With their bright, unmistakable coloring and menacing buzz, yellow jackets and bees warn birds and other insects to stay far away from them. If you want to give them the same message, you can create your own homemade repellent to deter them from bothering you and your family.
Yellow Jackets and Bees
Yellow jackets and bees both feed on nectar and can both be nuisance insects around your home. Both sport yellow and black stripes around their bodies and both can help pollinate plants in your yard. Like bees, yellow jackets live in nests dominated by a queen. Yellow jackets can sting multiple times without dying. They are more likely to build a nest close to your home than bees, sometimes choosing to create one near doorways or windows.
To create a homemade repellent for yellow jackets and bees, you need hot chili peppers, a few cloves of garlic, a pint of water and a spray bottle. Chop up the peppers until you have 1 cup of them, including the peels and seeds. Heat the water until its just about to boil, then pour it over the peppers. After the water and peppers cool, strain the water into the spray bottle. Peel and mince the garlic and add it to the spray bottle solution.
This homemade repellent works on contact. The water is infused with capsaicin, an oily compound in peppers. It's what makes your lips and tongue burn when you eat them. Bees and wasps don't like the burn so they avoid it. Garlic is a natural insect repellent and adds another layer for protection to the mixture. Spray it around your patio, grill and garage door to keep bees and yellow jackets away. If yellow jackets try to build nests on your home, spray the area they like with the repellent once a week to deter them.
The capsaicin that burns yellow jackets and bees can also burn your eyes and cause skin irritation. Avoid spraying the homemade repellent into the wind and keep kids away when you are spray it. The repellent will lose effectiveness over time. Preserve its power by storing it in a cool dark place. Discard any you haven't used after a month and create a fresh batch. This repellent can work on other insects; avoid spraying it on garden plants if you want beneficial insects to visit them.
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- "Greeniology"; Tanya Ha; 2007
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