Fewer things put a damper on swim time as bees and wasps buzzing around your face or getting stung by one of these drowning insects in your pool. Luckily, you and your swimming pool don’t have to suffer.
In this article, I’ll break down tried and true methods for keeping wasps and bees away from your pool so that you can swim worry-free.
How to Keep Bees Away from Your Pool
Let me start with this—bees aren’t inherently bad. In fact, they’re the number one pollinator of our crops, giving us access to approximately one-third of our food.
Unfortunately, the population of bees is declining. Between 2014 and 2017 alone, pesticides, climate change, and habitat destruction all contributed to the nearly 25% drop in the bee population.
Long story short? I won’t be teaching you how to kill bees to keep them away from your pool.
Instead, I’ll show you environmentally friendly methods that will keep bees on your trees and away from your swimming water.
By implementing the strategies below, you could actually help the bee population since bees often drown in pool water when they fly down for a drink.
Set up a Bee Water Bowl
Bees often visit pools because they’re thirsty. So, your first step should be to set up a tiny area in your backyard where you can leave a water bowl out for them.
You can get as simple or as fancy as you’d like with the water bowl—some people like to make a pond-like setup, whereas others prefer to toss water in a Cool Whip container.
Nevertheless, it helps make the water look more attractive by placing some stones and sticks into it. Putting a branch that leads from the water out into dry air is especially important so that if the bee lands in the water, it can crawl out.
Bees are smart. So, consider setting up your bee water bowl before pool season begins. That way, they’ll already be gravitating by the bowl by the time you open up your pool.
Use Dryer Sheets
Believe it or not, the solution to your bee problem could be in your laundry room. But before I go further, I must warn you—there’s no scientific evidence that dryer sheets work for keeping bees (or any other insect) away.
That said, many people swear by it, so it’s worth giving it a try.
It’s best to use scented dryer sheets, as the smell is what’s supposed to deter the bees. You can get creative with how you want to approach using the sheets—you can try placing them in baskets around the edge of your pool, sticking them on the pointy parts of your pool gate, or any other appropriate area.
If you notice that the dryer sheets seem to be keeping bees away from your pool, you’ll need to monitor how long they’re effective. More likely than not, once the smell goes away, it’ll be time for you to replace them.
Bring in a Beekeeper
If you have a large concentration of bees around your pool, the issue likely lies in there being a nearby nest. In that case, you can skip over the first two suggestions—your pool is likely in the line of fire where bees come and go to get food, and nothing but removing the nest will fix that.
Since I already explained why you shouldn’t kill bees, your best option is to call a beekeeper. They’ll know how to remove the nest in a way that’s safe for the bees and your property.
They’ll then move the bees to a safe place where you can reap the benefits of keeping them alive as you enjoy homegrown local produce over the summer.
How to Keep Wasps Away from Your Pool
If you’re inclined to find an insect cute, bees likely fit the bill over wasps. But, understandably, wasps have a worse reputation than bees—they’re more aggressive, don’t pollinate as much, and often produce more painful stings.
However, wasps play a vital role in nature. They’re predatory insects that eat flies, caterpillars, spiders, and even bees. As a result, farmers like having wasps around their crops because they provide natural pest control.
Wasps also have some pollinating properties. However, since they tend to pick different species of flowers to visit, they’re not as effective pollinators as bees.
Despite their benefits, I think we can all agree that no one wants to emerge from being underwater in their pool and face a wasp flying towards them. Below are some strategies you can use to keep these aggressive insects away.
Use Fake Wasp Nests
The great thing about wasps is that they’re easy to trick, and they hate other wasps. Therefore, you can purchase fake wasp nests and put them around your yard—especially near your pool.
That way, they’re less likely to build their nest there. However, the downside to this method is that once a wasp colony builds its nest, it’s practically impossible to get them to leave it.
Therefore, this method is most effective if you had a wasp problem around your pool the year before and you want to use decoy wasp nests as prevention for the upcoming pool season.
Entice Them with Meat
Remember how I said that wasps are predatory creatures? As a result, they love raw meat. That’s why you may have issues with keeping wasps away when you’re trying to grill.
It may sound like an unappetizing solution (especially if you’re a vegetarian), but luring wasps away from your pool with some red meat is an effective strategy.
To do this, you’ll want to place the meat far from your pool, but not so far that it attracts an entirely different colony of wasps (remember, wasps spread their colonies out and don’t get along with each other).
It’s best to hang the meat from a tree branch, and it’s important that you use raw meat—cooked meat just doesn’t create the same kind of “buzz.”
You also should be careful to use a small amount of meat. Otherwise, you’ll either have to tackle the wasps to take it down when you’re done swimming or leave it out there where it’ll attract maggots and flies.
Get Professional Help
Wasps aren’t the kind of insect you want flying around your pool, especially if someone in your household has allergies to their sting. Therefore, calling a pest control company is a good option for getting them taken care of quickly.
Since pest control companies usually use toxic chemicals to remove wasps, let them know if you’d rather have them remove the wasps without chemicals. After all, you don’t want dangerous insecticides seeping into your swimming pool.
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Take Your Pool Back
You don’t have to suffer by swimming around bees and wasps flying around your pool. By implementing one or more of the strategies here, you’ll soon be on your way to enjoying a peaceful time in the water. If you have other problems like worms in your pool, be sure to read my other guides.
While the most straightforward solution may seem like extermination, bees and wasps play a vital role in the ecosystem. Therefore, I urge you to use one of the environmentally friendly approaches I discussed here. Your clean pool water and dinner plate will thank you!
Have questions? Drop me a line.