urbpan: (dandelion)
[personal profile] urbpan
While searching for some back-up for my crazy pest control notions (clean trash cans and dining areas with a pressure washer to keep yellow jackets away) I came across this horrifically wrong article. I won't link to it for fear of driving unsuspecting traffic their way.

With summer on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking about picnics and barbeques and all those fun outdoor activities! Wherever you bring food outside, inevitably pests like bees and wasps turn up ready to ruin your party. How do you keep bees away from your food? Here are some tips for getting rid of bees and wasps:


1. Clip On Bee or Wasp Repellent. This is an easy way to get rid of bees and wasps without using traditional wasp or bee repellents that come in spray bottles. The clip ons are just as effective, but there’s no worry about getting chemicals into your picnic food!


There is no such thing as wasp repellent (I'm going to ignore every time they say bee when they mean yellow jacket. I'm getting used to this bit of taxonomy fail.) Anyone who tries to sell you wasp repellent is guilty of fraud. Perhaps this blogger is talking about mosquito repellent. Knock yourself out.

2. Dryer Sheets. Dryer softener sheers are an easy way to keep away bees and wasps without using chemicals. Just leave a few sheets around your picnic table or areas you’re serving food. Best of all, your picnic will smell clean and fresh! You can also use dryer sheets to keep bees and wasps away from people. Simply rub the sheets on exposed skin, or keep a sheet or two in your pockets.

Not proven to work, but hey, as wastes of time and money are concerned this one is pretty minor. If your brand of dryer sheets don't have chemicals in them, you are being swindled. Do they have an odor? Chemicals.

3. Mothballs. These musty smelling balls act as an effective wasp repellent. Scatter them around your picnic area to get rid of bees and wasps. To ensure they don’t get in food or eaten accidentally, try tying a few in old pantyhose. Though mothballs are intended to kill moths in enclosed areas, in open spaces they perfectly safe for humans. Bees and wasps don’t like the smell so they work perfectly as a bee repellent.

HO LEE SHIT. Perfectly safe for humans?? This is by far the most irresponsible part of this article. Not only is this an "off-label" use of a pesticide (against federal law) but it's one of the most dangerous pesticides still in use.


4. Brown Paper Bags. One of the easiest ways to keep away bees and wasps is to hang up a blown up brown paper bag. Simply fill a bag with air and round it off to look like a bee or wasp nest. Bees and wasps are very territorial and will not venture near areas where there are other bees or wasps. It may sound silly, but it works.

Again, this is a harmless waste of time and money. Let me tell you about the times that I have found 3-5 different eusocial wasp nests in the same hundred square feet area.

5. Cut Up Cucumber. Bees and wasps dislike the scent of cucumber slices, so leaving a few of them around your food platters on a picnic is an easy way to keep wasps away with something you may already have on hand. And if your guests are hungry for a snack, you have a healthy one at the ready!


Do they dislike cucumbers enough to ignore the tuna salad and the apple juice? Try it and let me know.


6. Cloves. Bees and wasps don’t like the strong smell of cloves. Scatter a few around the perimeter of your picnic, to get rid of bees and wasps.

This is based on a grain of truth: clove oil is an insecticide. Is there enough clove oil in a jar of cloves that you scatter on the ground to keep aerial pests from visiting your picnic area. I'll stay skeptical on this one.

Hopefully these easy tips have taught you how to keep bees away from your next picnic, using a few materials you probably already have around the house!

And here's the real problem. There must be an easy fix using materials we already have around the house right? That easy fix is called don't eat outside in the summer. OR if you do, don't use anything containing sugar or meat, and while you're at it don't wear any products that smell like flowers or fruit. The truth is that there are (depending who you ask) about a dozen species of yellow jackets, two or three of which are very very attracted to human sources of food. Yellow jackets can be unpredictable: I have eaten an entire "meal" of chicken fingers, sweet and sour sauce (their favorite! Smells like fermenting fruit juice), and soda, all the while with yellow jackets all around, crawling on my hands and on the food. I was not stung. I have been stung, randomly, out of nowhere, just because I wandered close to a nest I didn't know about.

Use common sense and please don't misuse pesticides.

Date: 2016-09-07 04:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] donnad.livejournal.com
nd while you're at it don't wear any products that smell like flowers or fruit.

THIS! 100% this. But try to find unscented deodorants, shampoos, and laundry detergents these days. It's challenging. Everything smells florally or fruity.

I had a friend once that couldn't understand why the mosquites and wasps/hornets always were all around her and left me alone. I told they would leave her alone if she didn't smell so much like flowers all the time. Her reponse was, but I don't use perfume. I had to remind her that her shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, and make-up all had fragrances in them and that she did smell like various fragrances ALL THE TIME.

She wanted to know what I used that didn't attract the insects, I told her I use fragrance free detergents and deodorant, Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap exclusively for soap, and mint scented shampoo and conditioner. Mint is a natural insect repellent. It worked for me. Sadly the mint shampoo I used to use (from the Body Shop) has been discontinued.

ETA: I have to be super careful, I'm allergic to bee stings.
Edited Date: 2016-09-07 04:25 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-09-08 07:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] urbpan.livejournal.com
Peppermint is a good choice, since it's naturally repellent. Probably other mints, cloves, and wintergreen are the same.

Date: 2016-09-10 06:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] audacian.livejournal.com
The previous owners of our house loved their mothballs. I think we finally got rid of the stank by venting the house, running the AC and burning incense. They also love stupid ozone things which are apparently also dangerous. I would rather have all the ants and moths, thank you.

Date: 2016-09-19 09:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] m0053.livejournal.com
Thanks for sharing!

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