Natural Solutions for the Bees of Summer

If this year’s warmer,drier weather continues into our Montana summer, it is likely that we will be seeing more persistently obnoxious bee-type flying insects. These are annoying or downright aggressive wasps and hornets – a.k.a. ‘bald face’ or ‘yellow jackets’ that appear uninvited to disturb festive family picnics, outdoor community events or July 4th BBQ with the neighbors.

Hornets on plate of food

Paper wasp nest at end of summer

Large paper wasp nest toward end of the summer

While distracted from their quest for liquid refreshment and your plate full of food these insects can inflict really painful or even deadly stings to sensitive folks. Take some steps now to reduce their numbers. Look for natural products to eliminate them where they nest. Even discourage wasps before they can begin to nest!

Wasps building brood comb

Wasps building exposed brood comb

So how do we get rid of wasps without using strong chemical pesticides? Are there safer, natural ways to do this? Most of us would prefer not to use toxic pesticides near our homes. Pest removal experts know that most consumers dramatically over apply pesticides. A little goes a long way and more poison is well, too much residual poison and a serious risk -particularly to exposed pets and children.

Bee species, including the more rarely seen honey bee

Please identify the type of large bee you are dealing with and do all you can to avoid killing or spraying honey bees. Bumblebees are seldom aggressive, timid and rarely bothersome.

It is very important to protect sensitive honeybees and other beneficial insects from harsh insecticides, so you want to identify the problem bees carefully and be sure what you are dealing with. If you find that you have honeybees swarming around in large numbers, and they are not in a location that is safe for you (or them), you can seek out area beekeepers who may even remove them for free. Since our valuable honeybee populations are experiencing an alarming decline nationwide, doing what we can to protect every worker honeybee is a good thing.

BEFORE PURCHASING INSECTICIDES– Consider hiring a professional pest removal service to take care of a wasp nest you can’t safely reach from the ground. If you or the kids may be hyper sensitive to wasp stings, stay safely inside while a pro takes on an active wasp nest under the soffit or living in a hole in the ground. Request lowest toxicity products available to the pros.

Natural and Lowest Toxicity Insecticidal Sprays for Home Use. Ecosmart’s Organic Wasp and Hornet killer uses 100 percent, food-grade ingredients. Check out their ingredients here. Product instructions say you should apply this like the old type poisonous RAID spray. If you are comfortable treating the same way as usual but with a more natural spray, this may be your best bet. The Ecosmart product will smell like strong peppermint essential oils instead of RAID, and that feature alone is worthwhile, right? This product is about the same cost as the nastier, harsh chemical pesticides. This products works.

Drowning a Reachable Aerial Nest. This technique is best done during cooler weather or after dark when wasps are sluggish and slower to react. Wearing gloves, place a cloth bag or old pillow case over the entire nest and quickly close it off at the top. As you close, yank the nest free. The cloth bag obviously now should be secured tightly! Set the bag in a large bucket mostly full of water; set a brick on the bag to keep it fully submerged.

Not really wanting to put your hands around a bag of irritated bees? Again, hire a professional pest control service for nests inside walls or in the ground. Spraying water inside the wall of your home will cause you other, larger problems than some angry hornets! Avoid climbing ladders yourself to inspect or take on wasp nest challenges. It is easy to panic around wasps, and being on a ladder is not the place you should want to be and quickly feel the need to flee!

NOTENever, Never, Never use fire and/or flammable solvents for killing wasps. Each year somewhere, well-meaning individuals with torches or cans of solvent, though devoid of common sense, burn down buildings while removing nesting wasps.

Glass Yellow Jacket Traps.  There are also a variety of pretty glass wasp traps that can be helpful in reducing wasp populations in their area. Keep replacing the bait inside, as wasps, like trout, prefer fresh bait. Fragrant oily bait, such as tuna fish juice, will attract the yellow jackets and wasps, but not prescious honeybees, which might be attracted to sweet fruity smells. These artisanal glass traps are actually decorative and collectible. The design is really simple and you may wish to use pop bottles to make your own. Don’t expect it to eliminate all wasps, though.

Camping at a remote location? Take along a few cans of tuna fish packed in water. If wasps show up, place opened tins of tuna some distance away from the picnic table –out of reach of pets or bears, of course.

Hanging Fake Nests.  As a preventive measure many folks have begun using ‘fake wasp nests’ where they annually expect paper wasp nests to show up under eaves or roof lines. These fake nests act as a deterrent to other wasps or hornets. These work because many common wasp species are territorial, and nesting in close proximity to another nest. There are several versions of these. Some look similar to a paper lantern, and others could pass for a real paper wasp nest. Customer reviews are positive online, but fake nests may not be totally effective if you happen to have particularly smart or communal wasps. Reportedly this same deterrent effect can be achieved by simply stapling up a tissue stuffed brown paper bag!

By using these preventative, proactive and all natural solutions for wasps and hornets, you will feel better about protecting your outside environment. Encourage all your neighbors to share in your successful strategy so everyone nearby will benefit from a peaceful and wasp-free back yard.

If you need help locating a qualified pest control service in NW Montana, go online, consult your Yellow Pages or give us a call.

If you have a proven solution to control or reduce wasp problems, we would love to hear from you.

We are FloodCo LLC.  Give us a call at 406-892-1717 or write a comment below.

Posted by Lloy

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