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July 26, 2011

Keeping Wasps under Control in Your Garden

by Val Reynolds
Common wasp on allium flower

Common wasp on allium flower

It’s the season of picnics, eating outside, with jam sandwiches, lollies, ice cream … and wasps!

Now we like wasps, they do an excellent job of hunting out grubs on our garden plants, especially the cabbages. However they are a real menace by the end of July onwards. As the supply of grubs dries up when they metamorphose the wasps are suddenly are more interested in sweet things. They also forage for pollen and nectar and specially like the onion flowers.

We solved the problem with a Waspinator in our garden a couple of years ago and thought it might be useful to give the details again this summer.

It all started with the Victorians who thought of hanging up a dark grey bag that wasps see as a wasp nest and they keep away – they know they will be attacked by the occupants.

Waspinator handing from pergola beam

Waspinator handing from pergola beam

Instead of making our own bag, we bought a Waspinator and it is now very seldom we have a wasp in the vicinity of our patio table – we hang the Waspinator in the pergola beams over the table. The manufacturer claims the Waspinator clears an area of around 6 metre radius.

When the plums and greengages are coming up for picking we hang the Waspinator nearby which seems to keep the wasps away and there is less chance of our grasping an unseen wasp on a plum, which we have done and don’t want to repeat the experience. The nearest we can come to describing the sensation is like that of having a red hot needle stuck into you. Not at all nice and worrying if you have an allergic reaction.

Honey bee on allium flower

Honey bee on allium flower

We take the Waspinator with us when we go on picnics, holiday, anywhere we eat or drink outside. We filled it with bubble wrap to keep its shape – we could have used a balloon! Easy to put up, easy to take down and store ready for next year.

The Waspinator is available from Amazon

… And here’s a link to the Waspinator website that gives real insights into the nature and habits of wasps, very informative.

Val Reynolds Brown, Editor is the website we write about the ongoing renovation and care of a front garden in a garden city

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