How to Keep Wasps Away
Nothing ruins a picnic or day outside quicker than wasps buzzing around. Using natural or store-bought wasp repellent, making sure you secure areas where wasps can get in, and getting rid of food that can attract wasps can help keep them away. Using a water and soap solution, setting traps, or calling a pest expert can help you get rid of wasps if you already have them.
EditKeeping Wasps Away from Your Home
- Seal cracks in your home. This can prevent wasps that have nests near your home from actually getting in. Look for cracks near the edges of your siding, where power lines enter your house, or holes in window screens. Then use an appropriate sealant – usually caulk for cracks near the siding or where power lines enter and patches for screens – to seal the holes.
- If you find a wasps nest in one of the cracks or holes you’re sealing, don’t just seal it in. Some wasps can actually chew through dry wall and get into your house that way! Instead, call a professional pest exterminator to take care of it for you.
- Cover your garbage cans tightly. Wasps tend to show up in yards with a lot of food waste, and if your garbage cans are not closed tightly, wasps might be attracted. Make sure the lid is closed as tightly as possible, and don’t ever leave the lid off your cans.
- Don’t leave out sweet-smelling stuff. This includes the type of nectar found in some bird feeders. Wasps are attracted to sweet-smelling stuff, so having a lot in your yard increases your chances of having wasps.
- Clean up after picnics right away. This can also keep wasps away since they’re attracted to food waste. Throw away trash and seal up containers that still have food in them.
EditUsing Natural Repellents
- Mix clove, geranium, and lemongrass essential oils. You should add several drops of each type of oil to a spray bottle filled with water and a few squirts of dish soap. Shake the bottle to stir the elements together. Then spray the areas of your house that seem to attract wasps, including under eaves and on porch roofs.
- Don’t spray the whole area, as this would require more than one spray bottle of solution and can be very expensive. Focus on spraying where there have been other nests on your home.
- You can also buy wasp repellent in home improvement stores if you’d prefer not to mix your own.
- Grow wasp-repellent plants. There are some plants that keep wasps away because they don’t like the smell. Planting a few of them near where you spend a lot of time – the front porch or your backyard – can help keep wasps away. Mint, thyme, eucalyptus, and citronella will all repel wasps, and they’ll also make your yards smell great!
- Use wasp decoys. Since wasps are territorial, they won’t build a nest within 20 feet or so of another nest. Hang one decoy on each side of your house to keep wasps away from the whole house.
EditGetting Rid of Wasps
- Mix a soap and water solution. Pour two tablespoons (1 oz) of dish soap into a spray bottle of water. Shake the bottle to mix the solution up – it should get a little frothy. Stand as far away from the existing nest as possible and soak the nest with the spray.
- Use a wasp trap. You can make one on your own by cutting the top off a two-liter pop bottle. Spray the inside of the bottle with a bit of sugar water, and replace the top of the pop bottle by turning it upside down in the bottom of the bottle. Tape the two pieces together and leave it out in your yard. You can also buy wasp traps in the store.
- Call a pest control expert. This is especially important if you’re allergic to wasp stings. In that case, or if you’ve discovered a big nest, it’s best to call a pest control expert to take care of the nest for you.
- If you’re allergic to wasp stings, either ask someone else to try to get rid of the wasps for you or call a professional.
EditSources and Citations
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