A couple of months back, I opened up the patio umbrella to find five or six paper wasps busy making tiny paper homes, right inside my umbrella. None of them seemed very worried about my presence and continued doing whatever it is they do.
Having found other residents, at times, enjoying life in the unopened umbrella, I’ve learned to open it with care.
Last year two small bats thought the umbrella rocked… That year, the umbrella opening sequence was open slowly and duck out of the way as they flew off.
So back to the wasps…
I wasn’t sure what they were at first, but ten minutes on the internet yielded a bounty of information. The words that caught my attention were ‘beneficial’, ‘social’ and ‘seldom sting unless their nest is disturbed’. Please stay in my garden, beneficial insects. And yes, love that you all love hanging out together. But that potential stinging part – not gonna work!
According to the info I’d just read, the best way to remove them was to spray the nest with a steady stream of water, or knock it with a pole (and run). Of course, that option made me feel like a nasty human, the kind that the animal world has come to expect. My space – MINE! Plan B, I could just call that umbrella history, move it to another part of the garden and get a new one.
Back to the umbrella… So, rechecking the situation (an hour after opening it and looking online) I found that all of the wasps had left the scene. Probably to gather more materials that they then mix with their saliva to create the paper. And, all of these nests were tiny. Probably only a days work, I thought. Before I knew it, a broom was in my hand and swish, swish, swish, the nests were gone!
Ok, now what to do with my guilt…
ps: Though this won’t help you get rid of paper wasps, here’s a way to keep your garden healthy and attract beneficial insects to your garden.
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