This summer has been incredibly hot and dry here in Alaska, usually our summers have their fair share of rainy days but up until a few days ago the weather was just hot, and dry. Add in a winter with no snow, a very dry spring, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for wasp invasion. Our boys have already found and demolished 4 nests on our small plot of land but we are still swarming with wasps and hornets. Especially if we’re trying to eat outside, they swarm in and any meal outside is a real challenge.
I bought a few fake wasp nests at the hardware store this spring and hung them up hoping to keep the hornets away. Last year the hornets were thick around here too, they were in the siding of our home, in the boy’s treehouse and out by our chicken coop. The idea behind a fake nest is that wasps are territorial and will not hang out for long if there is a nest visible in the area. Basically I wanted to keep bees from burrowing in anywhere near where we might happen to be active, it’s the activity they seem to hate and they sting anything available when disturbed. We lost one of the fake nests to wind as soon as I put it out and when I went to buy they were sold out. Sold out. Sold out. I kept looking to buy more and couldn’t find then anywhere.
Finally I realized I could make my own fake nest out of a paper bag. I’d read about them years ago in a “helpful hints” book and finally after weeks of no new fake nests at the hardware store I made my own. Within hours, literally hours, the reduction in the number of wasps around the yard was noticeable. Places where they’d been congregating like the dog’s water bucket and the bird bath were empty! And the best part is just about anyone can make these fake nests, they’re that easy to construct.
You just need a few easy to find household products to make these in ten minutes or less.
For each nest you’re going to need
- 1 large paper grocery bag
- scotch tape
- hold punch
- crumple the large paper sack and turn it inside out if you like
- hold the open end and twist it shut
- hold the twisted end and tape it shut, just enough to keep it from opening back up
- then pinch the top together, place a piece of tape over the fold, then hold punch through the tape, this creates a reinforced hole to hang your nests with
- cut a piece of twine, string the nest on it, puff it out in the correct shape and hang it wherever you need fewer wasps
- if the rain comes you can easily snip the twine and store them in a dry location OR hang them in a dry location to start with, like up under the eaves
I’m making a bunch of these, I plan to hang one one each side of the house, out by our fire pit, out at my greenhouse and the chicken coop. I need less stung people in my life, don’t you??
If you STILL have a few hornets hanging around and you need to get rid of the ASAP try one of my easy to make DIY Hornet Traps–it lures hornets and wasps in and they can’t get out. When the season is over the whole thing can be recycled!