the energy she needs not only to survive the winter, but also to start the new hive next spring. This takes a lot of energy. Wasps gather this from sugar. In the wild, this sugar comes from natural sources like rotting fruit and nectar, but wasps can also collect it from human food sources as well. This is what attracts them to human activities.
Wasps are opportunistic feeders, and will readily feed from any source of sugar. The more concentrated, the better. Which is why wasps seem to prefer human food over natural food! Sticky sweets and sugary sodas are the perfect food source for wasps. Summer foods, like snow cones and Popscicles, are their favorites.
Tips for discouraging wasps:
- Keep food covered when outdoors. This includes sauces and condiments.
- Clean up spilled drinks immediately. Flush with water, if possible to prevent sticky residue from attracting wasps.
- Avoid leaving drinks open and unattended. Children’s drinks should be closed using flip top lids, sippy cups, or straws too small for wasps to enter.
- Keep trash tightly closed. And empty outdoor garbage immediately after your event.
- If wasps are drinking from your swimming pool, place a container of fresh water at the far end of your property. Wasps and other insects will prefer to drink fresh water over chlorinated, and will learn to use this source instead.
- Use wasp traps to lure wasps away from your gathering. Wasps will use the most accessible source of sugar. Give them a better alternative away from your activities.
- If you find a nest on your property, give us a call. We can take care of it before your event. Next spring, we can treat structures on your property with a preventative to discourage them from nesting around your home.
While it’s impossible to keep your outdoor spaces wasp-free, these simple tips will make your event less attractive to wasps and encourage them to move along in search of easier sources of food.