It is perfectly possible to deter wasps from buildings,
including your home, and to do so naturally and without using Deet or highly
In general, I do not like the notion of killing things, and especially given that wasps are valuable pollinators, and are also excellent as a natural predator of crop eating pests (and given that wasps are going through a hard time too!), personally I think it is better in the first instance, to deter wasps from building a nest in the first place.
Let’s put it this way, if you have to call out assistance, you will be charged, and toxic chemicals may be used, and you’ll have to hope the nest is properly removed (otherwise more may turn up later or next year).
Personally, I leave wasps alone (more about that in a moment), but if you’d like to deter wasps from building a nest, here are my main tips:
You can deter wasps from making a nest with a Waspinator.
Waspinators mimic wasp nests, discouraging actual wasps from making a nest (they're very territorial).
Waspinators look a bit like a paper bag. You could try making one yourself, but if you don’t have the time, they are not very expensive to buy and should last a while.
Waspinators work by tricking wasps into
thinking there is already a colony of wasps in situ. Because wasps are
territorial, Waspinators deter wasps from building a nest in a natural way.
In order for them to be effective, you should hang them in place from your roof, out buildings, or anywhere that might be a potential nesting place, in advance of the ‘wasp season’.
You can also use them as a temporary measure around any area where children may eat or play, such as the picnic table, climbing frame or paddling pool.
There are a few Deet-free, eco-friendly
insect & wasp repellents available on the market. You could try a repellent containing picardin
around the home (but, I must say, personally I would not recommend it in place
of a Waspinator).
I do recommend you try Deet free repellent for the skin if you need something handy to have when you are out and about.
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Insect repellent bands are a further option and could be useful for children, sports people, gardeners, or anyone with an active outdoor life.
We used to have a nest in a compost heap, but eventually we moved the compost heap and later replaced it, since when, the compost heap has had a bumble bee nest in it, but no wasps.
However, we had a wasp nest in our attic - this is a picture of it below - and we had no idea at the time, that it was even there!
We had a very busy nest of wasps on our allotment some years ago.
Personally, I leave the wasps alone, because they are fantastic pollinators of my Autumn raspberries. I often observe them, pushing their hairy thorax into the flowers, and I find they are too busy getting on with the job of collecting nectar to be bothering me.
I have had some brilliant feedback from people who, having read the information on my site, have tried the 'leave it alone' approach, including a wasp nest by the decking, one in a bird house, and my sister, who had a wasp nest in her chimney. It really all depends on your circumstances, but you can read more about it here.
However, I am also able to remain calm around wasps, and have never, ever been stung (indeed, I even rescue wasps!). Remaining calm is something that not everyone can manage, and I suppose even this would not guarantee that you would not get stung.
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