Wasps invading your swimming pool? Make your pool wasp free!

How to keep wasps away from swimming pools

how to keep wasps away from swimming pools
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Everyone enjoys a lie by the pool when the weather starts to heat up, but nothing takes away the pleasure of a relaxing dip quicker than a wasp.

Wasps invading your pool?

Wasps are a menace no matter where you are but are particularly persistent around water. The best ways to keep wasps away from swimming pools is to drive or entice them to other areas with decoy nests and lures, or by setting traps and spraying insecticides.

4 Ways to get rid of wasps around swimming pools

The quickest way to get rid of a wasp is to swat or spray it, but in a crowded vicinity and with kids running around, this may not be the safest solution.

And if you are in the pool when the ambush takes place, the temptation is there to try and drown it. Wasps, however, breathe through tiny holes in their abdomen (spiracles) which they can close off when underwater – just like a human can when holding their breath. A wasp then uses whatever oxygen they have left in their trachea in order to continue to breathe. Unfortunately, this means that they can stay underwater without drowning for quite a while.

Therefore, we would not recommend trying to drown wasps as not only is it futile but can result in the wasp getting irritate and if by some miracle it raises from the dead, it will be coming after you.

Instead we strongly advise that you divert a wasps attention elsewhere in your yard, so that you can enjoy your pool in peace. Wasp deterrents can include:

1. Decoy wasps nests

A lot of wasps are solitary and do not like the company of others, and those who do live in colonies are incredibly territorial. Therefore, if a wasp sees a noticeable sign that there are other wasps in the area, they will try to avoid them. A decoy nest is designed to replicate a real wasps nest and should be affixed as close to the pool area as possible. By placing a decoy nest in your yard at the start of the year, before wasps start to build their homes, should deter them from picking your pool as their main watering hole.

2. Create an alternative water source

As wasps will be using your pool as the water supply, why not try placing a new water source around your yard to encourage them to sip elsewhere. The new water source can be as simple as a bucket or even a bird bath.

Another, somewhat bizarre solution, could be to place some diesel nearby. Strong enough to overpower the stench of chlorine, the wasps will be enticed over. Plus, if they fall in it whilst attempting to drink, you have the added advantage of getting rid of the wasp for good.

3. Natural wasp repellents

Pot some greenery such as eucalyptus, spearmint and citronella and not only will your back yard bloom, but the aromas of these pungent plants will keep the wasps away from your pool.

And it is not just spearmint that wasps detest but any kind of mint. It’s fun to grow and can be added to drinks, but if you are not green fingered then buy some essential oils instead. A quick spray around the pool area and they will be buzzing off for good. This includes clove, geranium and lemongrass, all of which naturally repel wasps.

But if wasps continue to wing their way over to your pool, then you may need to consider something more drastic such as: –

4. Sugar water trap

Wasps are attracted to sugar and as the temperature rises, there are plenty of foods such as fruit, ice creams, sticky sauces and chocolate to tempt the wasp over.

 So instead of having to share our own snacks with a wasp why not create it a snack of their own, in the form of a sugar water trap. Simply by cutting the top off a soda bottle and inverting it back inside the bottom is the perfect wasp snare. Stir in some sugar and water to tantalize the taste buds and it won’t be long before they enter the funnel and are stuck for good.

5. Insecticides

When bought online, chemical insecticide sprays are relatively inexpensive but incredibly effective at killing wasps around pools. We would always recommend putting a cover over your swimming pool before you start spraying, so as not to contaminate the water. And, make sure you wash down any chairs, sunbeds, tables and umbrellas that may have come into contact with it.

 Only apply insecticides when there are no animals or children in the vicinity as they can be harmful. If you are targeting a wasp nest, then it is best to do it after dark when the wasps are fast asleep inside.

6. Call a professional

Wasps stings are painful and for some can be life-threatening. If you want to reduce the risks associated with wasps around your pool, then an expert exterminator might be worth a call.

 Able to offer safe and convenient methods to getting rid of your wasp problem quickly, a professional pest control specialist is often the most effective solution.

How to prevent wasps around your pool

There are many additional things you can do to keep wasps away from your pool which don’t cost any money but can make a huge difference in the long run.

Make sure that you are vigilant about clearing up any spilt drinks and that you rinse out any discarded cups and glasses. Cover all your garbage and make sure that bins are stored well away from poolside areas.

Finally, don’t forget to cover your pool when it is not in use and repair any leaks or drainage issues are soon as they arise.

Why are wasps attracted to swimming pools and water?

Like most pests, wasps require water in order to survive, which is why swimming pools are so appealing. To a wasp or a bee, a pool is just a large drinking hole for them to indulge.

Then, of course, there are the other tantalizing elements found around the pool area that tempt them over. Fruity drinks, sweet poolside snacks and even some of the surrounding plants can provide a wasp with plenty of sugary treats.

Are wasps and bees attracted to chlorine?

Wasps in particular are oddly attracted to the strong smell of chlorine that wafts from your pool. Yes, you read it right, the chlorinated chemicals that you apply to keep your pool clean and cleanse it of nasty pests, does in fact entice wasps to stop by.

Why are wasps and bees attracted to saltwater swimming pools?

Wasps and bees have a super sensitive sense of smell and are commonly attracted to bodies of water that emit strong odors.

This is why chlorine (as mentioned above) is so appealing. But did you know that saltwater also attracts wasps and bees?

Often used to sanitize swimming pools the pungent smell of saltwater attracts wasps and bees, especially those that are looking for ways to cool down their hives in the summer season.

Does saltwater kill bees?

Saltwater will not kill bees, in fact bees need salt in order to cure honey.

As bees have the ability to taste with their feet, they are unlikely to “overdose” on salt, because most pools have cleansing filter systems to ensure just the right balance of minerals and salts for both human and bee consumption.

Can you drown a wasp?

If you are in the pool when a wasp ambush takes place, the temptation is there to try and drown it. Wasps, however, breathe through tiny holes in their abdomen (spiracles) which they can close off when underwater – just like humans can when holding their breath.

A wasp then uses whatever oxygen they have left in their trachea in order to continue to breathe. Unfortunately, this means that they can stay underwater without drowning for quite a while.

Therefore, we would not recommend trying to drown wasps as it is not only futile but can result in the wasp getting irritate. And, if by some miracle it raises from the dead, it will be coming after you.

Can wasps fly when they are wet?

You never see a wasp flying around when it’s raining, so the presumption must be that wasps hate getting wet?

This is of course true, a wasp with wet wings flies at a much slower pace. But the main reason that wasps tend to stay out of the rain, is that the water dilutes the sugars they are hoping to secrete, so it takes twice the time and energy to lap it up. Therefore, making it best to wait for a brighter day.

If a wasps wings have been submerged in water, then it can stop them completely in their tracks. That said, don’t be fooled, as it doesn’t take long for their paper thin arms to dry out and for them to start flapping again.

Bottom Line

When summertime comes, you want to make the most of being outdoors and chilling by the swimming pool. So, this year make sure that you are well prepared for any uninvited visitors. There are plenty of things you can do to keep wasps away from your pool and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Some of the best ways to keep wasps away from pools are the simplest and can include decoys and lures or the setting of traps and the spraying of insecticides.

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Mike Henderson
Mike Henderson

Mike (AKA 'Pest Control Mike') is a pest control operator from New York with over 15 years experience dealing with a wide range of pests. He shares his knowledge on this blog and provides useful information to help you combat pests on your own.

For severe infestations and professional advice you can also request a free pest control quote here.

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