How to keep wasps away outdoors

Enjoying your garden, patio or any other outdoor area quickly becomes an unenjoyable experience when wasps are buzzing around. Wasp stings can be painful and, for some people, cause severe reactions. While wasps are an important part of the ecosystem, keeping wasps aways outdoors and at a safe distance is important, whether you are at home, on a picnic or camping.

Wasp catcher

Stand an empty plastic bottle up and use your scissors to cut the top of the bottle off, just below the curve of the top of the bottle. Remove the screw-on cap from the bottle and discard the cap only.

Fill the bottom portion of the bottle, one-third of the way, with water. Add a few drops of washing-up liquid to the water in the bottle. Swirl the bottle around to mix the soapy solution.

Place the top portion of the bottle into the bottom portion so the neck of the bottle is facing downwards. Secure the top portion in the bottom portion of the bottle by taping the edges together with a few small pieces of masking tape.

Smear some jam inside the neck of the bottle. The sweetness of the jam will attract the wasps to your bottle. As they eat the jam, they will move down into the bottom of the bottle. Once the wasps are in the bottle, it will be hard for them to fly back out and they will drown in the soapy solution.

Set up your wasp bait trap about 4.5 metres (15 feet) away from your central location.

Wasp repellent

Repel wasps with a fake wasp nest. Lay a brown paper bag on a work surface. Use grey outdoor paint, such as a multi-purpose cement paint or primer, and a paint brush to paint the bag and, when the bag dries, the bottom of the bag.

Allow the painted paper bag to dry overnight.

Open the paper bag, then place the opening of the bag over your mouth. Blow into the bag to fill it with air. Twist the top three inches of the bag with your hands to keep the air secure in the bag and give the bag a puffy appearance.

Tie the twine halfway down the twisted portion of the paper lunch bag. Tie the loose ends in a knot to form a loop.

Hang your fake wasp nest outdoors where wasps have been active. Wasps are territorial and will not stay in an area where other wasp nests are found. Secure your wasp nest within 6 metres (20 feet) of the area where want to keep the wasps away.


Use a 590 ml (20 fl oz) soda bottle for an afternoon in the park or evening on your patio and a 2 litre (4 pint) bottle for a weekend camping trip.

Your fake wasp nest is portable; take it with you on picnics and camping trips to keep wasps away.


Supervise curious children so they are not lingering around the wasp trap.

Things You'll Need

  • Empty plastic bottle
  • Scissors
  • Washing-up liquid
  • Masking tape
  • Jam
  • Brown paper bag
  • Grey outdoor paint
  • Paintbrush
  • 25 cm (10 inch) twine
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.