How to keep wasps from building nests

Written by abby vaun
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How to keep wasps from building nests
An active wasp nest made from chewed wood pulp. (Image by Danny Chapman; Flickr.)

Wasps can be a nuisance to humans, but they do benefit your garden by preying on other insects that can destroy landscaping. However, if you are severely allergic to their venom, or if they get too close for comfort, wasps can become a problem. While no sure-fire techniques to prevent wasps from building a nest exist, you can take steps to discourage nest building near your home.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Decoy wasp nest
  • Airtight rubbish bin
  • Sealant
  • Dryer sheets
  • Pesticides
  • Goggles
  • Mask
  • Gloves

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  1. 1

    Search for open entry points in your home. Check for cracks in door frames and window frames and unsealed vents in roof eaves. Wasps can build nests inside your walls, so use a sealant to close off all possible means of access.

  2. 2

    Buy a rubbish bin with an airtight lid. Wasps will forage for food anywhere, and if your discarded food is easy for them to find, they are likely to build nests nearby.

  3. 3

    Wipe any spills and clean up any crumbs after eating outdoors. If wasps find anything worth eating on your patio, they will come back.

  4. 4

    Place decoy wasp nests around your home. You can buy them at a garden centre or online. Wasps tend to avoid other wasp nests, so the fake ones will trick them into staying away. Decoy nests are a safe and environmentally friendly alternative to using pesticides.

  5. 5

    Hang clothes dryer sheets around your home. Dryer sheets seem to repel wasps.

  6. 6

    Spray chemical pesticides around your home. If you have pets or small children, be sure to keep them away from areas you spray. Protect your eyes, mouth and skin from the chemicals with goggles, a mask and gloves.

Tips and warnings

  • Wasps are attracted to sweet smells. Do not wear heavy perfumes or colognes.
  • Avoid wearing bright colours or floral prints.
  • If a wasp is buzzing around you, avoid swatting at it. This could make the wasp more aggressive, and you are more likely to get stung.

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