Here at The Garden Style Company, we have started to notice the return of that yearly phenomenon: angry wasp season.

Late summer seems to bring about a glut of these nasty stingers. If you’ve tried to spend any length of time outside, enjoying your garden, then we’re sure you’ve spotted at least a wasp or two. Wasps are on the hunt for sweet food at this time of year this is because once they’re finished bringing up their lovely little wasp babies, the workers are free to roam for their own sweet, sugary nutritional needs.

Wasps, contrary to popular belief, are an incredibly useful part of your garden’s eco system. They chow down on serious amounts of aphids and leaf-munching caterpillars, and their general presence helps to keep insect numbers across the spectrum in balance.

For most of us, wasps are a low level nuisance but for some, they signal a much greater threat. If wasps are becoming a problem maybe due to a severe allergy, or if you have young children at home, read on for our guide to controlling wasps in your garden.

Garden damage
Wasps are big fans of freshly ripe fruit. If you’ve worked hard to grow your own fruit be particularly wary of any wasps in your garden – it’s more than likely they’re salivating for your precious fruit.

If you know you have a wasp nest in your garden, you can ring the council, or pest control company, who will send someone to come and get rid of it. It is important to note that doing so also runs the risk of damaging other good insects like bees.

If the nest isn’t causing too much concern, learning to live with it may be the best possible course.

If wasps are seriously impinging on your garden time, it might be worth investing in a few traps – especially around sensitive areas like the play area, patio, or any eating areas. Wasps cannot resist sweet smelling scents – which is why they make a ‘bee-line’ for sugary drinks cans and fruit. Traps generally work by attracting wasps in with a sweet scent and then trapping them until they die.

Be wary!

Mowing rough patches, emptying your compost bin, digging in a neglected bed are all gardening activities were we have known people to have been stung by surprise.

Wasps – again, contrary to popular belief – don’t sting out of spite. Wasps sting because they feel threatened. Even if you don’t think you’ve done anything particularly threatening, try to see things from the wasp point of view. Anything they perceive as a threat to their hive, the queen, and their babies, will be met with the full force of their stings. It’s worth remembering that wasps are free to sting many times as the sting does not come off – unlike their bee cousins.

Wasps can be a total nuisance in late summer, but they can also be an important part of your garden’s ecology.

Whether you decide to trap them, get rid of the nest, or learn to live with them: watch out this weekend, there are stingers about.