Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Buzzing Around The Oriole Feeder

It seems that every winged and wingless critter in the neighbourhood wants a piece of the free food action – including the bullies that monopolize the feeding areas

First there was the bushy-tailed rascal (the squirrel) hogging the peanuts and the bird seeds; now it’s the winged rascals hogging up the grape jelly and the nectar at the Oriole feeder.

When I first put up the Oriole and Hummingbird feeders, I was concerned about ants invading. But my husband made ant moats and that put an end to that problem. Up until last week, there were no problems at the nectar-providing feeders. Because up until last week, the wasps hadn’t discovered them. (Well, there still aren’t any problems at the Hummingbird feeder because it has wasp guards, but the Oriole feeder is quite a different story)

I’ve learned that once wasps find something they like, they buzz around it until the entire food source is finished. And it doesn’t take them long to finish it either. Within a few short days all the nectar in the Oriole feeder was drained and all the grape jelly in the small cups was eaten. I’ll concede that their tenacity is certainly impressive, but their presence is quite annoying.

Last night I took down the Oriole and Hummingbird feeders in hopes that the wasps will move along. After a few days, I will place them back outside, in a different location. Apparently, these pests are not too bright, and they will assume that the food source is gone forever even if you’ve moved the feeders just a few feet away.

I’m also planning to rub a little cooking oil around the feeding ports, which is supposed to repel wasps. Or so I’ve read online after some intense research on how to rid these feeders of wasps. We’ll just have to wait and see if it works.

If anyone has a suggestion on how to get rid of the wasp problem, please share it with me.


  1. We had wasp problems too, especially around the feeders. This year I bought 2 artificial wasp nests and have them hanging in and around the deck. It does seem to have done the trick. They say that when the wasp sees the nest they don't approach as it is not their territory. I bought mine at Canadian Tire, they were 2 for about $10 regular price, but I was lucky and got them for half price at the beginning of the season. I'll try to photograph them and post about them on my blog.

  2. Thanks Crafty Gardener. I popped over to the Canadian Tire website and looked up the artificial wasp nests you mention. I may take a drive over this week to take a peek at them. I'll pop into your website eveyr now and then to see if you post about them. Pesky wasps!

  3. Martha .. get a comfortable chair .. a drink for yourself .. maybe a snack or two .. and a WATER PISTOL .. and start knocking those guys off ? hehehehehe
    Sorry ... I just couldn't help myself ; )

  4. Joy, you're not kidding. And you know, the other day, when I brought in the feeders, I sent the wasps into the next lifetime with the garden hose!

  5. Awww... do they have any redeeming features? I did hear that fake wasps nests really work. Give them a try, they should be on end of season sale now, and let us know if it does the trick.

  6. You know Tatiana, they wouldn't be so bad if they weren't so aggressive and annoying. They do eat some bad bugs and can be quite beneficial in the garden, but they're much too intrusive; literally 'in your face', especially where food is involved. And their numbers go way up around the middle of summer, so they become a little overwhelming to deal with.

    I'll try whatever needs to be tried to claim my space again :)

  7. I posted about the fake wasp nests today. I was in the Canadian Tire in Belleville yesterday and they had lots of them for sale.

  8. Hi Crafty Gardener! I just got back from your site and left a message to thank you for posting about the wasp nests! I wll definitely do something similar for my wasp-problem areas! The wasp population has exploded and I need some of them to move away!