Coffee or barbecue in the garden and then this: Cake, steaks and guests are immediately surrounded by so many wasps that it is difficult to enjoy. Instead of setting up wasp traps in which the actually useful insects die in agony, you can rely on plant power. Here is a list of plants that can help against wasps.
These herbs can repel wasps
Intensely fragrant plants that contain abundant essential oils do not please insects at all, at least as long as the scent is clearly perceptible and is not masked by others, such as barbecue food. It is therefore worthwhile to plant herbs such as lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), thyme (Thymus), wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), basil (Ocimum basilicum) or lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) near the seating area, terrace or on the balcony. Especially the smell of lavender, the animals seem to absolutely do not like.
Mints (Mentha) offer a broad potpourri of different scents, but the mentholated species such as the classic peppermint smell particularly intense. A variety that is not suitable for consumption but was formerly used as a disinfectant is the pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium), the scent of which is not perceived as pleasant by everyone, apparently not even by wasps.
Since herbs are usually most fragrant when the leaves come into contact or are rubbed, you can also place a specimen in a pot or a few shoots in a vase on the table and keep touching them. If this does not help, there are still the essential oils of the plants, which are available in stores and which you can put, for example, in aroma lamps. When buying, however, be sure to look for the addition of “natural” or “natural pure” and preferably “organic” and avoid synthetic products.
Wasps do not like this: scent geraniums
Strongly scented leaves in many aroma varieties also offer scent geraniums, which thus protect themselves from pests. On offer, for example, are distinctive scents of lemon (Pelargonium crispum or the variety ‘Lemon Fancy’), orange (‘Prince of Oranges’), peppermint (Pelargonium tomentosum or ‘Joy Lucille’), incense or cola (‘Torento’). If you place the frost-sensitive but easily overwintered potted plants nearby, wasps quickly turn back.
What other plants help against wasps?
Since the strong scent of early bloomers can sometimes be too much even for us humans, it is no wonder that it is also supposed to drive away animals. However, hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis) bloom in the spring and about until May, and until then only the queen wasps are actually on the move and busy building their nests. The worker wasps do not fly until about June.
Apparently unpopular with wasps and other insects are also common marigolds (Calendula officinalis), although the annual and easy-to-cultivate plants smell very pleasant to our noses. Many feel differently about the also annual dwarf marigold (Tagetes patula). Especially older varieties smell very strong, wasps probably see that similarly. New cultivars, on the other hand, have a lemon aroma.
Tomatoes and other vegetables: not only tasty, but also a deterrent
Tomatoes don’t seem to taste good to wasps at all. Actually, it is the characteristic smelling foliage of the popular vegetable that they do not like, as, by the way, many other insects, such as mosquitoes. So if you grow tomatoes on the terrace or grow them in large tubs and place them nearby or lay out a few leaves, you can not only snack on a few fruits, but also enjoy a quiet dinner along the way.
The scent of garlic is also said to have this effect. For this, however, the cloves must be minced or sliced, perhaps not ideal at the coffee table, but quite suitable for a barbecue. Hard to believe, but apparently true: wasps, but also bees, can be driven away with cucumbers. Apparently, they do not like the bitter substances that this vegetable exudes.
You can adopt the repellent effect of citrus fruits in another way: Spike lemons, oranges or limes with cloves and place these “scent bombs” near the table. You’ll have cakes and co. all to yourself, at least for a while.