Why do Wasps like my Teak Furniture?
At this time of the year we receive a number of enquiries concerning teak garden furniture that is being attacked by wasps.
This is quite a normal phenomenon if you have wasps in the vicinity. They attack all wood, but it shows up more on weathered teak as they take the thin top silvery layer leaving lines on the teak furniture about 2mm wide and about 25mm long revealing the fresh teak beneath – we just notice the problem more on our beloved teak furniture.
But why? I hear you ask.
In early summer Queen wasps chew off tiny bits of wood, fly away with it and use it to make a nest about the size of a golf ball. She will settle down in it and lay her eggs. Once these worker wasps have hatched, they go off chewing wood to extend the nest until it becomes quite large.
It's only in late summer when the queen dies and the colony starts to collapse, the wasps start eating your picnic! This is because at that point they are no longer getting a daily fix of nectar.
So, what can be done about the problem?
- Find the nest - The first defence is to track down the wasp’s nests and call in your local pest contractor to deal with it. This requires patience and quiet observation to follow the line of flight so they will lead you to their nest. Although the best and primary solution, it is not always possible
- Make your own repellent - It is reputed that wasps dislike the smell of peppermint oil. Some people swear by mixing a little peppermint oil and water and spraying it on the teak. I think this is a treatment to use when eating outside to keep wasps at bay, rather than protecting your teak garden furniture 24/7
- If neither of these methods work, we would recommend using our Anti-Wasp treatment which we can supply. It is very easy to apply by wiping the surfaces with the liquid applied to a cloth and letting it dry and then repeating – job done. Best to do it in the early summer and then follow up with another treatment if necessary, later in the summer. These treatments will deter, but not kill, the wasps and is safe to use. Although this phenomenon is very annoying and unsightly, don't panic as no lasting damage will be done to your teak furniture. With the passing of time the silvery colour will return. If you were so inclined, sanding with a fine sand paper will restore the original colour and the weathering process will start again, but it is not necessary and letting nature take its course is the easiest.
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The Chic Teak Team