Even though there are plenty of things that I love about the summertime, there are a few things about it that I wish I didn’t have to endure. Because although summer brings longer days, patio weather, and family vacations, it is also responsible for sunburns, oppressive temperatures, and of course, wasps.
Wasps can be nuisance during most of the year, but they often don’t become a real problem until the late summer. That’s because late in the summer, wasp colonies stop breeding new workers and start focusing on food instead. Humans often have food that wasps want, so one thing leads to another, and someone ends up on the wrong end of a sting. (Wasps are very rude that way!)
So in order to help us all enjoy a wasp-free summer, I thought that today I would offer up some useful ways to get rid of wasps! With the help of these 7 tips, you can be sure that your house is driving wasps away instead of inviting them in! :-)
7 Simple Ways To Get Rid Of Wasps
1. Look For Nests
The first step to getting rid of wasps is making sure there aren’t any living in or around your home already. Take a few minutes to walk around the outside of your house, and look for holes, broken panels, and loose siding where wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets could build a nest. Make repairs to these areas ASAP.
If you discover a nest, you’ll have to spray it to kill the wasps. It’s best to do it in the early morning or late at night, and be sure to wear heavy clothing. Aim at the main opening, which is usually near the bottom of the nest. Spray a stead stream of the wasp spray for at least 10 seconds, then take refuge indoors. (If your attempt to get rid of them was unsuccessful, better to try again tomorrow!)
Bonus Tip: You can make a homemade wasp spray by adding 2 tablespoons of dish soap (which you can also make a homemade version of) to 8 ounces of water. Soapy water clogs up the wasps’ breathing spores and kills them almost instantly.
2. Put Away Food
Don’t let wasps ruin your backyard barbecue! As soon as everyone’s done eating, take a few minutes to pack up any leftovers and put the food away. The sooner you get the food covered up, the less likely you are to have wasp, yellow jacket, and hornet problems. (Oh, and make sure to keep garbage cans covered too!)
3. Move Hummingbird Feeders
Hummingbirds love hummingbird feeders, but wasps do too! If you have a hummingbird feeder in your backyard, you may want to move it to a secluded area or bring it inside when you or your guests will be spending time out there.
4. Make A Decoy Nest
Wasps are very territorial, so if they see a nest near your home, it may deter them from building a nest nearby. You can take advantage of their territorial nature by making a simple decoy wasp nest!
To make a fake nest to deter wasps, fill a paper bag with a couple of other wadded up paper bags. Tie the opening of the bag off with a rubber band, then hang it the decoy nest wherever wasps may be tempted to build.
5. Avoid Floral Scents
Avoid wearing bold floral scents when you’ll be spending time outside. This could include perfumes, body sprays, lotions, and other scented products. Floral scents can attract wasps, and no one wants to be a walking wasp magnet!
6. Plant These Plants
There are certain plants that wasps don’t like to hang around, so adding these plants to your yard can help keep wasps at bay. Consider planting the following wasp-deterring plants around your yard:
7. Use Peppermint Oil
You can take advantage of this effect by putting a few drops of peppermint oil on several cotton balls. Place the cotton balls around your patio, outdoor furniture, or wherever you spend time outside to keep wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets away.
Bonus Tip #1: Advice For Other Pests
Not every angry stinging insect is a wasp! Here’s some tips for handling other flying pests:
- Hornets – Some hornets build their nests in the ground. Take a walk around your yard to look for any holes or divots where hornets might be tempted to build a nest, then fill them up.
- Yellow Jackets – Yellow jackets are often mean and persistent, but resist the temptation to swat at them. (It will only make them more aggressive!)
- Mud Daubers – Mud daubers are very skinny in the center of their body, so it’s easy to pick them out. They’re not usually aggressive, and are normally only interested in stinging spiders to feed their babies.
Bonus Tip #2: Avoid Wasp Traps
Some people suggest using sugar and vinegar as bait in a homemade wasp trap, but I don’t suggest it. You may catch the occasional wasp with one, but it makes more sense to put that time and effort applying the tips to get rid of wasps that I mentioned above.
Bonus Tip #3: Be Nice To Bees!
Bees are a bit hairy or fuzzy, which makes them pretty easy to tell apart from wasps, hornets, and other pests. If you spot a honey bee or bumble bee, leave him be! He’s doing important work as a pollinator and isn’t looking to hurt you. If you have a serious number of bees around your house or have spotted a hive somewhere, contact a local beekeeper and ask if they offer removal or relocation services.
What’s your best tip for dealing with wasps?