EARLY things to do to PREVENT wasps this summer

Photo Credit: Utah Pests

Nothing can ruin your time spent outdoors quite like wasps flying around your chair, table or picnic blanket. It seems once that the warm weather appears, that with it, so do the wasps, and if you are not on top of things, these pests can really put a damper on your warm-weather activities. The good news is that there are plenty of wasp control natural remedies and DIY ideas that can keep these pests under control.

When it comes to wasp control, you want to start by discouraging wasps from moving in. Set up wasp nest decoys. These help to mimic real wasp nests and trick the wasps into nesting elsewhere. Many wasps are territorial, and they will not start a new wasp nest within a couple of hundred feet of an existing wasp nest. You can work this to your wasp control and advantage by hanging a fake wasp's nest in a visible location early on in the season. Keep plants and bushes around the deck trimmed neatly to help with wasp control and to deter nesting on or near the deck. Neutralize wasp nests naturally. Wasp nests are the easiest to locate on warm summer mornings or warm evenings by carefully scanning your outdoor landscape for wasps that are shooting up out of the ground. After you have located any yellow jacket nests, decide whether they will stay or go. To neutralize a wasp nest without using harsh pesticides, cover the entry hole with a large translucent bowl or another cover, held in place with a brick. Make sure to approach yellow jacket nests at night, when they are at rest. Use flags or other colorful markers to help mark the locations of wasp nests in acceptable places. For wasp control, you want to use chemicals when necessary. The most important element of wasp control is to destroy the wasp nest. Aerosol wasp control and hornet sprays can be used to knock down wasps around the nest. Small amounts of pesticides applied to the wasp nests provide good control.

Some things to keep in mind for wasp control. Adult wasps feed on nectar and enjoy ripe fruit, which may bring the wasps into your kitchen, garbage, or compost pile to hunt for food. Clean up any dropped and overripe fruit right away, and always cover garbage cans tightly, and bury any fruit remnants a few inches deep in your compost bin or pile. When you eat outside, make sure to cover any food on serving dishes and put away dirty plates as soon as possible. Also, you want to serve your drinks in wide-mouth cups, as you don't want to unknowingly drink a wasp that's crawled into a bottle or can. Don't count on insect repellent to deter wasps. While its scent may make you a bit less attractive to any mosquitoes and flies, it may make you more attractive to yellow jackets.

Pick your battles. No matter how many natural remedies, and wasp control DIY ideas you use, there are always going to be some wasps around. The larger wasp nests of yellowjackets that are protected by their paper mache envelope are more challenging and are best left to pest control professionals. But, if you are determined to try wasp control yourself, then in addition to the wasp nest location, your speed and agility should be evaluated. You may want to consider hiring a pest control company. No attempt should ever be made to kill a wasp nest that is located high in the upper branches of a tree if you think that a ladder will be required to reach the wasp nest. You will find wasp control natural remedies and DIY ideas at the Utah Pests site. **

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