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Three Things To Know For Keeping Those Summer Pests Away From Your Backyard And BBQs

Brett Hondow

In the heat of summer, it’s a time when we think of about some of those summer nuisance pests that come around and want to enjoy our barbecue and picnic with us.

So the group of insects called paper wasps, there’s three common species or types that typically plague us during the summer. The European paper wasp, which is an invasive from Europe as the name suggests, likes to eat soft-bodied insects like caterpillars but they also like the fruit in your ripening grapes and berry patch. Then there’s the yellow jacket. These guys nest in the ground and they are fairly aggressive. Their sting can be quite painful. They like to go after your meat on your barbecue grill.  And there’s the bald-faced hornet. These are the ones that build the paper enclosed nest usually up in a tree or shrub hanging above ground level.

All of these insects can be beneficial and in that they are preditors and help eat insects. However they can also, because of their social behavior, be very painful when they sting you.

So some of the things you can do to keep your summer picnic going well is to think about where they are nesting. The European paper wasps build the open umbrella shaped nest underneath the eaves of houses and decks. You can do things to close off those areas to prevent their nesting or remove the nest before they build up. They also like to come to water so if you have a pool or water feature think about covering this during the heat of summer. You can also use certain kinds of traps. Yellow jackets come to a specific type of yellow plastic trap with a lure that you can purchase commercially. European paper wasps come to fruit-based traps. You can also use insecticides if you needed. Don’t leave open garbage or rotting fruit available.

And relax. Enjoy that they are also beneficial insects in your garden.