Things that keep wasps away

Updated November 21, 2016

Wasps can deliver painful stings and be a nuisance. Yellow jackets and hornets plague picnics and cookouts, looking for a meal and sting with little provocation. Mud daubers and small brown wasps are just two helpful wasp species that lay eggs in garden pests, which consume and kill the pests. These wasps do not sting, so they are beneficial to have around. It is always a good idea to identify the wasps to be sure it is a species you wish to be rid of before taking action. There are steps you can take to keep wasps away.

Prpoer Sanitation

Open trash containers filled with food, particularly fruit and fruit peelings, and food wrappers attract wasps. Even open unrinsed food containers contain enough food to lure wasps, particularly yellow jackets. Wasps will go wherever there is an easy source of food and they will often build nests nearby. According to the University of Minnesota Extension Service Promptly removing trash and keeping tightly closed lids on all receptacles helps keep wasps away. Do not leave open food and beverages on tables during picnics and cookouts.

Discourage Nesting

Wasps like to build nests any place that is warm, sheltered and dry. Eaves, vents, crawlspaces, inside walls and in bushes and hedges alongside a building provide ideal conditions for nest locations. Vigilance in detecting nests, caulking any gaps or holes where wasps can enter a home and properly destroying nests upon detection will keep them away from buildings. The key is to use the right technique for destroying a nest for the type of species you are fighting. According to the website Eartheasy, placing aluminium foil or rubbing bar soap under eaves acts as a repellent to nest building in those locations.

Clothing and Grooming Choices

Wasps are attracted to bright colours and floral patterns. They are also attracted to sweet smells, including scented body lotions, perfumes and body sprays. When outside, especially for occasions where food will be served outdoors, it is best to avoid wearing those types of clothing and grooming products.


Wasps produce a pheromone when they are swatted and squashed. This pheromone attracts other wasps and encourages them to become aggressive. When a wasp is hovering, it is best to walk away calmly. Swatting just aggravates them and promotes stinging behaviour.

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