Ways to keep wasps and hornets away from your Chicago home
Stinging insects are classified as pollinators–they make our world beautiful! They can also have some unfortunate consequences for humans. A sting from a wasp or hornet can ruin anyone’s perfect summer day. But by understanding their behavior and taking preventative steps, you can keep wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets nesting in your backyard.
Here are some ways to keep wasps and hornets away from your outdoor spaces in the Chicago area.
Wasps & Hornets in Chicago are Attracted to Your Backyard
Here in Chicago and surrounding areas, wasps and yellow jackets hatch in spring. By mid to late summer, their populations have outgrown the area they use for resources, and they start wanting protein instead of sugar. All of these factors send wasps and yellow jackets scavenging for food and water–and your backyard is a great place to get those resources!
Here are some sources of wasp attraction:
- Picnics: Wasps and hornets will eat anything they can land on. Cover any open containers of food or drink, and try not to use straws.
Bright clothing: Summer-wear can mimic bright colors of fruit, and perfume can imitate the scent of a flower.
- Garbage: Make sure all garbage areas are away from the outdoor tables, and seal any garbage cans or bags.
- New Wasp Nests: If you see a nest early in spring, remove it. Always make sure you remove the small nest in a safe way, and if you don’t think you can remove it safely, don’t touch it. Leave it to a professional.
- Early Prevention: In spring, make sure you seal any holes, loose siding, or other attractive spaces for nests.
- Wasp-traps: There are several retail models available, but it’s also really easy to DIY a wasp trap. Hang it away from any high-traffic areas.
Prevention is really the key here. By sealing and reducing available resources, wasps and yellow jackets won’t want to be in your backyard.
Plants that Repel Wasps and Hornets
It’s spring, you’ve followed the above tips, you have a plan for summer, and you’re confident in your ability to deal with wasps–but you want to be extra safe. Is there anything more you can do?
Yes! Use these natural home remedies against stinging insects:
- Plant mint, thyme, citronella, and eucalyptus.
- Spray peppermint oil.
- Use bay leaves in select locations.
These remedies should always be used together with prevention, sealing holes, and removing nests, but they’re a great way to get an extra layer of protection.
Stop Wasps & Hornets From Coming Back in Chicago
By maintaining clean backyard conditions and sealing garbage areas, you can eliminate attracting wasps and hornets. These are all great ways to prevent nests, but they are not solutions for existing nests. If you have a nest, it needs to be removed as soon as possible.
Consider calling a professional wasp exterminator, who can remove nests and advise you on any potential future wasp nesting spots. Professional pest control experts can identify the species of hornet or wasp, giving you tips and tricks on how to avoid specific problems.