Does The ‘Penny Trick’ Really Deter Wasps When You’re Cooking Outdoors?

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The ‘penny trick’ is a popular DIY method that is believed to deter wasps, flies, and other insects from your outdoor gatherings or indoor spaces.

The method involves placing a few pennies into glasses of water or into a clear plastic bag half-filled with water. This arrangement is then placed near your barbecue, hung on windows or doors, or generally anywhere you’d like to keep insects away from.

But does it really work?

Do Coins In A Bag Of Water Keep Bees Away?

pennies in a bag of water keep bees away

The theory behind the trick is that the pennies in the water will create a reflection or refraction of light that confuses or scares away insects, especially wasps and flies. Some believe that the insects mistake the reflected light for a larger predator or a rival nest, leading them to avoid the area.

However, the effectiveness of this method is not universally agreed upon. There’s anecdotal evidence and plenty of claims from those who swear by it, but there’s not been scientific research that conclusively proves its efficacy.

As for whether this is the best way to keep wasps at bay, it’s hard to say, especially since the effectiveness of the penny trick is a matter of debate.  After testing it out we found that it didn’t make a noticeable difference to bees and other insects hanging around our BBQs. In fact, the bees and wasps didn’t seem phased by the technique at all.

Wasps Are Attracted To Water

Wasps, like many other insects, can be attracted to water sources, especially during the hotter months or in dry areas. They require water for their survival, and they may also use it for their nests. Wasps are known to forage for water and carry it back to their nest to assist in cooling it and maintaining humidity levels.

If you’re trying to prevent wasps from coming to your outdoor gatherings or invading your space, it would be wise to manage any open water sources in the vicinity, such as pet bowls, birdbaths, or open pools. That being said, a simple cup or bag of water, as in the penny trick, is unlikely to attract a significant number of wasps unless other water sources are unavailable.

Other Ways To Deter Bees And Wasps

pennies in jar for flies

Other ways to get rid of garden pests include:

Plant Repellant Plants: Some plants naturally repel certain insects. For instance, basil repels flies and mosquitoes, while mint repels a number of different insects.

Natural Insecticides: There are a number of natural insecticides that can be effective at controlling pests. For example, diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled around your garden to kill a variety of pests.

Traps: Traps designed specifically for the pests you’re dealing with can be very effective. There are many types of traps available, including flypaper, light traps, and pheromone traps.

Keep your environment clean: Cleanliness is also a key factor in controlling pests. Regularly cleaning up food and drink spills, keeping food stored properly, and managing garbage disposal effectively can significantly help reduce pests.

Get rid of standing water: Wasps require a lot of water to build nests, so they’ll be attracted to any standing water they can collect from. Get rid of it, or put it in a part of the garden you are not entertaining in.

Professional Pest Control: If you have a serious infestation, it might be necessary to hire a professional pest control company. They have access to stronger, more effective treatments and can ensure that the pests are completely eradicated.

It’s worth noting that most insects are actually beneficial for your garden, so indiscriminate removal of all insects might not be the best approach. It’s better to identify the specific pests causing problems and focus on measures to control them.

Bees are sometimes attracted to chainsaws and other weird things like that. Try to pin point what it is they’re interested in and removing it could solve your problem.


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