By the Power of Beer

Occasionally, the weather in England is clement.  Hot, but not too hot.  Breezy, but not windy.  Sunny, but not skin-meltingly so: clouds meander pleasantly across the sky.  And on those days it is traditional to eat outside.  English people can be observed during these rare moments of acceptable weather optimistically setting garden tables and fanning the charcoals into obliging red-hot cooking temperature.

Shortly after the scene is set to perfection and everyone is waiting with forks poised to dig in to the tender juicy meat-products, those same people can be seen swatting and swearing and leaping out of chairs in dismay.  Yes, the wasps have descended to spoil all the fun.

But I have the solution!  Put away those pointless and dangerously-provocative fly-swats.  Abandon the strategy of a chemical spray.  What’s needed here is a gentle but powerful combination of carrot and stick.  No, it’s not perfect, but the wasp-count will be significantly lower.

First, get some giant citronella incense sticks and stick them upwind of your seating area.  That’s the stick: wasps don’t like smoke or citronella, apparently.

Now for the carrot:

I bought this wasp-trap several weeks ago.  I’ve tried filling it with honey.  I’ve tried jam dissolved in water.  The wasps tap-danced a fandango on my dinner-table and buzzed in my face.  But beer?  Beer works.  There are so many in there that I can’t count them all.

The wasp expert I heard on BBC Radio 4 last week extolling the value of wasps to the eco-system would no doubt disapprove.  He can have them in his garden while he is trying to enjoy his lunch.

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6 Responses to “By the Power of Beer”


  1. 1 retropink August 10, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    I have these in my backyard, in New Jersey, too. Soda also works. I use the clear stuff — like 7up or Sprite. Glad to know beer works too.

  2. 2 Ann in NJ August 10, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    I read your title and totally thought you were going in a different direction with this post! I’ll have to remember this one – we’re in the process of building a deck so we can eat outside.

  3. 3 Bella Rum August 11, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Ha! Thanks for the research. I hate those pesky little creatures. They must have made some sort of home up in the roof line just over our deck where we sit in the evening with a glass of wine. We sit there and watch them coming home as the sun sets. Yikes. We’ve sprayed a couple of times but it doesn’t phase them. Ug.

  4. 4 Shannon August 11, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    I use molasses. It’s so sticky that once they get inside they can’t get out! I will have to try the beer…

  5. 5 cardinal August 11, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    I’m loathe to share my beer, but if it keeps wasps away from me, I’ll do it. Thanks for the tip.

  6. 6 Jonathan August 15, 2010 at 11:28 am

    We have set up wasp traps several times over the years – apple sauce works well too.

    When I lived with my parents we always put old jam jars in the garden with holes poked in the lid – by the end of summer they were always full to the brim :)


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