Huge Mistakes That Are Attracting Wasps To Your Yard

While wasps can be beneficial in many ways, next to no one wants to find themselves with an infestation. Among the more aggressive types of bees, having too many wasps around can be a real danger, especially for those who are allergic. While there are some natural conditions that create infestations, there is a very good chance you're the one who is actually attracting wasps to your yard.

All predators, regardless of species, will flock to places where they have a good chance of surviving. This is true for wolves, bears, snakes, and even wasps. If there is food for them to eat, materials for them to build with, and preexisting shelters to build on, wasps will thrive. And the huge mistakes you're making are creating exactly the kinds of conditions wasps love. 

Whether you leave out food after a party, wear perfume, or do not do proper home maintenance, the mistakes on this list can cause major wasp-shaped headaches. However, they can also be easily solved with a little extra care and effort. Still, it is better never to make these mistakes in the first place than to play defense later on.

Leaving food out

Whenever you leave food outside, you will be greeted by a buzzing mass of wasps. These insects love to nibble on food. You see it all the time at picnics. They're there hovering over your potato salad. But at least at a picnic, you can swat them away. Leaving food unattended outside for a longer period of time will attract them in masses. 

Wasps are mainly carnivores when they are young, but because of their relatively short lifespan, they go crazy for carbs and sugar as they age. The sugar in food mimics the nectar they enjoy foraging out of flowers. Only, in the case of a sugary drink or other dessert foods, the sugar is going to be much more potent than it is in a flower. The sweeter the food, the more wasps are going to be attracted to it. They still need protein to survive, however, which is why you'll also see them hovering over the burgers and hotdogs. 

Now, the fact that wasps exist and like your cooking should not prevent you from enjoying food outside. Just be aware that you won't be eating alone. Do your best to keep food covered, out of direct sunlight, and clean up as soon as you're finished eating. The less time the wasps have around your food, the better it will be for you.

Wearing bright colors

When the weather gets warmer, people naturally want to wear brighter colors. They reflect sunlight more easily and are more appropriate for the season, seeing as all the flowers are starting to bloom. However, if there are wasps nearby, wearing brighter colors could actually end up being a very big mistake. 

Like many other insects, wasps are attracted to brighter colors. Apart from the promise of nectar, colors are what draw them into plants like sunflowers, raspberries, and goldenrod. So, if you're wearing brighter colors, you are more likely to resemble the types of flowers wasps like to pull sugar from. As such, they are more likely to follow you around.

So, if you wear orange, yellow, red, or bright blue, the wasps are probably heading your way. If you are wearing darker or more neutral shades like gray, brown, tan, or khaki, they are less inclined to mess with you. Seeing as wasps tend to avoid people as much as possible, wearing a bright shirt is not going to be as big a mistake as leaving a whole pizza out. Still, it could lead to more wasps than you'd like buzzing around in your face.

Not caulking seams

One of the things that is likely attracting wasps to your yard is the abundance of shelter that it offers. Wasps like to keep out of the elements and away from predators like birds, spiders, and frogs. As such, wasps will find the most inconvenient places to build their nests in. This includes any seams in your house or garage that are not caulked or properly sealed. If you've ever wondered why or how the wasps got into places, it is likely because there is a crack somewhere that has not been sealed.

Favorite places for wasps to build their nests are under the window sills or in eaves. Not only are they good and hidden, but the insulation in the walls or attic is the perfect material to build a nest out of. If you're hearing them inside of your walls, chances are they've gotten in via some unknown crack. You can solve this easily by sealing the crack with caulking. 

You can caulk it yourself or have a professional do it for you. Give the building a good sweep and apply caulking anywhere you see a crack. Not only will this help keep the wasps out in the future, but you'll likely find you have fewer drafts and lower heat bills come winter.

Not fixing screens

Another thing that is going to invite wasps into your space: that busted window screen you've been ignoring. Any screens, whether on windows or doors that are fraying have holes in them or are falling apart with age are perfect places for wasps to slip through and into your space. Though it is not always the case, it's very likely that if you have an opening for a wasp, it will take it. For, like the window sills and eaves of your house, porches, and sunrooms are excellent places for wasps to set up their base of operations.

A covered porch or sunroom provides wasps with everything they need to make a thriving colony: protection from the weather outside, protection from predators, and better access to food. Therefore, by leaving those screens open, you are just inviting wasps into your space.

Take some time and replace any broken, busted, or aging screen. It's an affordable and easy home remedy that will keep wasps and other undesirable insects out for good. 

Leaving garbage outside

Nearly all municipalities in the United States provide residents with wheeled, plastic trash bins that can be filled during the week and rolled down to the end of the driveway come trash day. They are an excellent way to keep the sidewalks tidy and to keep wasps away from the trash itself. Because leaving garbage outside, especially during the summer, attracts wasps.

Remember, wasps are both carnivores and sugar fiends. Seeing as the majority of what ends up in the garbage is food waste, they are going to flock to it the same way they will flock to the food you're making for a barbecue. The thing with trash is that the amount of scent it gives off, from the sugars to the rotting meat and vegetables, is going to be too much for the wasps to handle. They will flock to trash bags left out in the open, all vying for a chance to get at what is inside.

If you happen to live in a municipality that does not provide you with wheeled plastic bins, try your best to keep your trash contained and removed from your premises at least once a week. Private trash companies will provide bins, but metal or plastic trash bins work just as well. The better the trash is covered, the less scent it will give off to the wasps.

Not treating wooden furniture

While it can be a pain to go through all the trouble of sanding and treating your wooden outdoor furniture, it is going to be worth the effort in the long run. Not only will it allow your furniture to last longer while out in the elements, but it will keep wasps away from it as well. While treated wood is not a requirement for outdoor furniture, it is highly recommended as a method for deterring wasps. 

Wasps love to chew wood pulp and use it to make their nests. Though they will usually take what they need from dying trees, they are not above digging into the wooden furniture on your property that hasn't been treated with any kind of sealant.

A lot depends on the type of treatment you use, but generally speaking, the scents of both chemical and natural wood treatments are going to repel wasps. Be in the habit of treating your wooden furniture at least twice a year, at the start of spring and again at the end of the summer. If you are able to keep on top of it, you will find things better in the long term because it won't be rotting and riddled with wasp holes.

Open water

If you've ever gone swimming in a pool in the summertime, you've no doubt encountered wasps buzzing above the surface of the water. If you've ever wondered why, it is because wasps require water to survive, the same as we do. However, as wasps have not developed their own systems for indoor plumbing and water retention, they need to source them from different places. In nature, they will draw this from lakes, ponds, rivers, and puddles. However, in suburbia, they have swimming pools.

Though they arguably cannot drink the water owing to the chlorine content, the scent will draw them to it much like the sugar rim on a cocktail glass will draw them to your drink. It is easy for them to find pools owing to the strength of the smell, even if the chemically laced water ends up killing them. 

One way to keep them away from the pool is to build another water structure in your home. Whether it's a charming garden fountain, a bird bath, or a pond you've made to encourage frogs, the wasps will find their way to the edge. However, they will probably still visit your pool just because of the strength of the chlorine scent.

Not filling holes in your lawn

There are many different kinds of wasps, some of which will set up shop right in your front yard. You see, while some wasps will construct their homes out of wood pulp, others will dig vast arrays of tunnels underneath your lawn. They will do this if there are already visible holes left behind by moles or other burrowing creatures because it means less work for the wasps. This is why you should be checking your lawn every now and then and filling in those holes.

If you can fill the holes in your lawn, you will all but suffocate any wasps that happen to be living down there. The burrows aren't deep, and the wasp can only move so much dirt at any one time. So, if you fill and very gently pack the dirt down in the holes, that should be enough either to kill or keep from returning any wasps that have made their homes in your lawn.

It's true that these holes are not always easy to see, but wasps do tend to prefer burrowing in areas where there isn't a lot of sod to contend with. One great lawn maintenance tip to keep in mind: the thicker your sod, the less issues you'll have to deal with down the road.

Wearing perfume outside

Besides their vibrant colors, another thing that draws wasps and other stinging insects to flowers is their scent. The scent of the flower carries with it the promise of nectar and natural sugars, which wasps thrive on. Likewise, if you are wearing some kind of perfume, they are very likely to be drawn to that as well.

It doesn't matter if you're out in the garden or just trying to enjoy some time out on your patio; if you are wearing perfume or cologne, the wasps are going to be attracted to that sweet scent. The stronger the scent, the more the wasps are going to be attracted to you. It is because these scents don't occur in nature, so they will be intrigued by this new smell that has entered their territory.

The best way to deter wasps from coming to you while you're outside is to wear no scent. This rule also applies when you're camping or hiking, as the scent may attract other unwanted pests. 

Not picking up garden or orchard waste

If you have a garden or an orchard, you will know that it doesn't take much to knock fruit off of your branches. If you don't pick it up right away, or at least within a few hours of it falling, the produce is going to rot. And when produce rots, the wasps come a-buzzing.

Just like with garbage or food that has been left outside, the wasps want the sugar and the sustenance that the rotting fruit and vegetables provide. And while wasps are not in the habit of eating fruit or vegetables while they are on the branch, once the skin bursts open, the scents and sugars become too much for them to resist. In the case of apples, the fermented juices are strong enough to make the wasps appear drunk. So, if you see some rotting fruit or vegetables in your yard, pick them up. The fewer wasps you have to deal with, the better.

Obviously, if wasps have infested your house, you need to call a mitigator right away. But, for the times when they are there for your food or because you thought wearing Old Spice while gardening was a good idea, know that these mistakes can be easily fixed simply by not doing them.

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