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8 tips to prevent wasp stings

Summer is finally here. Time to soak up some much needed Vitamin D and enjoy the great outdoors! But wait…..there’s a problem….and it is buzzing all around you.

Yes, those dreaded, perhaps hated, wasps and hornets are back on the scene again. While you might regard your garden as your domain, it is also nature’s backyard. And nature means insects of all types – stinging, biting, flying, buzzing.

Don’t add wasp stings to your list of summer burdens like sunburn and hayfever.

Follow these tips to avoid stings this summer.

wasp sting close up

How to keep wasps away

Like all of us, you just want a safe place to live, and your home and yard should offer this security. However, sometimes you just can’t keep wasps out, especially if they have a nest nearby or even on your property. Let’s not forget your pets are also at risk stings.

Keeping wasps away is in everyone’s interest. Understanding what attracts wasps and know how to behave when wasps are too close (although that’s easier said than done).

So here are eight things you can do to prevent wasps:

1. Keep food & drink covered 

Think barbecues, picnics, any outdoor dining. How many times have you seen wasps flying around an open soft drink can? Too many to mention probably.

While wasps prey and feed on insects, as their numbers grow throughout summer they are increasingly attracted to all of our human food too.

To avoid them getting too close, always keep your food and drink covered.

2. Get rid of that salami & tuna fish – strange but true 

Yes, even your expensive delicatessen purchases of chorizo, jamon & prosciutto are at risk. Seems strange, right? Strangely, protein-rich food items like these also attract wasps. Now you see why they like to hover around meat sizzling on your barbecue!

3. Go easy on the perfume 

Whatever your preference for smells, floral, herbal or even just manly – they can make you seem quite irresistible to a nearby wasp. Their attraction to your cologne increases the risk of getting stung.

Consider reducing the number of scents you apply during the heat of the day.

4. Forget fashion / make your own style

The fashion world might shoot me down for saying this, but we know that bright colors do attract insects. They don’t just target yellow either.

Avoid bright colors like yellow, purple, red if you don’t want to be a magnet to wasps.

5. Inspect your property for nests

Sheltered wooden locations make the perfect locations for a nest. Though hornets and wasps have slightly different preferences for an ideal location.

You should regularly check these spots on your property for any signs of activity or a nest:

  • Under the eaves of your home and anywhere there is an overhang on your building

  • Your attic space

  • Drain pipes and air vents

  • Garages / sheds 

  • Garden shrubs and trees

  • Underside of your decking (if you have one)

  • Suspicious holes in your lawn – some wasp species will make nests in old, abandoned rodent burrows

If you do discover a nest, you should get professional advice on how to remove nests. Attempts to remove a nest on your own without proper protection or knowledge are a sure fire way of getting stung!

6. Cover up!

At a time of year, when most people want to strip down, it seems illogical to be wearing long sleeves and long pants. However, that is one practical way to avoid, or at least reduce, the risk of stings.

Unfortunately even this might not help in those instances when an amorous wasp might fly up your pant leg.

7. Don’t swat at wasps if they’re circling

How many times have you witnessed a complete stranger attempting a crazy, raged dance move in public?….without music? They were probably trying to frighten away an unwanted flying insect- probably a wasp! Chances are the poor individual will have received a sharp sting for their efforts too.

Trying to swat wasps away, and potentially hitting them, makes wasps angry – don’t do it!

8. Walk calmly away

While you might feel anything but calm, this is really a golden rule. Some wasps species are very aggressive and need only a little provocation to sting. So don’t give them a reason to do this!

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