Renovation & Design

Keep pesky wasps away with these handy tips

Question: What is a good solution for keeping wasps away? Thank you, Edward

Answer: If you notice wasps building a nest in the same space year after year, purchase an artificial wasp nest. Or make your own by blowing up a brown paper lunch bag and closing it with a string. Wasps are territorial and don’t like to make their home where someone else already has lived.

If wasps are not bothering you, leave them alone. Knocking down a wasp nest is risky business; surviving wasps will be angry and may attack. Also, they often rebuild nests in a new, nearby location. If you are desperate to remove a small nest, do so at night when they are sluggish. While wearing protective clothing, pull the nest inside of a sealable plastic bag or coffee can. For large wasp nests, call in an expert.

Make your own wasp deterrent: In a spray bottle, combine 1 teaspoon (5 mL) dish soap and 1-2 cups (250-500 mL) water. Drop in 2-3 garlic cloves. Leave overnight. Spray clothes and skin with the repellent mixture to deter wasps as well as mosquitoes. Or add 1 tsp. (5 mL) dish soap to a bottle of Mountain Dew. Place the container away from the seating area and watch those wasps disappear. Here is another option: Take an open can of tuna and lace it with borax. The wasps gobble up the tuna and will disappear in a few days. Wasps love garbage!

Question: I use dishwasher detergent in powder form, and I have noticed over the past months that my detergent tends to clump. Is there a better way to store the detergent so that the powder stays loose? Tyler

Answer: Whether you are storing homemade or store-bought dishwasher detergent, you can prevent clumping with this easy solution: Pour powdered detergent into a plastic bucket and close with a tightly fitting lid. This way moisture and humidity will not find its way into your detergent and the powder will stay loose. Stores sell dishwasher detergent in plastic buckets you may want to purchase one and continually refill it.

Feedback from contributors

Re: Growing Green Grass

For the person who is having trouble growing lush green grass, they should choose grass seeds that are conducive to the environment and soil. Also, don’t over fertilize because over fertilizing can burn the grass. — Claudia

Remove mildew on wood patio furniture by combining 1 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 gallon water. Wipe onto furniture and rinse. — Lynda

Clean mildew around the tub area by placing cotton balls soaked with bleach in each corner. Clean the inside of the tub as normal. Remove cotton balls from corners and rinse. — Lynda

Discourage mildew by leaving shower doors or curtains open after a shower. Before getting into the shower, spray the inside with mildew cleaner. Scrub while you shower. — Edward

To clean mildew on carpets: Vacuum carpet and throw away the bag. Combine 1/2 tsp. liquid dish soap with 1 cup warm water. Sponge onto area and let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse and blot with towels. Combine 2 tbsp. ammonia with 1 cup warm water. Blot area with towels. Air dry. — Glenn

To get shower curtains really clean add 1 cup vinegar to the water when laundering. — Aman

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

Have a great suggestion or tip? Please send an email. Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website:


Browse Homes

Browse by Building Type