Hornets and bees are common visitors to outdoor spaces like swimming pools and decks. Why? They are attracted to wood (your deck or swing set), as well as water sources like your pool or birdbath. While they play an essential role in pollination, their presence can sometimes be a nuisance, especially if someone in your household is allergic. So how do you keep them away from your high-traffic backyard areas?
Today we’ll explore various strategies that homeowners can employ to deter hornets and bees from congregating around their swimming pools and decks. By implementing these methods, you can create a more enjoyable and safer environment for your outdoor activities.
Eliminate Standing Water
Standing water acts as a magnet for hornets and bees, attracting them to your pool and deck area. Sure, you can’t eliminate your pool entirely, however you can cover it when it is not in use. Furthermore, ensure that your pool is properly maintained, with no water stagnation or leaks. To discourage their presence, inspect your property regularly for any potential water sources and take appropriate action. Be sure to empty and clean birdbaths, pet water bowls, and other containers that accumulate water.
Create Distraction Zones
Understanding what attracted stinging insects will allow you to use that information to deter them. Bees and hornets love standing water. So draw them away from your outdoor living areas by giving them more remote access to that water.
Creating alternative water sources away from your swimming pool and deck can divert hornets and bees from high-traffic areas. To do this, install a small fountain or a birdbath in a different part of your yard to provide a preferred drinking spot. Remember to maintain and clean these distraction zones regularly to keep them attractive to the insects.
Limit Food Sources
If you’ve ever had an outdoor barbecue or party, you’ll know how dangerous it is to leave a soda or juice unattended. Sweet, sugary substances attract hornets and bees, so it’s important to minimize food sources near your swimming pool and deck. Avoid leaving open food containers or uncovered drinks outside. Clean up any food spills promptly and dispose of garbage properly in sealed containers. Ensure that any outdoor trash cans are hidden away from the main spaces of your backyard. By removing or relocating these temptations, you reduce the likelihood of attracting hornets and bees to your poolside and deck area.
Many of these common stinging insects are pollinators by trade. Therefore, certain plants and flowers are more attractive to hornets and bees due to their nectar content. By carefully selecting your landscaping, you can minimize their presence around your swimming pool and deck. For container plantings on your deck or patio, choose plants that are less appealing to these insects. Varieties include lavender, marigolds, and geraniums. These plants have scents that repel hornets and bees.
On the other hand, avoid planting flowers like lilies and sunflowers, which tend to attract them. Consult with a local garden center or a horticulturist to identify plants that are less appealing to hornets and bees in your region.
Use Bee- and Wasp-Proofing Techniques
When traditional methods fail, you can turn to more targeted options for protecting your outdoor living space from bees and hornets. While less convenient, using physical deterrents such as bee guards or mesh screens can help keep unwelcome guests off of your porch or patio. If screening in a section of outdoor living space is not an option, look to take other measures wherever possible. Ensure vents and gaps in structures like furniture, play sets, and railings are sturdy and without cracks. Inspect your roof, pool, and deck for signs of nesting insects which can create a problem that only a seasoned professional can remedy.
Contacting a Professional
If hornets and bees continue to be a problem, consider professional assistance. Larger scale infestations or a persistent problem may be a sign that a hive or nest is nearby. Contact a local pest control company to assess the situation and discuss possible treatments. Whether it’s relocating a hive, or destroying a dangerous hornet nest, they can provide expert advice and safe solutions tailored to your specific needs.
Learn How to Keep Bees and Hornets at Bay
Keeping hornets and bees away from your swimming pool and deck requires a multi-faceted approach. By employing strategies such as eliminating standing water, creating distraction zones, limiting food sources, planting strategically, and using physical deterrents, you can significantly reduce the presence of unwanted insects in these areas. Remember that these insects are vital to the ecosystem, so it’s essential to respect and protect them while minimizing their impact on your outdoor activities.