How to Attract Wasps & Hornets

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Wasps and hornets are beneficial visitors to your garden. Wasps are eager to rid your garden of aphids, caterpillars, and insects that destroy your plants. An adult wasp lays its eggs inside insects. The larvae will then grow inside the host until the host dies. Wasps are social insects that play an integral part in any ecosystem. Wasps generally avoid people while they destroy pests that can destroy garden plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Sweet alyssum
  • Privacy fence
  • Shallow pan
  • Rocks and pebbles
  • Stop using broad-spectrum insecticides. Many insecticides will kill beneficial insects as well as hazardous pests. Use a selective insecticide instead, which will kill specific insects. Bacillus thuringiensis is a popular microbial agent found in commercial insecticides. However, the microbe only infects caterpillars by paralyzing their stomachs. It is safe to use around humans, hornets and wasps.

  • Plant fruit trees. Hornets like to feed on the sap produced by the tree and feed on insects that also feed on the sap. Hornets and wasps will be attracted to the bright flowers that tend to grow from fruit trees. Plant apple, peach, raspberry and pear plants to attract these insects.

  • Plant nectar-producing plants. Sweet alyssum is a flowering plant that produces small flowers. According to entomologists Denise Johanowicz and Everett Mitchell, sweet alyssum nectar increases the longevity of wasps. Hornets will appreciate the abundance of fragrance secretions created by the sweet alyssum flowers.

  • Provide a secure area. Wasps are able to hover in place, but they and hornets can be swept up by powerful winds and rain. Densely plant an area with trees and plants to provide a shield from powerful winds. You can also install a privacy fence around the perimeter of the garden. The garden will create a space where hornets and wasps can feel secure.

  • Create a watering area. Lay a shallow dish onto the ground. Fill the dish with water. Insert stones and pebbles of varying sizes into the dish. This will create a place for wasps, hornets and other garden critters to drink water. The stones and pebbles will ensure that the bugs do not fall into the water and down. Wasps and hornets will frequent the watering area.

Tips & Warnings

  • Include a large diversity of plants into the landscape. Plant perennial and annual plants. Wasps and hornets enjoy flowers in bloom as much as the gardener.
  • Do not agitate wasps. Swapping wasps will warrant a sting.

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