Another interesting yellow jacket observation
As some of you may remember, I'm trying to live with yellow jackets in the garden, by finding ways to make them happy yet keep them under control. My mom became allergic a few years ago (no problem before then) but yellow jackets are very prevalent with our hot, dry summers.
So far, I've found that they like water in shallow dishes (as do many beneficial bugs) and they love butterfly bushes...which seem to make them a little drunk. Having both these things away from major paths and doorways, encourage the yellow jackets to stay in more distant areas of the garden.
Bumblebees seem to keep yellow jackets 'in line' probably because the bumblebees are so much bigger. They like the catmint, so the yellow jackets leave it alone. When we have sunflowers, the bumblebees get the flowers and the yellow jackets get the stems :)
Anyway, I must have a small gap around the door to my vehicle, because a small yellow jacket nest was started four times in exactly the same spot. Orange spray (natural orange/citrus oil) seems to deter yellow jackets. Not only does the spray sometimes slow them down a bit...but since I sprayed that area around the door we've had NO MORE nests.
I'm wondering if the strong orange scent has masked any markers the yellow jackets left from previous attempts. Every time they tried before, it was in exactly the same spot. I just thought this was interesting and thought I'd share.