Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Wasps

Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Wasps

By Reena Nerbas


Dear Reena,

Do you have any ideas regarding how to keep wasps away? Douglas

Dear Douglas,

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.

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 tsp. (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!

Removing Name Labels for Institutional Residents’ Clothes

Dear Reena,

You’re the only one I can think of who might be able to answer this query. Is it possible to remove name labels that institutions like personal care homes, iron on or glue on the back of residents’ clothing?  Thanks. Jean

Dear Jean,

Have you tried lifting a corner and heating it with a hairdryer? Often this is all that is required to soften the glue, allowing the label to peel off. Other options are: Goo Gone, WD-40 or rubbing alcohol.

Salad Dressing from Scratch

Dear Reena,

I’m trying to save money by making my own food from scratch whenever possible. Do you have an easy Vinaigrette Salad Dressing recipe? Abby

Dear Abby,

Blend the following until smooth: 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar, one third cup olive (canola or vegetable) oil, one tbsp. Dijon mustard, three quarter tsp. minced garlic, half tsp. salt and half tsp. pepper and two tbsp. water. Pour onto lettuce. Add flavor to the salad by including baked, sliced almonds, red onion and/or crumbled Blue or Gorgonzola cheese.

Fabulous Tips of the Week:

  • Protect yourself from mosquitos by carrying a handheld fan close to yourself. The breeze helps keep them at bay. Submitted By: Jessica
  • I put antiperspirant on the bottom of my feet before going outside to prevent my sandals from becoming nasty smelling. Submitted By: Heinrich
  • I hold onto the silica gel packets that I get whenever I purchase a purse or shoes. Every time I store shoes in the basement i.e. rollerblades, skates, cleats or boots, I place a packet inside to absorb odors. Submitted By: Lauren
  • I liven up morning coffee by adding half tsp. vanilla, cinnamon or almond extract to the brew. After I pour the coffee into the cup, I add a pinch of nutmeg. Yum! Submitted By: Myra
  • I had some sutures on my face and wanted to keep them dry for a few days. I wondered how to wash my hair daily. I tried the following system and was amazed by the results: Soak a washcloth with soap and hot water. Wring out cloth and rub through hair. Repeat several times. Do the same with fresh hot water. Blow dry and presto! Submitted By: Lillian

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.

Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website: Ask a question or share a tip at

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