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How to Keep Wasps Away (4 Expert Ideas)

The sight of a wasp nearby can make even the most fearless person afraid. 

Simply put, wasps have a bad reputation (for good reason!) and are not to be messed with.

So, if you have a wasp problem and need to get rid of them, it can be hard to know what to do.

In this wasp removal guide, you'll learn:

  • What attracts wasps
  • How to get rid of wasps
  • How to keep wasps away
how to keep wasps away

Keep reading and we’ll walk you through some DIY pest control methods you can use to prevent wasps from moving in and taking over your home.

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What Attracts Wasps in the First Place?

Paper wasps and yellow jackets, the two most common varieties of wasps die as winter approaches, except for an inseminated queen who hibernates during the cold months in a semi-dormant state.

She emerges in the spring, as sometimes as early as March or April. She finds a location for a new nest and begins laying eggs. She feeds the first few to hatch until they are large enough to take over the feeding duties for the rest of the colony.

how to keep wasps away

During the spring when the colony is growing, they need lots of protein to help the larva grow. They’ll be attracted to such food sources as meat, peanut butter, eggs, pet food, and others. During this phase of the colonies life, they won’t be very aggressive.

Once late summer arrives the colony will have reached its maximum size and their dietary requirements will shift. They’ll begin looking for sweets and sugars to maintain the queen and the workers.

Wasps will be attracted to soda, candy, ice cream, sugar water, and anything sweet. They will become much more aggressive during this phase than they were previously.

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4 Ideas To Keep Wasps Away

Getting rid of wasps isn't as simple as killing the insect. When a wasp is squashed, mashed, or swatted hard enough, they release pheromones into the air that attract more wasps. Same thing happens when they sting.

That's the opposite of what anyone wants. But keeping wasps away both inside and outside of your home is possible, even without hiring an exterminator. Take a look at these preventative measures to treat any wasp infestations.

Exclusion

The first way to prevent a wasp problem is to make sure they can’t get into your house or make a nest on your property.

Keep Wasps Away from Your House

Wasps and hornets can squeeze themselves through extraordinarily small openings, which means everything needs to be closed tightly and sealed up to keep them out of your home and trash. 

You’ll need to seal all the entrance holes, cracks, and crevices that provide entrance to your house. Silicon gel sealant is one of the best products you can use for this purpose. Use it around all the doors and windows in the entire house. 

Examine the soffits under the eaves to ensure there aren’t any opening there. Take your time and be thorough. All it takes is one hole for them to get in.

Get some woven wire mesh sheets to cover the chimney along with the ventilation slots in the gables at each end of the house. Wasps can chew through many different things, but metal isn’t one of them and the wire mesh is too small for them to squeeze through.

how to keep wasps away

Keep Wasps Off Your Property

Preventing wasps from building a nest on your property is more difficult. There are countless external factor to consider.

However, there are ways to make your home less inviting.

Steps to keep wasps away include:

  • Removing all traces of sugary food or sources of protein
  • Keep trash cans tightly sealed
  • Don't keep pet food outside
  • Harvest and remove any fruits or berries that may be growing

Wasps actually imprint on an area that contains food. Even if you remove the food source, they will continue to come back and search for more.

Wasp Repellents

You have two options for wasp repellents: DIY and pre-made.

DIY Wasp Repellent

Research has indicated that essential oils are an effective wasp repellent.

Plants that act as natural wasp repellents are:

Blends of essential oils such as lemongrass and geranium have also demonstrated repellent properties.

To make a repellent spray, place a few drops of essential oil in a spray bottle of water and shake it vigorously to mix.

Pre-made Wasp Repellents

If you want a repellent that has reviews to back it up, a pre-made wasp repellent is the way to go. Their efficacy has been tested by people with the same wasp problems.

 Read also: What are the top wasp repellents?

How to Apply Wasp Repellent

Spray when the temperature is cooler and wasps are less active. You're less likely to deal with a wasp sting

Spray inside and outside around all the doors and windows, as well as any other openings you can find. Additionally, spray it around the trash cans, the patio, the eaves of the house.

If you have a flowering garden, spray it on an around the flowers. Keep in mind that some sprays contain toxins that can kill plants.

Some varieties of wasps dig holes in the ground all around your lawn. Spray around those holes and inside them too.

Homemade sprays need to be applied once a week. Essential oils have very little sticking power on their own and can easily be washed away by the rain. 

For best results with pre-made repellents, follow their specific directions.

Deter with a Fake Nest

Many people don’t know wasp decoys even exist, but they do. Unlike other decoys that are modeled after predators like hawks or foxes, a wasp decoy looks like a wasp nest.

Fortunately, if foraging wasps come near your house and property and see an existing nest, they know they’re outnumbered by the existing colony. Wasps are extremely territorial and will vigorously defend their territory from another colony.

When a foraging wasp sees the decoy, it will turn around and fly away to avoid being killed by worker wasps defending their nest.

Read more: What are the best wasp deterrents available?

Wasp decoys can be hung from porch roofs, under the eaves, up next to the top of pillars and posts, and under wooden decks. Anywhere that wasps build nests is a perfect spot for one of them.

Bait Traps

Wasp traps are the final DIY method of pest control for wasps. There are several ways to make your own traps at home, such as using a two-liter bottle. 

However, wasp traps are so inexpensive we think you’re better off buying them. You’ll get a consistent quality that way, and frankly, it’s one less thing you have to do yourself.

One word of caution about wasp traps. Some of the wasps will still be alive when it’s time to remove the trap(s) and we guarantee, there is no such thing as an escape-proof trap. Wearing gloves, goggles, and other protective gear is advised whenever dealing with wasps.

Final Thoughts on Wasp Control

The methods we’ve outlined here are intended to be preventative only. If you already have an active nest in or around your home, treating the nest directly is a bad idea. That is something that is best left to the professionals.

There are plenty of pest control companies who can kill the colony for you. It won’t take them very long and the costs are usually quite reasonable. Then, after the wasps are gone, you can take over and use the methods we outlined above to prevent any more wasps from coming back.

Other Wasps Guides

Curious about wasps related articles? Check out our other detailed guides to help you deal with your pest problems.

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