Wasps hanging out on the clothesline

Amanda M
by Amanda M
Today I went outside to hang a load of cloth training pants when I noticed a wasp on about every 3rd or 4th wooden clothes pin. Is there a way to prevent this from happening again without spraying my line and pins with chemicals? Thanks!
  7 answers
  • 3po3 3po3 on May 26, 2012
    Have you tried a wasp trap? They sometimes work well.
  • Sharron W Sharron W on May 27, 2012
    Actually there are a couple of things that I have done sucessfully to discourage wasps....if the clothes pins are wooden, they are looking for nest making materials...paper wasps use wood and turn it into paper. You can spray some WD-40 on a paper towel and just run it over your clothespins and line, it doesn't need a lot, there is something in WD-40 that discourages them more than any wasp spray I've ever used. Then pin the paper towel on the line...the smell should keep them away for a week or more...I use it at the outside top of windows, because the oil prevents them from being able to attach a nest and they don't come back for about a year after I spray it... When all my neighbors were complaining how bad the wasps are, I didn't have any...Also place plastic bowls out away from the area with some water and a drop or two of dish soap...if they think there is not fresh water available they will look elsewhere for their nesting and living materials.
  • Amanda M Amanda M on May 28, 2012
    @ Steve, I haven't tried a wasp trap, but I'm considering making one from a milk jug or 2-liter soda bottle. @ Sharron, my only concern about the WD-40 is that it may leave a grease stain on my clothes. Yes, the pins are wooden, and I've been advised to switch to plastic ones. I would love to try to water and dish soap idea, but would that attract mosquitoes?
  • 3po3 3po3 on May 28, 2012
    Good question about the mosquitoes. I know the urban legend about killing or deterring mosquitoes with soapy water is just that - an urban legend, so I would be careful with that one. The WD-40 suggestion sounds like it's worth trying, though. And if you just rub a tiny bit of it on the outside of the clothespins (just enough to plant the scent), it shouldn't leave a greasy mark. I am also reminded of another suggestion here on Hometalk to hit wasps with a power washer every couple of days. Finally, for a trap, this was a very popular Hometalk project, and it might work for wasps: http://www.hometalk.com/diy/outdoor/pest-repeller/carpenter-bee-trap-154411
  • Sharron W Sharron W on May 29, 2012
    @Amanda If you only wipe the outside of the pin it shouldn't be a problem and the alcohol evaporates quickly and the oil should soak into the wooden pins quickly as well leaving the scent they hate behind...my next door neighbors and everyone I knew were complaining about them being so bad this year...and we didn't have any...THEN we had construction on the house, new roof, soffits, siding, gutters....NO wasp nests...which is awesome because they USED to have a massive nest in the corner eaves and behind one of the gutters when we had the house painted about seven years ago...and I started the WD-40 Then...juat a little squirt along the top of each window frame and across the top of the ornamental shutters...and each corner of the door frames that enter the garage instead of the house (cause they are not used as often and they COULD build there unnoticed for awhile) I watched our neighbor jump off a ladder and run after he got into a nest...but we are still wasp free except the occassional "flyby" @ Steve G Lemon Joy is what I use for soapy water, and we're talking cereal bowls not punch bowls, but the soap DOES break the surface tension of the water and prevent them from landing initally, but I dump and replace it about once a week...and I only keep them out about two or three weeks anyway...you only have to do it early in the spring when they are hatching and late in the fall when they are looking for areas to "winter over". If you happen across Yellow or orange bowls those are their attractant colors which also make good choices for painting bottles for traps.
  • 3po3 3po3 on May 29, 2012
    Thanks for the clarification. That shouldn't be a problem in terms of mosquitoes. I just wanted to warn against leaving out bowls of standing water for extended periods because that could attract mosquitoes, even with the soap. I have read a lot of reliable sources debunking the old story about soapy water killing mosquitoes.
  • Jennifer Baldwin Jennifer Baldwin on Apr 22, 2014
    There is an native trick that works great for repelling yellow jackets. Get a small paper lunch bag and fill it with a crumpled piece of paper so it keeps it's shape. Tie a string to it and hang it from a corner of your house or tree where you want to work. Wasps are territorial and visual in nature, they mistake the paper bag for another nest and will stay away.