How to keep hornets and wasps away

Written by kimbry parker
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How to keep hornets and wasps away
Wasps go for sugary fruits and foods but you can keep them at bay with natural repellents. (Davidenko Andrey/iStock/Getty Images)

Wasps and hornets are annoying, yet necessary, insects. But even if they are an important part of our ecosystem, nothing is quite as irritating as hornets and wasps flying around your garden while you're trying to enjoy a day outside or dive bombing while you're sipping a pint outside a pub. In addition, these insects may pose a health risk -- hornet and wasp stings can hurt quite badly, and some people are allergic to these stings. If you need to rid your garden of hornets and wasps, choose an eco-friendly method rather than using a commercial toxic insecticide.

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Things you need

  • Empty spray bottle
  • 14 ml citronella oil
  • 4 ml pennyroyal oil
  • 8 ml lavender oil
  • 4 ml tea tree oil
  • 4 ml jojoba oil
  • Empty 2-litre bottle
  • Sharp knife
  • Bait (beer, fruit juice or wine, for example)
  • Duct tape

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    Repellent spray

  1. 1

    Fill a clean, empty spray bottle with the citronella oil, pennyroyal oil, lavender oil, tea tree oil and jojoba oil. Buy these essential oils from health food shops or pharmacies.

  2. 2

    Shake the bottle well to thoroughly combine the ingredients.

  3. 3

    Spray the mixture around the garden, on outdoor furniture and even on clothing to deter hornets and wasps.

    Hornet and wasp trap

  1. 1

    Thoroughly rinse out the empty 2 litre bottle with tap water.

  2. 2

    Cut the top off of the bottle. Use a sharp knife and make the cut carefully at the point where the sides of the bottle begin to even out with the width of the bottle. This is usually just above the brand label.

  3. 3

    Place bait in the bottom of the bottle. Beer, fizzy drinks, fruit juice and wine are some examples of good wasp and hornet bait. Place about 5 cm of bait into the bottom of the bottle.

  4. 4

    Place the top part of the bottle that you cut off upside down into the bottom part of the bottle (without the cap). Make sure the two pieces fit snugly together. Apply a few pieces of duct tape along the edges if the pieces are not snug.

  5. 5

    Place the trap in places you've seen wasps. The idea is for the wasps and hornets to fly down into the funnel of the trap to get to the bait and drown before they can get out.

  6. 6

    Empty the trap and refill it with new bait every few days, or as you begin to see dead insects in the bottle. Place the trap in a large bucket of water for about 30 minutes before emptying it to make sure all the wasps and hornets are dead before you clean it out.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't entice wasps and hornets to visit you during an outdoor picnic. Keep food and drinks covered with lids and wipe up any spills promptly. Keep rubbish bins covered with lids.
  • Avoid spraying the repellent spray directly on the skin. Do not spray the repellent in the eyes or mouth.
  • Never chase wasps or hornets to try to kill them. They are aggressive insects and will only get angry if you chase them.

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