If you love feeding birds, chances are you have a bird feeder in your yard. While feeding birds is a great way to enjoy nature and help animals, it can also attract wasps. Find out How to Keep Wasps Out of Bird Houses with these Natural Wasp Repellent Tips.
How to Keep Wasps Out of Bird Houses
Feeding sugary foods or fruits can significantly lead to increased wasp activity. Whether you’re looking for a natural solution or something more potent to keep wasps away from your bird feeder, here are some tips for keeping wasps out of bird feeders and away from your home.
What Attracts Wasps to Bird Feeders?
Wasps enjoy sweet foods such as nectar, fruit, and sugars. If the food at the bird feeder is sweet or sugary, it can attract wasps. Wasps are also attracted to protein-rich foods like meats and insects. If a hummingbird feeder nearby has sugar water, it could bring wasps near the area. Not only will this deter birds from going near the feeder, but it can also be dangerous if people are nearby.
How Can I Keep Wasps Away from My Bird Feeder?
The simplest way to keep wasps away from your bird feeders is to avoid feeding foods that attract them. As you might expect, wasps are drawn to sweet things, mainly attracted by hummingbird nectar and sugar water. If you have a hummingbird feeder, it should be placed far enough away from other feeders to limit the number of wasps that will visit.
Because wasps are also attracted to fruit and meat, avoid putting these in your feeders. The only food that won’t attract wasps is seeds. If you want to continue feeding fruit and meat but don’t want to deal with wasps, try scattering these on the ground instead of putting them in a feeder. Wasps will still come to eat them, but birds won’t be bothered by their presence.
Wasps can also be deterred by using feeders with a special tray underneath the actual feeding area. This tray acts like a moat filled with water or oil, which wasps will not cross.
Why are There Wasps in My Bird Feeder?
The two most common species of wasps you might find at your bird feeder are yellow jackets and paper wasps. While it may seem odd that these insects are attracted to the food you put out for birds, it makes sense when you consider what birds eat.
The foods that attract birds to feeders, like sunflower seeds and suet, are also attractive to yellow jackets and paper wasps. The insects are drawn to these foods for the same reasons as birds: they’re an easy source of calories. Wasps also have a sweet tooth, so they love sugary hummingbird nectar.
If there isn’t any food available in your yard, wasps may scavenge at your bird feeders because they can’t find anything else to eat. Yellowjackets, in particular, become more predatory in late summer when their colonies grow larger and their queens stop laying eggs. They need more protein to feed their larvae and will hunt for caterpillars, other insects, and spiders to help keep up with the colony’s growing needs.
What is a Natural Way to Repel Wasps?
There are many natural ways to repel wasps. Here are a few:
- Mint oil
You can place a few drops of mint oil in a spray bottle filled with water and then spray it around the house or garden. Mint is a natural wasp repellent, and the oil will mask the scent of some of their favorite foods, like nectar.
The smell of lavender deters wasps as they do not like it. So, you can place lavender near your home’s entry points, windows, or any other area where wasps usually enter and exit your home.
- Dish soap solution
This is another effective homemade solution for repelling wasps away from your home. You have to fill a spray bottle with water and add a few squirts of liquid dish soap and mix well. Spray small quantities in areas frequented by wasps around your houses, such as on windowsills or door frames, to keep them away from your home.
Wasps have a natural enemy, and that is the spider. Put some fake spiders around your house, and you will see the wasps start to go away.
- Keep Clean
Keep your home clean and free of trash, and eliminate garbage cans near the house.
While we may not be able to prevent all wasps from setting up their hive, we can at least try to avoid allowing them to become a permanent part of our bird-watching community. By implementing the strategies above, you’ll help keep wasps from establishing new colonies and keep your new bird-watching community safe and happy!