Location: SW Tennessee Zone 7a average rainfall 52"
posted 2 years ago
For the past 2 years, we've had a crazy population of red wasps that hung out at the entrance to our barn. They are aggressive little suckers that would dive bomb us and sting just for walking through the doorway. I will confess to using a few non-permie-friendly approaches to getting rid of them, none of which worked very well.
This year ... the carpenter bees have moved in, and all of a sudden we don't have a lot of wasps. Mind you, of the two, I'd rather have the carpenter bees. They don't bother people at all, and I enjoy having cute, fat little bees buzzing around.
However, I like my barn.
Do I trap the bees and risk the wasps coming back? Do y'all know of any beneficials I could buy and release that would discourage red wasps but not have my barn for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Any other ideas?
It sound odd, but if you paint the undersides of your eaves (and maybe the roof in a barn) sky blue, then the wasps don't build nests there. That won't stop them from building nests on vertical surfaces, but they do less of that in my experience. We have a huge wasp population, sometimes making the shed that we didn't paint unusable, but we never have wasp nests on our house.
I will second Casie's tip and if you want to save your barn you need to paint it too. Not only will wasps not build on paint but carpenter bees won't be happy to drill their nests through that paint either.
In the case of the wasps, I think it's the color that is important. Occasionally we get tiny nests on yellow and red surfaces. I think the idea of the blue is that they have a hard time determining if that's a solid surface or sky.
I agree Casie, Both are color sensitive insects, Many folks here say to use white paint for carpenter bees and sky blue for wasps.
I have found that the sky blue works well for both and white not so much for either and you certainly don't want to use reds, yellows, deep blues or anything else that you can find in flower colors.
I have an orange T that I love but I can't wear it when working outdoors because every insect with a stinger comes wanting to pollinate me.
I have witnessed carpenter bees home in on a shirt color, worn by someone who disturbed them, they chased the poor fellow for three blocks and they attacked the shirt after he took it off and threw it on the ground.
He had suffered about 10 stings in the time period he was fleeing those bees.
I have to be very cautious around any of them since I am anaphylactic to bee and wasp stings.
I have exactly 1 hour to get to an Epinephrine pen, which I usually have on me or very near by.
I have paper wasps in multiple nests on the eaves of my garage and under a handrailing by the deck. All are close to the deck, to the garage, and to the front door. I haven't been stung for a couple of weeks, but it's getting tiresome. I'm getting some of that sky blue paint.
On the garage, shall I just paint the wood rafters, or spray the entire eaves - metal and wood alike?
Since they like the plastic, I'm wondering whether I need to paint the entire railing sky blue. Or just the undersides? Or won't it work anyway? They've chosen a spot that's sort of a cozy corner.
And then - hornets or bees are eating my strawberries and raspberries. Is it true that the wasps might chase them off, and how can I encourage a wasp nest over there? (It's just across the driveway, and there's an old chicken coop.... ideas?
And by the way, homeopathic Apis has taken the sting right out if taken quickly. I use 200c. Some people use Vespa - it would depend on your body's reaction.
here in e tn the red wasps withblack wings have taken over the upstairs of the house, cannot go up there in daytime. i have been here 2 years but i was told this has been going on for at least 65 years. they attacked me in the barn last month just b4 sunrise i was trying to spray some nests, before i knew what was happening two of them stung my throat, i had a golfball size welt for a week. it is time to call the orkin man
However, if you would like a more permanent fix for carpenter bees.
Order some Timbor on line or just buy bottles or Roach Away, it's 95% boric acid.
Mix it up in the hotest water you can get in a pump sprayer, and shake it up real gooo and spray in on the whole fence.
Any exterminator can also do it for you.
Once it drys the fence will look the same but if the bees eat the wood it kills them by dehydrating them.
One of the strangest things I've been told is to build an imitation Hornet nest and place it where you don't want carpenter bees or wasps hanging out and having their brood.
I tried it this year and son of a gun, it worked, all the carpenter bees left that area and haven't been back to it.
I also noticed that any of our black butt, red wasps that tried to move in, left the area once they noticed the fake hornet nest up in the corner.
Next year I may go all out and make a papermache hornet nest or three so I can put one in each of our out buildings.