Spain is experiencing another heatwave, having already experienced one of the earliest recorded heatwaves this summer. So, if you’re lucky enough to own your own swimming pool, it’s likely that you’ll be spending even more time in it than usual during these hot summer months. But some people are put off from using their pools because they tend to attract both wasps and bees. This is because, like many animals (including humans), insects also get hot when the temperature rises, and seek out a water source to keep themselves cool. Wasps are also attracted to strong scents, including the smell of chlorine in the pool, as well as any grass and flowers that you have surrounding your pool.
Now that you know why there are so many wasps and bees surrounding your pool, it’s time to get rid of them! Here are our top tips for keeping bees and wasps away from your pool this summer:
- Introduce Another Water Source
Just like humans, wasps and bees can become quickly dehydrated when the temperatures soar, and often head to your pool because they are looking for a water source. Adding a new water source could attract them away from your pool. This could be a bird bath, or a bucket or bowl of water. Put this water source in place before you open your pool, so that the wasps and bees become familiar with it before the pool is an option for them. If your problem is wasps, rather than bees, try to put the water source near to their nest so that they will be attracted by its proximity: you should also fill the water source with old pool water, as the scent will attract the wasps faster.
- 2. Install a Decoy Nest
Whilst this won’t work for bees, if you’re being blighted by wasps then try installing a decoy nest next to your pool. Because wasps are so territorial, they avoid living close to other wasps wherever possible. If they see a nest, they might move on to somewhere else, thinking that another group of wasps has beaten the to the prime location. Decoy nests can be easily and affordably be purchased online.
- 3. Call a Beekeeper
We all know how important bees are to our survival, so whilst you might not want them hanging around your pool, you don’t want them to come to any harm either. If you have a lot of bees around your pool, but no obvious nest, try calling a beekeeper. They will be able to safely relocate the bees for you, in a humane way.
- 4. Surround Your Pool with Herbs
As pollinators, bees are easily repelled by scent. . Surround your pool with potted mint plants, geraniums or lemongrass as this will help to repel them, whilst also making your pool area smell great. If you don’t have the room for plants, you could also create a heavily scented spray by mixing peppermint, lemongrass or clove oil with water and then spraying it around the pool area.
Avoid any scents that will attract the bees: this includes flowers and anything sweet (like soft drinks or ice cream). If you do eat food around your pool, ensure that you cover it and dispose of it immediately. Any food smells will simply draw in the bees further.
- 5. Fill a Small Bottle with Diesel
Noone knows why, but wasps love the smell of diesel fuel. In fact, they’re so attracted to it that they will fly straight into a bottle of the substance just to get a taste of it. As long as it's safe, and you don’t have other pets that might be tempted to give it a taste, why not try leaving a small bottle of diesel directly under the wasp nest, or the area where the wasps tend to congregate near your pool? You’ll be amazed at how many of the wasps will fly directly into the bottle, meaning that they won’t be bothering you or your pool!
- 6. Make a ‘No Kill’ Wasp Trap
Finally, as long as your trap doesn’t harm or kill any animals, a wasp trap can be used for both wasps and bees. These are easy to make using things you already have around the house. Start by using scissors to cut the top off any plastic bottle (usually a water or soda bottle) then remove the cap from the top. Grease the inner opening of the bottle top so that insects can’t simply crawl out, and insert the removed top into the bottle, cap end first like a funnel. Bait the bottle with something that will attract the wasps and bees, like sugar water, syrup or soda. The animals will be attracted to the liquid and trapped inside.
If these home methods don’t work and your pool is still being plagued with wasps and bees, then it might be time to call a specialist. Whilst this can be expensive, a pest control company will relocate the bees or wasps quickly, allowing you to enjoy your pool without fear of being stung this summer.
Facts About Wasps and Bees
- Wasps and bees will only sting you when they are provoked: stinging is a defence mechanism, and one that they avoid wherever possible, particularly as a bee can only sting once and will die soon after it has stung someone. Hornets are more temperamental and more likely to sting if they feel you are in their territory.
- There are around 30,000 different species of wasp but only the females have a stinger. It is almost always female wasps that will gather around your pool because male wasps are called drones and their sole job is to mate with the Queen. Once they have mated successfully, the male will die.
- Bees can live in nests both on and above the ground. Because they are pollinators, a huge majority of our plant life depends on the work of bees. In fact, It is thought that around 1 in every 3 mouthfuls of our food is dependent on the pollination of Bees, so whilst you can move them away from your pool it is important that you don’t kill them.
- Bees are noisy because their wings beat up to 12,000 times a minute. This means that you will often hear a bee before you see it. Like wasps, only female bees have stingers, so you are perfectly safe from harm if you are approached by a male bee.
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