How To Get Rid Of Wasps

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

Wasps are lean, mean, and ready to sting you and ruin your time in the garden. They wreak havoc on countless homeowners during the spring and summer. The average homeowner would do anything to keep wasps away. Understandably, many people struggle with how to get rid of wasps.

The best way to get rid of wasps is to use traps filled with water and sugar to attract and drown them. Plant basil, thyme, mint, and eucalyptus to keep wasps out of your garden, as they hate the scent. Citronella candles, peppermint oil, and hornet nest decoys can also help get rid of wasps.

Wasps are dangerous, so you may need to call an exterminator if you have an overwhelming number of wasps on your property. Follow along as we explore how to get rid of wasps, so you can enjoy your time outside.

What Can Keep Wasps Away?

Whether it be peppermint oil or water traps, there are several ways to get rid of wasps. The best option for you depends on your garden and the severity of your wasp problem. Luckily, we have compiled a list of the best and easiest ways to get rid of wasps.

1. Water Traps

Water traps are arguably the most effective way to get rid of wasps. These traps feature holes that are designed so that the wasps can crawl into them but won’t be able to get out once inside. While the design and concept are simple, this method is quite successful.

However, the traps are only effective if you entice the wasps with sugar. Pour some powdered sugar into the trap and dilute it with water. You can also use a sugary beverage such as orange juice or a sports drink if you don’t have sugar. Only fill the trap with water up until the first holes for the wasps.

The scent of sugar will attract the wasps, they’ll crawl in, and they’ll get stuck. Wasps typically fly around in these traps for a while until they eventually fall into the water below and die. Make sure to add more sugar and water each time the water evaporates so you can keep trapping wasps.

2. Garden Planning

Smart garden planning can help keep wasps away from you and your house. Wasps typically hover in gardens and by plants near your home’s entry doors. Luckily, several aromatic plants like mint and thyme can help deter wasps.

Basil, wormwood, and eucalyptus can also help get rid of wasps, as they hate the smell. Try to time it so that these plants bloom in the spring. That’s when you have the best chance to get rid of wasps as they build their nests and colonies during April and May in most climates.

Wasps are less likely to hover or build nests near plants that don’t appeal to their appetites.

3. Destroy Old Nests

It’s dangerous to destroy an active wasp nest, but destroying old nests during the winter is a great way to get rid of wasps. Wasps typically move to an underground nest during the cold seasons and abandon the nests they made during spring. Wait until there are no signs of wasps coming in or out of their old spring nest before you move forward.

Either make a mixture of dish soap and water or get some WD-40 to spray the nest with. Douse the old nest with WD-40 or soapy water and let it soak for a few hours. This will ruin the nest, so the wasps won’t want to return to it in the spring.

Carefully remove the old nest and throw it away in an outdoor garbage can for the best results. This will ensure that they won’t have a nest to return to, and they’ll need to start from scratch next spring. Put out water traps in early spring after destroying their old nests so they won’t build a nest near your home.

4. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is a great way to get rid of wasps and spiders. Both wasps and spiders hate the scent of peppermint oil and will avoid it at all costs. Simply scatter some peppermint oil around your garden and near your home’s doors to get rid of wasps.

A little bit of peppermint oil goes a long way, so you don’t need to oversaturate your garden. Run a diffuser with peppermint oil in it if you frequently get wasps and spiders in your home.

5. Citronella

Not only does citronella deter mosquitoes, but it also helps get rid of wasps. Mosquitoes, bees, and wasps hate the strong scent of citronella. Burning citronella candles and incense will keep wasps out of your vicinity when you spend time outside.

While this won’t do anything to make the wasps migrate from their nest, citronella candles will keep them out of the area temporarily. This is a great option if you plan to be outside for a while or entertain guests in your yard.

6. Remove Fallen Fruit

Do you have any fruit-bearing plants in your yard? If so, then they are likely to attract wasps. Wasps love fruit and it’s a big part of their diet because of the sweet aroma.

Regularly check your yard for fallen fruit and quickly bring it inside or discard it. While wasps flock to fruit-bearing plants, they are even more likely to hover around and feed on fallen fruit. You don’t need to chop down your lemon tree, but you should take proactive steps to remove fallen fruit and treat the area to keep wasps away.

Consider planting thyme, basil, and mint near your fruit-bearing plants to discourage wasps from visiting the area.

7. Hornet Nest Decoy

We all know that wasps are scary, but hornets are even scarier. Bees and wasps are just as afraid of hornets as most homeowners are. That’s because hornets are bigger and more aggressive than wasps, so wasps typically avoid them in nature.

Hang some hornet nest decoys around your yard to keep wasps away. You can find them online for between $15 and $20 and they are typically in packages with several decoys. Ideally, you should hang the decoys in the spring, so the wasps are less likely to build a nest nearby.

8. Call An Exterminator

If your wasp problem is out of hand, you should call an exterminator. Exterminators are equipped to deal with wasps safely while reducing the risk of getting stung. They often wear protective gear when dealing with wasp nests, and that’s simply not at every homeowner’s disposal.

Exterminators can get rid of wasps at the source: their nest. It’s generally unsafe for homeowners that are inexperienced with exterminating wasps to try to dispose of wasp nests. It typically costs $100 or more to hire an exterminator to remove a wasp nest, and it’s worth every penny.

When Is Wasp Season?

Wasp season starts in spring and peaks during July and August. They leave their underground nests in the spring when it warms up, and they build new nests closer to food sources. Wasp colonies grow and become more active between April and June.

By July, the colonies are much bigger and more active. That’s why it’s best to take preemptive steps and leave traps out during spring so the colony will be less active in the summer.

Summing It Up

Use water traps, destroy old nests during the winter, and hang hornet nest decoys to get rid of wasps. Plant mint, basil, and thyme in your garden because wasps hate the scent. Remove fallen fruit and don’t leave food out in your yard or else you will attract wasps.

Call in an exterminator if you have an overly active nest because they have protective gear and chemicals to safely kill wasps.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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