‘Potent smell’ you can use to naturally keep wasps at bay in the garden this summer

‘Potent smell’ you can use to naturally keep wasps at bay in the garden this summer


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From picnics on the beach, sipping a pint in your local beer garden or hosting a BBQ in your garden, nothing says summer like enjoying a meal outdoors. With the UK set to enjoy a mini heatwave this weekend, many will be heading outside to enjoy their meals al fresco. But with the warm weather comes dreaded wasps which can quickly ruin your summer picnic or BBQ. To help you enjoy your outdoor feast without hurting a valuable pollinator, gardening experts at The Greenhouse people have shared their top non-lethal ways to ward off wasps this summer.

While wasps are a nuisance during the summer season, it’s important to remember they are valuable predators and pollinators. 

Love them or hate them, wasps are an essential part of our ecosystem, so you should think twice before swatting them and avoid killing them where possible.

The experts explained that citronella candles can be used as a “deterrent” to keep wasps at bay.

They said: “You can easily buy citronella-infused candles from most supermarkets that not only create a romantic ambience but will also keep wasps at bay.

“The potent but pleasant smell will deter a range of different insects so you can eat outdoors in peace.”

Citronella is a naturally occurring oil that repels insects and is made by distilling different types of lemongrass leaves and stems.

Those who find the scent is a little too strong to have on the table, why not try popping some of the tea lights in small terracotta plant pots around the dining area, just remember to blow them out before going inside.

The gardening gurus claimed that covering up any food and drinks in the garden is “the best way” to avoid wasps accessing it.

They said: “The best way to stop wasps from getting to your food is to block their access to it.

“Wasps send out a scout when searching for food and will alert the colony once they catch a whiff of delicious foods. 

“So, be sure to keep lids on any Tupperware when picnicking to block the smell and prevent a swarm of wasps from heading your way.

“For those who prefer to eat at a table, mesh covers can be used to prevent your food from becoming infested.”

Wasps also love nothing more than a good rummage around bins too.

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Make sure to empty and wash outside bins regularly, and keep bins away from windows to avoid attracting wasps into your home.

Growing herbs in the garden can also act as a “natural wasp-repellent”.

Not only will a herb garden improve the taste of your food and provide health-boosting benefits, certain herbs will deter wasps too.

The experts explained: “Spearmint, sage, thyme, lemongrass and rosemary are not only great culinary herbs to add to your garden, but the strong-smelling oils from these plants act as a natural wasp-repellent while creating an aromatic experience for you.

“Place potted herbs around your dining area or, if you’re limited on space, go vertical by hanging herb planters on a nearby wall.”

Those who don’t have the time or desire to grow their own herbs can buy “concentrated essential oils” to spray around their dining area.

The gardening enthusiasts said: “Peppermint is a popular choice for keeping pesky wasps away while smelling delicious for guests.

“Simply mix a few drops of essential oil and dish soap with water before spraying over the desired area.”

Peppermint is a cheap, easy and efficient way of getting rid of wasps, as they don’t like any type of mint.

According to a study published in the Journal of Pest Management Science in 2013, wasps are almost always kept away when faced with peppermint oil.

In addition to planting mint in the garden for preventative measures, simply add a few drops of the oil to a tissue or cotton pad and place it around the garden where wasps’ nests are found.

These areas include decking, porch roofs, sheds and under or behind crevices.

Gardeners can also make their own DIY wasp lure using “sweet treats”.

The experts said: “If all else fails, you can always try luring wasps away from where you’re eating.

“Wasps love sweet treats, so leave some jam or ripe fruit for them to feast on far away from your dining area.  

“Be sure to place the trap far away from where your guests will gather or you may accidentally entice the wasps.”

Gardeners can also place a solution of sugar and water inside an open bottle and hang it around the garden.

The sticky mixture will attract the wasps which will subsequently crawl inside and likely become trapped and die.

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