Few things can ruin a carefree day soaking up sunshine by the swimming pool more than wasps. Keeping hornets, yellow jackets and paper wasps away from a swimming pool is important to prevent stings. Splashing water, fruity drinks, sweet poolside treats and even landscaping can attract wasps, making your pool their summer hangout. Diverting wasps and removing their nests can prevent stings.
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Locate the wasp nests to determine what kind of wasps you have. Paper wasps build funnel-shaped nests under eaves and corners. They love to come to the pool for a drink, and then fly away. Hornets make bubble-shaped nests that attach to the sides of trees or buildings. Yellow jackets nest underground in old rodent burrows or in rock walls. Watch them return to their nests about an hour before sunset to see where they live.
Consider purchasing an over-the-counter insecticide. These are generally inexpensive, and you can get 1 can for less than £6 that will treat 3 to 5 nests, depending on the size.
If your vegetable garden is near your pool, protect it by laying a tarp over the plants. Put a cover over your swimming pool to keep insecticide out of the water. Make sure no small animals or children are in the vicinity before you spray.
Spray the nest after dark when the wasps are asleep inside. Most products have a spray range of 20 feet, so you don't have to worry about getting close to the wasps.
Stay away from the nest for up to 48 hours, and then remove it and throw it away, according to the directions on the package. Different insecticide products have different guidelines for disposal.
Clean insecticide products off your deck chairs, pool umbrella and other furniture before using them again. Overspray can be toxic.
Try the old Native American trick for getting rid of wasps if you're not interested in insecticide sprays. Hang a steak from a tree branch (downwind) and place a bucket of soapy water beneath it. Wasps gorge themselves on the meat and can no longer hold themselves up so they fall into the bucket. The soap in the water washes away their resistant waxy coat and they drown.
Tips and warnings
- Paper wasps love to nest under the pool deck or the edges of an aboveground pool. Don't forget to check there.
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