Wasps are one the most prevalent household pests, and they become more vulnerable, especially when you have a grapevine in your yard. As wasps like sweet things, you may often find them buzzing around your grapevine. Now, the question is: how to keep wasps away from grape vines?
There are various ways to keep wasps away from grape vines. You can keep them off by employing insecticides, installing traps, using boric acid, protecting your grapes in a net bed, trimming the bushes, and keeping your yard clean.
Are you tired of wasps in your yard and want to protect your grape vines? If so, read my top-notch strategies to kick them off from your yard.
How Do Wasps Harm the Grape Vines?
Wasps live in your grapevine for two reasons: they love to eat grapes, or they live as parasitoids on a grapevine. According to the Journal of The Fundamental Role of Biosystematics in Insect Diversity and Conservation, wasps live as parasitoids with a moth on a grapevine to maintain a natural ecosystem. However, below are the significant harms that wasps can do to your grapevine:
- Wasps eat grapes by piercing the skin. While they don’t eat large quantities of grapes, they can spread mold and other pathogens, further damaging them.
- When wasps feed on grapes, they can cause lesions in the fruit, making it easier for other pests, such as birds, to reach and consume them.
- If wasps feed on sick grapes and then move to healthy ones, they can spread illnesses and infections from one vine to another.
- Although wasps don’t directly injure grapes, their presence can be annoying and dissuade workers or visitors from tending to the plants.
How Can You Frighten Wasps Away from Grapes?
It can be challenging to keep wasps away from grapes, but there are a few methods you can try.
- Wasps tend to avoid areas where they think other wasps are living. So, you can frighten them by hanging fake wasps’ nests.
- You can make a DIY wasp trap that can attract wasps and trap them.
- Cover the grape clusters with lightweight mesh or netting. This physical barrier will keep wasps away from the grapes.
- You can also frighten them away by spraying essential oils on the grapes directly, including peppermint, spearmint, and citronella.
- Moreover, you can hang bags filled with crushed mint, cloves, or other strong-smelling herbs to deter wasps.
How to Keep Wasps Away from Grape Vines
Below are some ways that can help you in keeping wasps away from your grapevine:
Using insecticide to deter wasps is an effective method to keep wasps away from grape vines, but you should be cautious and follow the instructions on the label. According to the Journal of Conservation and Restoration Ecology, insecticides, especially Indoxacarb, is highly effective in protecting vineyard from parasitoid wasps.
First, you should know which species of wasp is causing the problem. Some wasps are beneficial because they hunt other insects; however, others can be a nuisance.
Now, choose insecticides labeled explicitly for wasp control. You can apply the insecticide when wasps are active, often in the early morning or late evening. Remember to concentrate on regions where wasps congregate or nest. Pay special attention to the undersides of leaves, the base of vines, and any surrounding buildings. If the wasp’s activity persists, you can reapply it.
Use Boric Acid
Boric acid is another good remedy against wasps; you can employ it directly on grapes to ward off wasps. First., you should make a solution of boric acid with water. For this, you should take some water in a spray bottle, add 1 to 2 tbsp of boric acid, and mix it well. After that, you can spray this mixture directly on your grapevine.
Whenever wasps try to eat grapes, boric acid will not allow them to do so. It paralyzes the muscles of wasps and causes their death. However, you should be cautious while applying boric acid on the vines because it may cause skin irritation. Wear gloves and full sleeves before applying boric acid to your grapevine.
Wasp traps are one of the most effective ways to eliminate wasps. You can buy commercial wasp traps or create your own. If you’re creating your traps, you need containers with short necks, like plastic bottles or glass jars. Moreover, you should also have scissors, stings, and safety gloves.
Now, to prepare the trap, cut the top portion of the bottle and fill it with any bait, like any sugary solution, to attract wasps. Now, hang it near the grapevine with the help of a sting. Make sure the traps are at or slightly above the grapevines’ height. Check the traps regularly, especially at dawn or dusk. When you find maximum wasps trapped in it, dispose of it out of your house in a trash bin.
It is another effective and helpful way to protect your grapevine from wasps. First, you should have fine mesh, stakes, and ties to create a grid. Now, measure the area where you want to protect your grapevine. Cut the mesh into small pieces that can cover the grapevine.
Set up garden stakes around your grape vines that will serve as a framework for the grids. Now, drape the mesh fabric over the supports to form a barrier around your grape vines. Check for any openings where wasps could get in. After that, secure the mesh to the supports using garden ties. It will keep it in place, especially in windy situations. Regularly inspect the grid to make sure it remains in place.
Spray Wasp Repellents
Using wasp repellents is another effective way to keep them away from grape vines. You can wasp repellent spray using natural deterrents, including peppermint, dish soap, vinegar, and cayenne pepper spray. To prepare a wasp-repelling spray, mix any repellent in a spray bottle containing water.
After that, find the area where you want to spray it. Now, you can sprinkle this solution directly on grapes. When the wasps try to eat grapes, they can’t bear the pungent odor and leave the area. Moreover, you can also grow mint plants near the grape vines. The strong aroma of mint will also deter wasps. Natural repellents are the easiest way to ward off wasps. I would recommend you to try this method for incredible results.
Trim the Bushes Regularly
Trimming grape vines can help manage wasp populations to some extent. Regular trimming helps to keep grape vines healthy and reduces wasp hiding sites. However, you should avoid over-pruning, which can stress the plants and make them more vulnerable to pests.
Moreover, you should remove any fallen or broken grapes from the ground as soon as possible. Maintain a clean and debris-free environment surrounding the grapevines. Wasps can hide in fallen leaves, weeds, and other organic substances. Further, you can also use fertilizer to keep your yard healthy; excessive fertilizer use can lead to abundant new growth.
Remember that while these techniques will help avoid wasps, you should always use caution when dealing with stinging insects.
Keep Your Yard Clean
Keeping your yard clean may discourage wasps from nesting near your grape plants. Wasps are drawn to decaying fruit and organic materials. Therefore, you should clean up fallen grapes and any other organic debris promptly. Moreover, make sure your trash cans are properly sealed and emptied regularly. Wasps might be attracted to rotting food.
Furthermore, when you’re outside, especially near the grape vines, keep food and drinks covered. If you have outdoor seating or dining spaces, be careful to properly clean them after each usage to remove any food remains. Examine your grape vines for wasp activity or nests. If you spot any, take the necessary steps to remove them safely.
Using baits to keep wasps away from grape vines can be difficult. While it is feasible to make homemade wasp baits, it is vital to be cautious because some ways may mistakenly attract more wasps. You can prepare a wasp bait with any sugary substance.
Take a container, then pour a sugary liquid in it. Now, add a little quantity of dish soap to it and mix it well. Place the container close to your grapevines, but keep it away from them. Regularly inspect and replenish the bait. With time, it can vanish or lose its effectiveness. Above all, observe the bait to determine whether wasps are drawn to it. If it’s not functioning, you should change the bait’s type or location.
Employ Sewed Bed Around a Bunch of Grapes
Creating a barrier around your grapevine is an effective way to deter wasps. You should pick a lightweight material or mesh to keep wasps from the grapes while letting air and sunshine reach them. First, take the size and height of the grape bunch you want to protect. Add a few extra inches to ensure the fabric completely covers the grapes.
Now, pin the fabric’s edges in place. It will give you a neat edge and keep your material from fraying. To make sure the grapes are well covered, gently lay the cloth over the bunch of grapes. Moreover, to secure the mesh around the bunch of grapes, if a drawstring has been attached, pull it tight. Inspect the fabric bed regularly to ensure it is still in place and that no wasps have gotten inside.
Destroy the Wasp Nest
If you have a wasp nest near your grape vines and wish to keep the wasps away, you must approach the issue cautiously to avoid stinging. Before destroying a wasp, wear gloves, a mask, and long sleeves. You should have the necessary tools, including wasp spray and a flashlight.
Aim to walk slowly and deliberately so as not to disturb the wasps. If you’re using a wasp spray, follow the directions on the product to spray the nest while maintaining a safe distance thoroughly. Carefully remove the nest when you’re sure all the wasps have died. Now, seal the nest in a plastic bag and dispose of it in a secure garbage bin.
If you have a grapevine in your yard or home, you may undoubtedly encounter wasps. Wasps can damage your grapes by eating them and transferring pathogens from one bunch to another. Although removing wasps from the grapevine is a challenging task, you can get rid of them by employing insecticides, using boric acid, installing traps, sewing net beds around the grape bunches, and keeping your yard clean.
I hope you find a direction now to protect your grapevine from wasps. Above all, if you have a giant nest in your yard, ask for help from a professional pest control company to protect yourself and your children.
Di Giovanni F, Ricciardi R, Loni A, Scaramozzino PL, Benelli G, Lucchi A. Back to the Wild: The Parasitoid Community of Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in a Grapevine-Free Natural Environment. Insects. 2022; 13(7):627.