Updated: Mar 20
From a young age, most people are taught or learn from observing, that to wave away bees is to move
away from them. The term ‘bees’ often also encompasses wasps. However, bees and wasps are two
different species of insects. Both are beneficial to the environment in many ways, but wasps can
become an unwelcome and potentially dangerous insect in the yard. The wasp family, which includes
hornets, is by nature, a more aggressive species.
There are over 30,000 species of wasps, but you don’t have to worry about identifying all of
them. The majority of wasp species are solitary, meaning they do not form colonies. On the other
hand, social wasps form colonies and some notable social wasps are hornets and yellow jackets.
Wasps can be identified and distinguished from bees by the shape of their bodies. Wasps appear
to have waists, a slender part of their body between their thorax and abdomen.
The most recognizable coloring for wasps is yellow and brown. However, wasps can be a
multitude of colors from blues to reds. It is important to note that only female wasps are larger
and have stingers. Because of this, females will often stay closer to the nests. This means that
disturbing a wasp’s nest will most likely get you stung.
Guarding Your Yard and Home From Wasps
Although wasps can provide pest control for your property and pollinate plants, they can also be
harmful to you, your family, and pets. When it comes to wasps, their prevention can be handled
using several techniques that won’t require the use of chemicals. The following list is compiled
of natural preventative plants to have or not have that will help keep your home and family
Plants To Have In Your Yard:
Basil, mint, and cucumbers are three plants that will do double duty for you buy fueling
your culinary needs and keeping wasps away from your home.
Citronella is commonly used to keep mosquitoes away, but the smell will also deter
Eucalyptus is an excellent insect deterrent both as a rooted plant and dried leaves in your
Pitcher plants are less of a deterrent and more of a control plant, as they are carnivorous
and trap insects to use for their own nutrition - including wasps.
Plants To Avoid In Your Yard:
- Queen Ann’s Lace
- Fruit trees
Although it is best to avoid having plants and trees that attract wasps to your property, that does
not mean you can’t enjoy them with proper care. Make sure to not over-plant spearmint and
sweet fennel if you cannot keep up with the maintenance. When it comes to fruit trees, make sure
to pick the fruit as soon as it ripens. The longer you wait to pick fruit, the sweeter it will become,
and the more irresistible it will be to a wasp.
Other Wasp Prevention Tips
Properly maintaining your plants and garden may not be enough to protect your property against
wasps. You will also want to: