How to Get Rid of Wasps: Tips, Tricks, and Deterrents

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Wasps can be a nuisance when they build nests around your home, creating a risk for painful stings. This comprehensive guide combines information from various sources to provide you with the best tips, tricks, and recipes to get rid of wasps effectively and safely.

Identifying Wasps and Their Nests

Properly identifying wasps and their nests is crucial to ensure the appropriate removal methods are used. This section offers a more in-depth look at the common types of wasps and their nests.

Common Types of Wasps

Paper Wasps

  • Appearance: Paper wasps are typically 0.5 to 1.5 inches long, with slender bodies, narrow waists, and long legs. They have various color patterns, including yellow, orange, and brown, often with dark markings.
  • Nests: Paper wasp nests are open, umbrella-shaped, and consist of a single layer of hexagonal cells. They’re usually found under eaves, in trees or bushes, or in other sheltered areas.


  • Appearance: Yellowjackets are 0.5 to 0.75 inches long, with stout bodies and black and bright yellow stripes. They have a short, narrow waist and are often mistaken for bees.
  • Nests: Yellowjacket nests are enclosed and can be found both above and below ground. Above-ground nests are often found in trees or building eaves, while below-ground nests are typically found in abandoned rodent burrows or other cavities.


  • Appearance: Hornets are larger than other wasps, usually 0.75 to 1.5 inches long. They have a thick waist and robust body, and their color patterns are often black and white or black and yellow.
  • Nests: Hornet nests are large, enclosed structures made of a papery material. They can be found attached to trees, under eaves, or in other sheltered locations.

How to Identify Wasp Nests

When trying to locate and identify wasp nests, consider these factors:

  1. Shape and Structure: Observe the nest’s overall shape and structure. Paper wasp nests are open and umbrella-shaped, while yellowjacket and hornet nests are enclosed and more spherical.
  2. Size: The size of the nest can be an indicator of the wasp species. Paper wasp nests are generally smaller, while hornet nests can be quite large.
  3. Location: The location of the nest can also help determine the wasp species. Paper wasp nests are often in sheltered, elevated areas, while yellowjacket nests can be both above and below ground.

Remember, wasps can be aggressive, especially when their nest is disturbed. Keep a safe distance while observing and identifying wasp nests, and consider calling a professional if you’re unsure about the species or removal process.

Prevention Tips

Preventing wasps from building nests around your home is essential to avoid potential problems and painful stings. This section provides more in-depth information on effective prevention strategies.

1. Keep Your Yard Clean and Free of Debris

  • Why it works: A clean yard reduces the number of hiding spots and potential nest locations for wasps.
  • Tips:
    • Regularly clear away fallen leaves, branches, and other debris.
    • Keep your lawn mowed and your shrubs trimmed.
    • Remove any standing water, as it can attract wasps and other pests.

2. Regularly Empty and Clean Trash Cans

  • Why it works: Wasps are attracted to food sources, particularly sweet items and proteins. Ensuring trash cans are clean and well-maintained helps deter wasps from nesting nearby.
  • Tips:
    • Use trash cans with tight-fitting lids to prevent wasps from accessing the contents.
    • Rinse out your trash cans regularly to remove any food residue.
    • Keep trash cans away from your home’s entrance and outdoor seating areas.

3. Cover Outdoor Eating Areas

  • Why it works: Wasps are attracted to food, and covering outdoor eating areas helps prevent them from becoming a nuisance during meals.
  • Tips:
    • Use food covers, such as mesh domes, to protect plates and serving dishes.
    • Clean up food spills immediately to avoid attracting wasps.
    • Avoid leaving food unattended outdoors.

4. Seal Cracks and Openings Around Your Home

  • Why it works: Sealing gaps and openings in your home’s exterior prevents wasps from entering and building nests inside.
  • Tips:
    • Inspect your home’s exterior for cracks, holes, and gaps.
    • Seal openings with caulk, expanding foam, or other appropriate materials.
    • Repair damaged screens on windows and doors to prevent wasps from entering your home.

5. Avoid Wearing Sweet-Smelling Perfumes or Bright Clothing When Outdoors

  • Why it works: Wasps are attracted to sweet smells and bright colors, so avoiding these can help prevent wasps from approaching you.
  • Tips:
    • Choose unscented personal care products, such as deodorants and body lotions.
    • Opt for neutral-colored clothing when spending time outdoors.
    • Be cautious when drinking sugary beverages, as the scent can attract wasps.

By following these detailed prevention tips, you can create an environment that is less appealing to wasps and reduce the chances of them nesting around your home. Regular maintenance and vigilance can help ensure a wasp-free environment for you and your family.

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Top Tips for Getting Rid of Wasps: A Detailed Guide

Effectively getting rid of wasps requires a combination of safety measures, appropriate removal techniques, and preventive actions. This section delves deeper into the top tips for eliminating wasps around your home.

1. Identify the Nest Location

  • Why it’s important: Properly identifying the nest location allows you to plan your approach and choose the appropriate removal method.
  • Tips:
    • Observe wasp activity during the day to locate the nest.
    • Maintain a safe distance while observing the nest to avoid provoking the wasps.
    • Note the nest’s size and location for reference when planning your approach.

2. Plan Your Approach

  • Why it’s important: Planning your approach helps ensure the safe and effective removal of the nest.
  • Tips:
    • Choose a time when wasp activity is low, such as early morning or late evening.
    • Decide whether to use commercial wasp sprays, natural repellents, or professional help.
    • Prepare any necessary equipment or materials in advance.

3. Dress Appropriately

  • Why it’s important: Wearing protective clothing minimizes the risk of stings during the removal process.
  • Tips:
    • Wear long sleeves, pants, and gloves to protect your skin.
    • Choose thick materials to prevent stingers from penetrating your clothing.
    • Wear a hat with a net to protect your face and neck.

4. Use a Commercial Wasp Spray

  • Why it’s important: Commercial wasp sprays are formulated to eliminate wasps quickly and effectively.
  • Tips:
    • Choose a spray specifically designed for the type of wasp you’re dealing with.
    • Follow the instructions on the label carefully.
    • Spray the nest from a safe distance, typically 10 to 15 feet away, to minimize the risk of stings.

5. Consider Natural Repellents

  • Why it’s important: Natural repellents can be a safer and more eco-friendly alternative to chemical sprays.
  • Tips:
    • Use essential oils, such as peppermint or eucalyptus, as a natural deterrent.
    • Apply natural repellents around entry points, nest locations, and outdoor seating areas.
    • Reapply natural repellents regularly to maintain their effectiveness.

6. Call a Professional

  • Why it’s important: Professional pest control services have the experience and equipment necessary to safely and effectively remove wasp nests.
  • Tips:
    • Research local pest control companies and choose one with a good reputation.
    • Discuss the wasp species and nest location with the professional to ensure they can handle the situation.
    • Follow any recommendations provided by the professional to prevent future wasp infestations.

By following these detailed tips for getting rid of wasps, you can successfully eliminate nests and reduce the risk of stings. Always prioritize safety when dealing with wasps, and don’t hesitate to call a professional if you’re unsure about the removal process or feel uncomfortable handling the situation yourself.

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Natural Wasp Repellent Recipes

Using natural wasp repellents is an eco-friendly and less toxic alternative to chemical sprays. These recipes can help keep wasps at bay without harming the environment or other beneficial insects.

1. Peppermint Oil Spray

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 cup water
    • 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • Instructions:
    1. Mix the water and peppermint oil in a spray bottle.
    2. Shake well before each use.
    3. Spray the mixture around entry points, nest locations, and outdoor seating areas.
    4. Reapply every few days or after rain to maintain its effectiveness.

2. Eucalyptus and Geranium Oil Spray

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 cup water
    • 5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
    • 5 drops of geranium essential oil
  • Instructions:
    1. Combine the water, eucalyptus oil, and geranium oil in a spray bottle.
    2. Shake the bottle well before using.
    3. Spray the mixture around areas where wasps are active or where nests are located.
    4. Reapply as needed to maintain effectiveness.

3. Spicy Citrus Spray

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • Instructions:
    1. Mix the water, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper in a spray bottle.
    2. Shake the bottle thoroughly before each use.
    3. Spray the mixture around the nest, entry points, and outdoor areas where wasps are a problem.
    4. Reapply every few days or after rain to maintain its effectiveness.

4. Vinegar and Dish Soap Solution

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 cup white vinegar
    • 1/4 cup dish soap
  • Instructions:
    1. Combine the white vinegar and dish soap in a spray bottle.
    2. Shake well to mix the ingredients.
    3. Spray the solution directly on wasps and their nests.
    4. Wait for a few minutes before removing the nest or dead wasps. Use caution as some wasps may still be active.

5. Citronella and Lemongrass Oil Diffuser

  • Ingredients:
    • 5 drops of citronella essential oil
    • 5 drops of lemongrass essential oil
    • Water
  • Instructions:
    1. Fill an essential oil diffuser with water, following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
    2. Add the citronella and lemongrass oils to the diffuser.
    3. Place the diffuser in outdoor areas where wasps are a problem.
    4. Run the diffuser as needed to maintain a wasp-free environment.

These natural wasp repellent recipes can help you effectively and safely deter wasps from your home and outdoor areas. Regular application and maintenance of these solutions can contribute to a wasp-free environment for you and your family.

(Video) How To


What kills wasps instantly?

Commercial wasp sprays formulated with strong insecticides can kill wasps almost instantly. When using these sprays, follow the instructions on the label carefully and maintain a safe distance from the nest to minimize the risk of stings. Alternatively, a solution of vinegar and dish soap can also be effective at killing wasps when sprayed directly on them.

Do wasps remember faces?

While wasps do not have the same facial recognition abilities as humans or some other animals, they can recognize and remember certain patterns and visual cues. This means that if you provoke a wasp, it may associate your appearance or clothing with a threat and become aggressive towards you in the future.

What aggravates wasps?

Wasps can become aggravated by a variety of factors, including:
– Approaching or disturbing their nest
– Rapid movements or swatting near them
– Loud noises or vibrations
– Bright colors and sweet smells, which can attract them
To minimize the risk of aggravating wasps and getting stung, it’s best to remain calm and avoid making sudden movements when in the vicinity of a nest or wasps.

Do wasps know when you kill a wasp?

Wasps do not have the cognitive abilities to understand the concept of death as humans do. However, as mentioned earlier, when a wasp is threatened or killed, it can release a pheromone that signals danger to other wasps nearby. This can cause the other wasps to become more defensive and aggressive, giving the appearance that they “know” when one of their own has been killed.

Do wasps sleep at night?

Wasps are generally less active during the night, as they rely on daylight to navigate and forage for food. While they don’t sleep in the same way humans do, they do enter a state of rest during the night. Wasps will typically return to their nest or find a sheltered location to rest until daylight returns. This is why it’s often recommended to deal with wasp nests early in the morning or late in the evening, when their activity levels are at their lowest.

For more information on managing various pests, check out the following guides:

By following these tips, tricks, and recipes, you can effectively manage wasps and prevent them from causing problems around your home. Always prioritize safety when dealing with wasps and other pests and consider calling a professional if you’re unsure how to proceed.

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