Wasps and trees (Linden?)
We are new owners in a new development just west of downtown Littleton. One of the HOA trees, next to our property, has wasps eating the leaves. I was told a water solution with mild dish soap sprayed on the leaves will keep the wasp away. If this is true, what would be an appropriate ratio? Thank you!
Arapahoe County Colorado
Not true. Soapy water sprayed onto soft-bodied insects (like aphids) may kill them. Insects knocked off of leaves into a bucket of soapy water may drown because they cannot exit water with lowered surface tension due to the soap/detergent.
Wasps don't eat leaves. My guess is that you have other insects, possibly Japanese Beetles, eating the linden leaves, photo below.
Yellowjacket wasps are attracted to sticky-sugary "honeydew" excreted by aphids on the linden leaves. Aphids are very common on linden tree leaves. Look to see if any linden leaves look shiny wet and sticky; these have had aphid honeydew dripped onto them by aphids on leaves above.
CSU Extension information on insecticidal soaps, Japanese Beetles and aphids in shade trees: