For the week of Aug. 30

Controlling yellow jackets

Yellow jackets are starting to attack ripening fruits such as peaches and grapes. Unfortunately there is no easy way to control these pests. The best way to keep them out of your fruit (and away from your picnic) is to place baited traps in strategic locations away from the fruit or the picnic.

Bait these traps with tuna fish or with fish-based cat food. They will often go after the meat instead of your ripening fruit.

Protecting grapes

Birds love fresh grapes. There are supposedly many ways to keep the birds away including hanging rubber snakes or plastic owls near the vines. Other techniques include hanging aluminum pie plates or other flash objects over the vines.

Unfortunately, there is no way to effectively keep out persistent birds unless you place netting over the entire vine. Rolls of plastic netting are sold in many nurseries. Be certain to fasten it underneath to keep birds from coming up from the underside.