Wasps in Blackberries

val1(z4 UT)August 19, 2014

I have some beautiful blackberry bushes that are filled with berries but they are also filled with wasps. Is there anything I can do to get rid of them? Is there a time of day that is best to pick? Or are they just part of having blackberries? I have to tell you, I am more than a little afraid to reach in and pick them.

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alan haigh

If you set up a lot of traps baited with apple juice (Chinese concentrate 3-1 water) you can actually get ahead of them, but it takes about a week to trap enough of them to calm things down.

The example the link leads to is what I mostly use. It comes with an attractant which is fine but I replace it with the apple juice with a little detergent and citric acid in the mix rather than purchasing more attractant.

Here is a link that might be useful: victor wasp trap

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 5:05PM
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Are these wasps around at dawn or dusk? Those may be inconvenient times, but should have fewer insects around then.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 11:00PM
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Short term solution assuming the wasp are visiting and don't have a nest in or very close by is to pick at night. All wasp that I know of return to their nest at dark. I'f you know where their nest is, the night time is best for destroying the entire group. They sell hornet and wasp spray that ejects the spray several yards. If you have hornet nest let me know and I can give you advice on getting rid of their nest safely. Good Luck, Bill

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 5:40AM
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If you can, try to see what their interest is in the planting. If they're after aphids or are doing pollinating, I'd try to work around them since they're doing you a favor. On the other hand if they're eating the berries then I'd get rid of them ASAP.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 10:18AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I have a black and white colored wasp in my raspberries right now. It's pollinating and doesn't seem aggressive. I'm hands on everyday dropping Japanese beetles into the tub of soapy water death. About 20 a day sometimes 50! Anyway I killed one by accident as it fell in the pale. No stings yet. 2 years ago the yellowjackets got me twice. Also they were just pollinating but are less tolerant of humans.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 10:40AM
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Usually if the wasps are not guarding a nest they will not bother you. They are probably in there eating bugs so they are actually helping you. I have a huge nest of red wasps right outside my garage door and they never bother me. As long as I don't try to knock their nest down they will fly off when I comne out the door then come back and settle back down.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 10:41AM
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val1(z4 UT)

Thanks for all of the responses. The wasps or yellow jackets (they are yellow and black) I have are actually eating the fruit. There are sometimes four to five on one berry. I have tried picking at dusk and it is better, but I still have to watch my fingers. I am hoping that there is not a nest in my bushes. The bushes are so thick, I probably will not know for sure until the leaves drop this fall.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 5:01PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I think they are eating the berries. We have grape vines and lots of wasps and yellow jackets. You just have to move slow and watch what you are doing.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 5:05PM
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