Yellow jackets—which are predatory, scavenging wasps—used to frequent my Denver garden. I hated them, and with good reason.
But, thankfully, I’m not seeing wasps in my garden this spring, ever since I tried a new product designed to ward off yellow jackets, wasps and hornets.
I never welcomed yellow jackets, and I used to confuse them with bees until one summer I got bitten or stung. Twice. And I had two intense allergic reactions, the second worse than the first.
When I told my neighbor friend I’d been stung by a bee, he told me it probably wasn’t a bee sting, but a wasp bite. His grandfather kept bees, and my neighbor knows that bees won’t typically sting. They are more peaceable creatures, pollinators, necessary to our gardens’ flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
I researched yellow jackets and learned that they are not pollinators. Yellow jackets are nasty. They bite a chunk of flesh, and the result can be toxic. Yellow jackets show up uninvited to my gardens, attracted to water, food, and bright colors. They often nest on the ground, or in cracked concrete—as was the case in my yard’s lower stairs.
Once I knew what they were and how much they could hurt me, I kept my eyes open for yellow jackets. Hosting girlfriends in my secret garden one evening, we were horrified to return to appetizers on the table where dozens of yellow jackets ripped apart cocktail shrimp. Yeeks!
I bought some pretty, blue, glass wasp traps, but never caught a single yellow jacket. I also tried those fluorescent yellow plastic traps, but I didn’t have much luck with those, either.
I recently learned that wasps are territorial.
Which is why the new faux wasp nest that I ordered from a gardening catalog seems to work. The catalog description claimed wasps won’t come within 200 feet of another wasp nest, so the fake nests keep the dangerous insects at bay.
I saw Get Lost Wasp in a gardener’s catalog. I ordered two packages, each with two simulated wasp nests for $10 per package. I hung the fake nests on each side of my house: one under an eaves on the porch and one under the eaves on the garage, one on a pergola near my back door, and one on a hook near my compost bins.
I’ve seen only a couple of yellow jackets ever since. This is a vast improvement!
I’m more comfortable working, relaxing, and eating in my garden without the risk of yellow jackets.
In the past, I’ve smashed and drowned yellow jackets. I even resorted to spray pest killers for the nasty ones. Once, I killed a yellow jacket, which is not easy to do; and I impaled its vicious yellow and black head on a toothpick. Then I stuck the toothpick in a hanging basket. Tower of London-style, I wanted to warn the other yellow jackets: your kind is not tolerated in these parts!
The faux nests work a lot better. Wasps instinctively fly away when they see the nest, assuming other wasps already have claimed the territory. Plus, I like the graceful look of the faux nests, which resemble paper lanterns.
Get Lost Wasp works, so far. And they come with a 100% guarantee. Take that, yellow jackets: buzz off!
Check out Get Lost Wasp here.
For more information on yellow jackets, see the links below.
Beware of wasps: Yellowjackets aggressive in autumn
Yellow Jackets: A Late Summer Nuisance
Scope out the bee-deviling details of stings and laws
••• “Cultivate your corner of the world.
You grow your garden; your garden grows you.” •••
• Colleen Smith’s gift book “Laid-Back Skier” makes a sweet Easter gift! This whimsical, inspirational book includes lots of ski bunnies and encouragement for life’s ups and downs. Watch “Laid-Back Skier’s” brief YouTube video here.
• Colleen Smith’s first novel, “Glass Halo”—a finalist for the 2010 Santa Fe Literary Prize — is available in hardcover or e—book.
To learn more:
• “Like” Friday Jones Publishing on Facebook for frequent posts on gardening and other fresh topics.
• Follow FridayPublisher on Twitter.
• Follow FridayJonesWags on Pinterest.