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Last updated: May 13, 2022
Nobody wants to be dealing with wasps on their patio or porch. In this article, I am going to share 12 practical tips to get rid of wasps and to keep them away.
Wasps will always be searching for a safe environment to live in, to build their nests, and to feed. In general, wasps are attracted to flowers, bright colors, sweet scents, sweet liquids and foods, and protein foods.
So, to get rid of wasps and to keep them away from your outdoor living space, it’s important to make your patio or porch less appealing for them.
But before I explain how to get rid of wasps, please do know that wasps are an essential part of nature. Wasps are pollinators, just like bees, and they also eat other insects that we don’t like.
12 Ways to Get Rid of Wasps Outside
In no particular order, below are twelve ways to keep wasps away from your patio or porch. All of these measures have been tried and tested by me, and I can now relax on the patio without having to worry about wasps or bees.
Wasps often build nests under the deck. Read my guide with tips to get rid of wasps under your deck and how to keep them away.
1. Eliminate Wasp Nests
Each year, at the start of the spring season, make sure to check for any wasp nests that may be present, or being built, around your property. If you do see a wasp nest, it’s important to eliminate it as soon as possible.
While I would normally recommend to get the professionals in, if it is a small nest, you may be able to remove it yourself. To do this, spray the nest with soapy water, and the wasps will either die or leave the nest. Once the nest is empty, you can remove it.
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You can also use a commercial wasp nest spray for even better results. This will kill the wasps, and you can then remove the nest.
All that said, if you have a large wasp nest somewhere in your outdoor space, it’s best to pay for a professional wasp nest removal service. It’s the safest and most reliable way to go about it.
2. Clean Thoroughly
Make sure that your outdoor space, and in particular the chairs and tables, are regularly cleaned. Remove food leftovers, and give all your furniture pieces a good wipe.
Wasps are attracted to food leftovers and also to the smell of food and drinks, especially sweet drinks and protein foods.
Also make sure to keep the BBQ clean (and closed when not in use), if you have one, and put effort into removing any meat and sauce residue.
3. Remove Fruit Leftovers
Wasps love fruit as much as we do, and (the smell of) fruit juices or fruit leftovers is one of the reasons why they would visit our outdoor space.
If there are any bits of fruit juice on the table, give that table a good clean as soon as possible.
Also make sure to clean up under fruit trees and plants so that there is no fruit lying around in the garden.
4. Keep Drinks Covered
a very simple but effective thing to do when sitting on the patio is to keep the drinks and cans covered.
Especially beverages like fruit juice, soda, beer, wine are very popular with wasps and also other flying insects.
Wasps are attracted to the smell of certain beverages and they can actually crawl into your glass or beer can.
5. Use a Wasp Trap
A good old fashioned wasp trap still works wonders in catching and eliminating wasps. Even though this is not a long term solution, a trap works great as a quick short term remedy.
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It’s easy enough to create a DIY wasp trap, but a purpose-built wasp trap doesn’t cost very much and they’re very effective.
Simply add some water with honey or sugar (beer can also be used) to attract wasps. Place it a bit away from your patio, so that they don’t come too close.
6. Grow Wasp Repelling Plants
Just like wasps are heavily attracted to certain smells, there are also very specific smells that deter them.
You can grow plants around your patio or porch that wasps don’t like, such as peppermint, lemongrass, basil and marigolds.
These plants have wasp-repelling properties and they can be used as a natural border surrounding your outdoor space.
7. Spray Essential Oils
If growing wasp-repelling plants is not the most feasible solution for you, try using a spray with essential oils for a similar effect.
The smell of peppermint, wormwood, citronella, spearmint, eucalyptus, just to name a few, will help keep those wasps away.
You can either create a spray yourself or otherwise purchase one. If you’re going to make a spray solution, simply mix about 10 drops of 3 or 4 essential oils with water in a spray bottle.
Spray at strategic locations where wasps may find protection and build nests such as holes and crevices, and this will typically keeps wasps away for about four weeks.
8. Keep Bins Closed and Clean
Make sure to keep any waste bins you may have outside closed tightly at all times, and give them a good clean every now and then.
It’s also a good idea to place these waste bins as far away from your outdoor living area as possible.
9. Clean the Bird Feeder
I do have bird feeders and bird nests in my backyard because I love having birds visiting my outdoor space.
There are drawbacks though, and one of those drawbacks is that other animals and insects are often attracted to those bird feeders and bird nests.
In regards to wasps, it’s important to not leave fruit leftovers in bird feeders, as that will definitely attract them. You may also want to avoid having nectar bird feeders for hummingbirds in your backyard.
Make sure to regularly clean the bird feeder to make sure there is no food leftovers rotting in them. It’s also a good idea to install the bird feeder as far away from the patio or porch as possible.
10. Cover the Pool
If you do have a pool in your backyard, try and place a cover over it when it is not being used.
Wasps will always be looking for water sources, and for wasps, a backyard pool is exactly that.
11. Close up Holes
Patch up and seal holes, crevices and cracks in and around your patio, porch, deck, in the walls, or anywhere where wasps could potentially start building nests.
Especially early in the spring season, wasps will be looking for safe places to build nests, so it’s important to do this chore sooner rather than later.
Also note that wasps don’t always build nests higher up; they build them near the ground too, depending on the type of wasp.
12. Use a Decoy Wasp Nest
Decoy wasp nests, some say they don’t work at all, others swear by them. A decoy wasp nest is essentially a bag-style object that kind of looks like a wasp nest.
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Since wasps are territorial by nature, they won’t build a nest close to another nest, which is where a decoy nest comes in.
One issue with these fake nests is that don’t always deal well with wind. Some users are also reporting that wasps don’t actually recognize them as nests.
There you have it, twelve tips to get rid of wasps on the patio, the porch, or any other outdoor space around the home.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to simply make your home less attractive for wasps to hang around or to build a nest.
Wasps visit our homes because they are attracted to food leftovers, sweet scents, bright flowers, garbage cans, etc. Keeping the outdoor space nice and clean is a good start to keeping wasps away.