Thursday, 29 August 2013

How to make wasp deterrent for alfresco dining



Ask me what I'm most scared of, and I'll probably answer (with a shudder) "wasps!!"  I have a full-on phobia, in fact even looking at the picture above is making me sweat.

I loath the nasty little things, and to be honest they almost ruin summer for me, because I love to eat outside.  But whether it's picnics on the beach, lunch in a pub garden; dinner outdoors or even an ice cream from the van, you can bet your life, as soon as there's grub around, wasps will come buzzing. This time of year particularly as all the fruit trees are laden with ripe plums, pears and apples, it means gardens up and down the land are infested with wasps.

I saw this clever trick at a bar while on holiday in France and I thought I'd share it with you.  I've never heard of it before, and by the look of the inquisitive locals, neither had many others.

I love it because it's safe (it won't harm other insects or bees), it's cheap (or free if you re-use), but above all - IT WORKS!

So here it is.

You will need:

A metallic dish - I re-use old baked bean tins or aluminium foil takeaway containers
Coffee grounds - you can dry used grounds so there's no expense or waste


You simply light the coffee grounds and allow to smoulder.  The smoke deters the wasps - I don't know whether there's something specific about coffee they don't like, or whether the smoke masks the scent of your sweet food, but frankly who cares how it works?!?

If you are re-using coffee grounds from your cafetiere etc, make sure they are thoroughly dry or you'll never get them to light.  If you're struggling, try placing a small amount in the bowl of a metal spoon and holding it in the flame of the gas hob, then gently drop into your tin of coffee.  This seems to make it much easier to light and smoulder.


Safety notes: 

Only use on a heatproof, non-flammable surface
Keep out of reach of pets and children
Do not leave unattended
Only use outdoors

Go forth and enjoy the rest of the summer wasp-free!

(thankfully the lovely Jayne at Mum's the Word is both better at graphic design, and less terrified of wasps than me, and made this wonderful image above for me - thank you!)

29 comments:

  1. I think it's the smoke which deters the little blighters...When I used to smoke and we were at a beer garden there were lots of wasps obviously around the drinks and the cigarette smoke seemed to chase them away too...
    Wasps are horrible creatures!

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    1. You could be right. Maybe it was just because they were a coffee shop, they used coffee. I actually quite like the smell of if burning though. x

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    2. I've just done some googling - apparently it's a Greek thing. But I did find this, and they are the experts in my book so it must be right! http://www.rentokil.ie/residential-customers/flying-insects/wasps/prevent-wasps/index.html

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    1. I find it really effective. Wish I'd known about it years ago!

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  3. *Rushes out to re-cycling crate* Thank you, thank you, thank you :)

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  4. fantastic - I have had enough of them at the mo!

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    1. 'Orrible, 'orrible things aren't they?

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  5. I hate wasps too! This looks like a great idea, have to give it a go :-)

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  6. What a fab idea! My OH hates them too, after he was stung many times on his head by swarm chasing him. Though when he tells the story, it sounds kinda comical ;)

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    1. Oh no, that's the stuff of nightmares!

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  7. Wow! How did I not know that!? Awesome device. GG has been stung twice this summer and she's the coolest of all of us but I'm so giving this a go over the weekend!

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  8. Ohh good to know, thanks. Both Miss M and I got stung twice last weekend, ouch! Mich x

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  9. I picked up the same tip last week, abroad too. It really does work and is a much greener way to deter wasps (I hate poisonous insecticides). Please be careful with little children, though. We had put our pie dish & coffee on the ground by our table to be stepped upon by our youngest. Luckily no damage done.

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  10. What a good tip - I'd never heard of it. Good way to use up coffee grounds too - I'm always putting mine on my herb plants (as they are nearest thing to me when I'm washing up), I'm sure I'm going to have coffee-flavoured basil!

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  11. What a great tip! As a mother of two wasp hating children this is really helpful - Kitty cries her eyes out and screams when they come near to her.

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  12. Wow what a fantastic tip! So tempted to set one up in my daughter's room (except that would be ridiculous and very unsafe obv!) we appear to have some coming in from somewhere and the poor thing has been stung twice now! :(

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  13. Brilliant tip - I hate wasps too and love coffee - #winwin eh?

    Such a simple idea too, thanks for passing it on

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  14. oooh hat a great idea. We've been plagued by wasps of late.

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  15. The wasps have been terrible this year! Great trick. Thank you x

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  16. I hate wasps - thank you for this.

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  17. Great idea thanks, one of the kids' friends got stung to day, I had no idea they were so painful, she screamed for ages.

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  18. Instead of trying to light the coffee grounds try putting the dry grounds on an incense charcoal burner then you can replenish grounds as needed

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    1. That sounds like a good idea! Do you think it would get hot enough to smoke?

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  19. Peppermint oil mixed with water in a spray bottle. Spray around your home and buildings works great

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  20. I was pinning away for such type of blogs, thanks for posting this for us.Blog

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  21. Do you think this would work if I do it regularly around the area where they keep trying to make nests?

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