12 Ways to Keep Wasps Away From the Patio or Porch

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Try these twelve practical ways to get rid of wasps on the patio or porch and keep them away during the spring and summer seasons.

Wasps will always be searching for a safe environment to live in, to build their nests, and to feed. Generally, 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.

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, check for any wasp nests that may be present or being built around your property. If you do see a wasp nest, it’s essential to eliminate it as soon as possible.

While I would generally recommend getting 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

Ensure your outdoor space, particularly the chairs and tables, is 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 soft 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.

Wasps on apple
Wasps on apple

If there are any bits of fruit juice on the table, give that table a good clean as soon as possible.

It’s also important 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.

Wasp on glass
Wasp on glass

Especially beverages like fruit juice, soda, beer, and wine are very popular with wasps and 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 well 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 much and is usually 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 they don’t come too close.

6. 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, and 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 keep wasps away for about four weeks.

7. Grow Wasp Repelling Plants

Just like wasps are heavily attracted to certain smells, there are also very specific smells that deter them.

Wasp on flower
Wasp on flower

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 can be used as a natural border surrounding your outdoor space.

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.

But there are drawbacks, and one of those drawbacks is that other animals and insects are often attracted to those bird feeders and bird nests.

Nectar bird feeder
Nectar bird feeder

In regards to wasps, it’s important not to 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 no food leftovers are 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 precisely 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.

Wasp nest
Wasp nest

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 also build them near the ground, 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 resembles 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 they don’t always deal well with wind. Some users also report that wasps don’t actually recognize them as nests and simply ignore them.

Have trouble with flies as well? Check out my guide explaining how to get rid of flies on the patio with a list of practical tips.

Final thoughts:
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 remember is to simply make your home less attractive for wasps to hang around or 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.

Note:
Before you go and try one of the above methods, please 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 Practical tips to keep wasps away from your outdoor space

 

Published: April 9, 2022
Updated: May 7, 2024

Author:

Thomas Dunnett

The backyard is the perfect place to bond with family and friends or to simply relax with a bit of sunshine and some fresh air. I've been passionate about the backyard lifestyle ever since my childhood, and with this website, I hope to share that passion with you.

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