‘TIS the season for all things buzzy.
While we want to encourage wildlife in the garden, wasps are one irritant it is hard to put up with.
Well, here’s a solution to ‘encourage’ the pests to nest away from those areas of the garden that you want to reserve for non-winged creatures.
The solution is to install a fake wasps’ nest.
The idea is based on the fact that wasps are very territorial and will aggressively defend their nests against wasps from other colonies.
When a foraging wasp sees another wasps nest, especially a large one, it will rapidly leave the area for fear of being attacked by the nest’s defenders.
Wasps have a very long range of vision and don’t realise the false nest is not real because they don’t get close enough to find out.
This ‘technology’ has been tried and tested for years, dating back to methods employed in the Middle Ages.
Why not try making your own wasps nest?
These eco-friendly solutions are available online to buy, but rather than parting with €20 plus post and packaging you can have fun getting your hands dirty.
- Blow up the balloon to a decent size and tie it closed (photo 1).
- Tie a string between the knot and the inflated section of the balloon.?I used an old hanger to hang the balloon above the sink.
- Mix a thick papier-mache paste – flour and water. If you make it too runny it will be very messy!
- Cut newspaper into 3-4 cm strips approximately
- Dip a newspaper strip into the bucket of the paste, and shake it loosely over the bucket.
- Place the strip on the balloon so that it lays flat (photo 2)
- Continue adding strips, ensuring you cover the entire balloon, and leave the long end of the string poking out of the newspaper. Thick covering takes longer to dry but becomes more durable.
- Let it dry overnight.
- Paint the balloon grey and let the paint dry. This may need to be done in sections to cover the entire balloon.
- Puncture the balloon inside the newspaper with a straight pin and tie the fake nest to your house, or wherever you don’t want wasps.