NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — This time of year, you’ve likely had your picnic invaded by some bad bugs.
In late summer, uninvited guests are making their presence known across the state. Wasps can be found at any time during the summer, but tend to show up in higher numbers near the end of the season.
However, not all wasps are created equal, but there are some ways to keep them away from your outdoor events.
Just like us, most insects love the warm weather. That’s when they can reproduce and do the jobs in their nature, like bees foraging pollen. But a different buzzing has been around lately, that seems to be infiltrating more than just people’s sanity: wasps.
A study shows wasps are among the least-liked insects worldwide, but bees are appreciated and more understood. So how can you tell the difference between the two?
“Bees are traditionally fuzzy. They are big pollinators Their main food source is pollen and nectars. So, that fuzzy exterior is going to help them collect more pollen,” said Agriculture and Natural Resources- Horticulture Extension Agent, Emily How. “Where wasps are going to have more of that narrowly defined waist. They are a little more scavenging, omnivore-type food sources. So, while they eat pollens and nectars, they will also go after trashes, sugars, meats, those sorts of things.”
Wasps can also sting several times, compared to bees who can only sting once and then die.
Although the late summer brings more wasps to your backyard BBQ because of their mating cycle, some can actually be useful.
“Like the paper wasp, it is very beneficial. They are great pollinators, but they also will also utilize things like aphids beetle larvae, and other insects that are considered garden pests, as their food source. They are very beneficial for your garden as a natural pesticide but also as a good pollinator,” explained How.
Let’s say you have an important event coming up and you don’t want wasps showing up to bother your guests. Well, there are some DIY and some store-bought solutions to keep the party crashers away.
If you go the DIY route, a sugar water mixture and a two-liter soda bottle could be the answer to your problems.
“Take a plastic bottle cut off the top and put a sugar-water mixture. What’s going to have a good sugar content, what’s going to be attractive,” said How. “Put a little bit of water in there and add just a drop of soap you don’t want a whole lot and that’s going to break the surface water tension. So, when the wasps go to get that yummy little snack, that you put at the bottom, they are going to end up drowning themselves.”
If you are trying to get rid of a nearby hive, How says any store-bought wasp pesticide will do, just wait until dusk or dawn to spray the hive because that’s usually when they will be sleeping, and make sure to wear protective clothing.
How also says, that only the queen wasp survives the winter the rest of her workers die at the first frost. They also abandon their hive at that time, so if you find a nest after the first frost, you can safely remove it without getting stung.