So you’re the type of person who likes to sit on your balcony on a sunny day, enjoying the fresh air and listening to the birds chirp in the nearby trees. Well, we hate to be the ones to break it to you, but those days are numbered. Wasps can quickly take over your balcony and make it nearly impossible to spend any time outdoors.
Fortunately, there are a few easy steps you can take to discourage wasps from claiming your balcony as their own. We will give you the seven tips to keep pesky wasps away from your balcony, but first, let’s take a closer look at what type of wasps you have.
Table of Contents
What kind of wasps do I have on my balcony?
- Yellow Jackets have alternating black-and-yellow patterns that run along their bodies, which measure approximately ½ inch.
- Nests of Yellow Jackets can reach the size of a basketball and are made with paper-like material.
- The nests of Yellow Jackets may be high on trees and balcony ceilings, close to the ground in logs, or even below the earth’s surface.
- Mostly dark brown with yellow and sometimes red markings
- The paper wasp thinner than Yellow Jacket with orange-tipped antennae
- Bulbous nest resembling a paper lantern with a visible honeycomb structure
- Typically found hanging from branches of trees or shrubs, door frames
- The paper wasps are generally not aggressive but may attack if the nest is touched
- Two types of hornets are found in North America: the Bald-faced and the European.
- Bald-faced Hornet: black body with white markings.
- European Hornet: brown body with yellow stripes and a light-colored face.
- Bald-faced hornets tend to build their paper nests high off the ground in trees or bushes.
- European hornets are more likely to build their paper nests in tree hollows, attics, wall voids, and other sheltered areas.
- They have slender, delicate-looking bodies that are typically black with light-colored markings and a metallic sheen.
- They do not live in colonies as they construct small 1-inch-long tubes from mud to serve as nests.
- It is not uncommon to find their nests under roof eaves, on porch ceilings, and in garages, sheds, barns, or even homes.
- Of all the wasp species, this is the least threatening to humans. They rarely sting, even if their nest is destroyed.
What attracts wasps to my balcony?
Wasps are naturally drawn to areas that provide the three things they need to survive: water, food, and shelter. Thus, a balcony can be attractive for them if these conditions are present.
Wasps have an incredible sense of smell and are drawn to flowers’ bright colors and sweet smells. Nectar from flowers is also a major food source for wasps, providing essential carbohydrates that keep them energized throughout the day.
Of course, once a wasp discovers this valuable resource, it will likely return again and again, making flower blossoms an important factor in attracting unwelcome visitors to your balcony. As such, monitoring the types of flowers planted around the home is important to minimize any temptations for these buzzing critters.
Flowers that are blue, purple, white, or yellow are most likely to attract wasps.
If you already have some flowers blooming nearby, try spraying them with wasp repellent. This will help keep the wasps at bay and allow you to enjoy your outdoor space without worrying about being stung.
Like any other creature, wasp attracts things that appeal to their senses. This means that anything sweet- especially open bottles of soda or juice, ripe fruit, desserts, jams or honey, and similar items- will attract them. Likewise, wasps are attracted to protein-rich foods like meat, eggs, and dairy, make sure you keep your rubbish bin tightly covered and dispose of cooking scraps properly. If you want to keep wasps away from your balcony, make sure to avoid leaving any food out in the open.
The world can be a dangerous and hostile environment for an insect as small as a wasp. After all, they must avoid potential predators and survive harsh elements such as rain and snow. That’s why wasps are constantly on the lookout for places that can provide them with protection. Your balcony is a prime spot since it offers plenty of shelter, shade, and warmth.
The walls of your balcony act like insulators, keeping the temperature inside relatively cool while protecting wasps from any dangers outside. Furthermore, crevices and cracks tend to appear in balconies thanks to weathering and wear-and-tear over time, providing wasps with even more coverage where they can form their nests or congregate in peace. In short, these desirable qualities make the balcony highly attractive to wasps!
Common sheltered areas include:
- Crevices or cracks in the pavement or foundation
- Gaps or small crannies in the walls or siding
- Hedges or shrubs
- Insulated walls
- Roof overhangs or eaves
Untreated wood is a major attractant for wasps. If you have a table, chair, fence, storage, or any other wooden structure on your property, seal or paint it with stain or paint to reduce wasp activity. Even if the wood is not currently used by wasps for their nests, painting it will help prevent them from establishing colonies in the future.
One of the things that can attract wasps to your balcony is standing water. If you have a birdbath or other source of water on your balcony, make sure to empty it regularly so that wasps are not attracted to it. If you also have a garden or plants on your balcony, and the soil is wet, this can be an attractive place for wasps to build their nests.
How to keep wasps away from balcony?
1. Get rid of food sources
Keeping wasps away from the balcony is essential to maintaining a safe and comfortable outdoor space. One effective way to do this is by removing any potential food sources. Fallen fruit, berries, spills, or pet food left unattended on the balcony can quickly attract wasps looking for an easy meal.
The same goes for compost piles and unsecured garbage cans; both should be covered securely and placed away from the balcony. Also, consider relocating hummingbird feeders away from your balcony.
2. Filling holes
If you want to keep wasps away from your balcony, fill any holes you find. Wasps build nests using any small opening they can find. Make sure to check for cracks or crevices in walls, roofs, door frames, and windows, and seal them up with caulk.
If you have any flower beds around your balcony, look for any potential holes that could be used as entrances by wasps, and fill them in with earth.
Lastly, installing screens on doors and windows is an effective way to prevent wasps from getting indoors. Once these steps are taken, the likelihood of having a wasp nest on your balcony will decrease significantly. Just remember: filling holes is key!
3. Avoid Swatting Wasps
Swatting a wasp on your balcony may seem an effective way to get rid of it quickly, but it can make the situation worse. Not only will you risk getting stung, but this method of killing wasps can attract more of them due to their pheromones. When a wasp is killed by swatting or any kind of chasing, it releases large amounts of alarm pheromones that alert other nearby wasps to a potential threat. The result? Instead of fewer wasps, you’ll end up with more! It’s much better to take preventive measures such as using wasp traps or deterrent sprays and ensuring no food or drink is left out on the balcony.
4. Plant wasp-repellent plants
When it comes to keeping wasps away from the balcony, many gardeners swear that planting wasp-repellent plants is one of their best solutions. Some fragrant flowers may be appealing to bees and other insects, but it’s better to plant wasp-repelling plants like:
- Carnivorous plants
- Citronella and lemongrass
These plants produce strong-smelling oils, which are effective deterrents against wasps. However, wormwood should be avoided as its strong aroma could be poisonous to small animals or even humans.
Fortunately, care for these plants is relatively simple, and they will make great additions to the balcony without any worry of a buzzy visitor!
5. Use essential oils
Using essential oils is an effective, safe, and environmentally friendly method for controlling wasp populations. Different species build nests in different locations, so it’s important to target spots where you’ve previously seen old nests.
Mixing three drops of clove, geranium, and lemongrass essential oils with two drops of dish soap and filling them up with water in a spray bottle yields an all-natural solution that will deter wasps from taking up residence near your home.
Coat areas on the outside of your homes like balconies, eaves, roofs, and other ledges or crevices to discourage new nest building and keep wasps away. This simple, natural method is ideal for getting rid of unwanted insect pests.
6. Wasp traps
Using a wasp trap effectively and conveniently manages annoying wasps around your home’s balcony or other outdoor areas. As opposed to physical removal, traps work by luring the insects inside with some enticing food, such as sugar water. Then you can contain them within a specially designed container that prevents them from escaping.
You will need the following materials to make a wasp trap: 1 banana peel (decaying fruit attracts yellow jackets), a large 2-liter bottle, 4 cups of water, ¼ cup of sugar, and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and a razor knife.
- Pour water into the bottle until it reaches the ½ cup mark.
- Add sugar to dissolve and shake the bottle until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour the apple cider vinegar in, and mix it well. Then, add the banana peel, followed by more water, until approximately half full.
- With a razor knife, cut a hole that is ¾ of an inch in the upper section near where you would like to place this decoy hive.
Commercial options are also available online if you don’t feel like crafting one yourself.
However, traps won’t fully solve the problem unless you’re able to locate where exactly the nest is – without it, you may just be capturing wasps passing through your yard instead of dealing directly with the issue. To optimize using traps as much as possible, your best bet is to try to locate the nest and place the trap close to its entrance.
7. The peppermint oil solution
Using peppermint oil is one of the most effective solutions for keeping wasps away from the balcony. The strong scent of peppermint is unpleasant to wasps and other insects, which causes them to move away quickly. Use a couple of drops of peppermint oil and mix it with dish soap and water in a spray bottle.
With this solution, you can keep them from building new ones nearby by spraying nests or areas where nests have been seen before. If a nest does appear close by, you can also spray directly on the nest for the best results. Peppermint oil is a great way to repel wasps from the balcony and help protect your family from any unwanted stings.
8. The water and soap solution
Soap and water solutions are effective methods for killing small wasp nests and can be used in many scenarios. When wasps come into contact with the soap-water mixture, their breathing pores will be blocked, leading to their immediate death.
It doesn’t take a lot of time or supplies to use this solution in order to keep your balcony wasp-free; you simply need to mix two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid into a spray bottle full of water, as this will create a powerful yet safe insecticide. Once you have done that, you can then spray the nest and wait for the wasps to disappear. With the right ingredients and enough patience, using soap and water solutions is an easy way to keep your balcony free from pesky pests!
9. Protect future nesting areas
Protecting future nesting areas is essential when attempting to discourage wasp populations from entering and nesting around the balcony. To help with this, it is recommended to purchase residual liquid insecticides and properly spray them in any areas that may be attractive for wasps to build nests – such as corners, overhangs, or rooflines.
Doing so will protect future nesting areas and stress wasps by introducing repellent smells into their preferred nesting regions. To ensure safety, always read and follow all instructions on the insecticide label before use. This will reduce the chance of accidental exposure to the products or their fumes while allowing effective protection against future infestations of wasps around the balcony.
10. Avoid wood furniture
Wasps and hornets are attracted to wood surfaces, using wood fibers to build their nests. Keeping wood furniture away from your balcony is an effective way of avoiding wasps entirely.
If you do have wooden furniture on your balcony, make sure to use the proper sealant, stain, or paint, as this will help protect it from all sorts of pests. Additionally, if you seal these surfaces in a timely manner after every few years, you will be able to further extend the lifespan of your furniture.
11. Don’t Use fake wasp nests
While it may seem like an effective deterrence to hang a fake wasp nest near the balcony, this is not a recommended way to keep wasps away from your home. Despite urban myths claiming that wasps will avoid nesting in areas where other wasp nests are already present, there is no scientific evidence supporting this common “strategy.”
Instead of investing money into purchasing fake paper wasps nest that doesn’t really work, it’s best to take preventive steps to ensure wasps stay away, such as keeping trash bins sealed, getting rid of food scraps or carcasses, and sealing up any small entry points which could be attractive spots for them to nest.
12. Avoid perfume
If you want to keep wasps off your balcony, you need to watch out for any perfumes or fragrances that you wear. Wasps are attracted to floral scents, so wearing strong perfumes can attract them more easily. In addition, avoid using floral fresheners in the area immediately surrounding your balcony.
Even if your balcony is quite spacious and far from flowers, they may still come by if there’s a sweet smell in the air. Thus, skipping out on the perfume spray when you’re going outside is important, as this proactive measure could greatly reduce the risk of being surprised by an unwelcome guest.
You can find more information here about why avoiding perfume is a good idea when going to nature.
13. Contact a professional
If the wasps on your balcony have formed a large outdoor colony, getting rid of them can be difficult and dangerous without professional help.
These professionals have access to supplies like protective clothing, specialized insecticides, and treatments, as well as the knowledge needed to safely pursue appropriate control measures so that your home remains pest-free. Inviting them for an initial inspection could mean the difference between having peace of mind and dealing with swarms of wasps outside your balcony.
What is the best deterrent for wasps?
The best deterrent for wasps is a combination of clove, lemongrass, and geranium essential oils. Applying these oils around outdoor walls, crevices, or other places where wasps tend to nest is recommended.
The best way to keep wasps away from your balcony is by taking a variety of preventive steps, such as getting rid of pet food and garbage cans from the balcony, making wasp traps, using insecticides, avoiding wood furniture and fake wasp nest, planting wasp-repellent plants, and not wearing any perfumes. If there is already a colony of wasps on your balcony, it is best to contact a professional for help.