Comfortably eating with friends in the garden, drinking cocktails in the afternoon sun and enjoying the wonderful weather – summer is simply the most beautiful season. But as much as we love the summer months, they also bring with them plenty of uninvited guests. Wasps in particular often pay us a visit in August and September and often become a nuisance. Juicy, refreshing and really delicious – grapes are simply a must in late summer. But grapes are not only a popular snack for people – wasps and other insects also like to eat the delicious fruit. Looking forward to a bountiful harvest this year and perhaps want to make grape jam or something similar? Great! Then you may be wondering how best to keep wasps away from grapes? Then you should definitely read on, because here you’ll find the best tricks and tips for keeping pesky wasps away!
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Why do wasps eat grapes?
In late summer, we all look forward especially to delicious, sweet grapes. It becomes all the more annoying when you realize that someone else has already snacked on the delicious fruit. Many hobby gardeners are surprised at first when they see that wasps have already helped themselves to their grapes. The fact that these small insects feed exclusively on already damaged fruit and other small animals is actually a common misconception. In fact, their menu is very diverse and wasps also feed on plant juices, pollen and nectar. With fruit, the sweeter the better. Especially when ripe, the high sugar content and sweet smell of grapes are very tempting to wasps. They eat large holes in the fruit and thus ruin our harvest. So, to prevent this from happening, you should know how to most effectively keep wasps away from grapes.
What damage could they do?
With their sharp mouthparts, wasps eat very large holes in individual grapes and can even hollow them out completely. This, in turn, can ruin a large part of our harvest and all our work was completely wasted. Even the lower grapes, which were not eaten directly, are not suitable for consumption. The reason is that they also become vulnerable due to the juice flowing down. But we do not want that, do we? Since the injuries make the fruit much more susceptible to rot fungi and diseases, it is important to take measures and protect the grapes from wasps. Since the insects prefer fully ripe grapes, it’s best to start protective measures a few weeks before harvest.
What is the best way to keep wasps away from grapes?
Wasps are actually very beneficial animals in the ecosystem, hunting aphids, spiders, mosquitoes, flies and other insects that are annoying or harmful. Like bees, they are protected species in Germany and you can’t kill them for no reason. But with simple preventive measures, you can keep wasps away from grapes without hurting them.
Protect grapes from wasps with protective nets
Protective bags and nets are probably the best known and safest way to keep birds or wasps away from grapes. Winemakers have been using them for several years, but the nets can also work wonders in your own garden. These can now be found in all garden centers and are available in many different sizes. Bagging the grapes individually is actually a lot of work, but since the wasps can’t eat through the organza fabric, your grapes will remain reliably protected. However, depending on how large your vines are, you may need to place several nets on top of each other. The protective nets also ensure that the grapes continue to get enough sun and air so they can grow undisturbed. Common plastic bags, on the other hand, are rather unsuitable as protection – the lack of air exchange ensures the rapid formation of condensation and as a result the grapes become rotten.
Keeping wasps away from grapes with water
So simple and yet very effective – you can also keep wasps away from grapes with ordinary water. A spray bottle filled with tap water – that’s all you need for this! Why this method works? Wasps hate rain and the spray makes them think it’s raining and they quickly retreat. But to protect the grapes from wasps, you need to run the sprinkler all day, otherwise the little insects will quickly come back afterwards. In practice, this would be rather impractical and lead to an enormously high water consumption. In addition, the high amounts of water lead to unfavorable soil conditions, which has a negative impact on our plants.
Primordial rock flour against wasps
If you want to keep wasps away from grapes, you do not have to immediately resort to insecticides from the market. Primal rock meal is an excellent alternative to protect your crop without harming beneficial insects. The easiest way to do this is to shake the primal rock flour directly over the grapes. Alternatively, you can mix it with a little water and spray it on the fruit. However, this should be done very carefully, because too much flour can negatively affect photosynthesis.