I want to have a wildlife-friendly garden, but I’m worried about wasps moving into my bat house and preventing the bats from living there. Is there a harmless way to deter wasps?
Yes there is! And it’s built into the design of BatBnBs. In this article, we’ll talk about how you can you attract bats to your yard with a bat house, without having to worry about wasps overtaking it.
Rather watch instead? See this video!
HOW TO PREVENT WASPS FROM ENTERING YOUR BAT BOX:
We don’t want to use any kind of chemicals to deter the wasps, as it could deter the bats as well, (not to mention would be damaging to the environment). But luckily, there’s an easy way to deter wasps from ever entering your bat box, and it’s built in.
The design of your bat box itself can physically prevent the wasps from taking up residence.
If your bat house is designed well for bats, the width of the chambers should only be about 3/4 of an inch wide, (This is the size of all BatBnB’s chambers). A chamber that is only 3/4 of an inch wide provides plenty of space for insect-eating microbats to roost together, while excluding other animals.
Wasp nests start out very small, with an average diameter of about 1.66 inches (about the size of a golf ball) and they grow larger from there. But even a small, golf ball-sized wasp nest is too large to fit into a 0.75 inch wide chamber.
This forces the wasps to either choose if they want their babies to be smooshed, or if they should just build their nest somewhere else. Can you guess which option the wasps will usually choose?
Even though it’s unlikely for the wasps to move in because of the tight squeeze, it’s not impossible, so let’s talk about what you should do in the unlikely event wasps do decide to squeeze into your bat house.
WILL WASPS BOTHER MY BATS?
The good news is that if wasps do move in, bats will often continue to live in the house with the wasps and only become deterred from the shelter in extreme cases when the wasps become too numerous.
However, we still don’t want the wasps living there, so let’s go over how to remove them if they are present.
HOW TO REMOVE WASPS FROM YOUR BAT BOX:
Avoid using toxic poison sprays on the wasps as we don’t want the chemicals getting into the bat house and onto the bats (it could be fatal for them).
(Additionally, wasps actually provide many benefits to your garden by preying on other pest insects, similarly to bats! Wasps are now also being recognized as pollinators of many flowers.)
The best way to solve the problem is to wait until the bats are gone (preferably during the winter when bats are usually hibernating in caves), (Be sure to double check with a flashlight to make sure no bats are inside).
Next, put on protective gear (goggles + respirator), and carefully use a broom to knock the wasps nest out of the BatBnB. If this seems like a difficult task, we recommend hiring a contractor to do this work for you safely.