How to Get Rid of Wasps (And Keep ‘Em Away!)

How to Get Rid of Wasps

Wasps in your garden can be a real buzzkill, especially when you’re just trying to enjoy a lovely outdoor gathering or a bit of sunbathing. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with tips and tricks on how to get rid of wasps in this detailed guide.

Have you ever wondered why wasps seem to be attracted to your yard in particular? It’s primarily because of food and nesting opportunities they find, which are essential for their survival.

But fear not, because by taking the right precautions and using effective methods, you can show these pesky insects the exit door without causing any harm to your garden or the environment.

As we venture into the world of wasp warfare, it’s important to remember that these creatures actually have some benefits too, such as pollinating plants and controlling other pests.

So, while we want to clear them out of our personal space, it’s worth considering strategies that don’t involve wiping them off the face of the earth completely. Grab your cup of tea, mate, and let’s explore the realm of wasp-free bliss together.

DID YOU KNOW that on average, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded 62 deaths per year due to wasp, bee, and hornet stings.

Understanding Wasps and Hornets

Different Kinds of Wasps in the Yard

When it comes to dealing with wasps in your garden, it’s essential to understand what you’re up against. In this section, we’ll cover identifying types of wasps, recognising their nests, and distinguishing them from their more friendly relatives, the bees. So let’s dive right in, shall we?

Identifying Types of Wasps

There are several types of wasps you might encounter in your yard, ranging from the mildly annoying to the downright aggressive. Some common types include:

Yellow Jackets

These are bee size wasps known for their distinct black and yellow markings.  They tend to be aggressive especially when they are defending their nest.

They can also sting even when unprovoked. They have smooth stingers which can sting more than once and can be very painful. Yellow jackets are carnivorous and will feed on other insects like bees and flies.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are slightly bigger than yellow jackets. You can identify them by their brown or black bodies with yellow markings. Paper wasps live in small nests that usually have a single-layer comb for brood rearing.

These paper wasps build their nests in trees and plants. But, a paper wasp can also build its nest on the eaves of homes, docks, and garages.  A paper wasp can also prey on caterpillars,  flies, plant nectars, and beetle larvae to feed their young.


Hornets have black with yellow or white stripes that are more distinct than yellow jackets. There are 20 varieties of them in the world and they only sting in response to persistent attempts to disturb their nests.

When threatened, they swarm. Being allergic to hornet’s venom can be dangerous. Their nests are made by chewing wood into paper pulp which they build on high trees or woody plants.

Mud Daubers

With their black with bright yellow markings on their thorax and legs, the mud daubers have a long thin body that sets them apart from other wasps species. They are docile and do not live in colonies or build a nest with other wasps.

They are calmer and would prefer to move or build a new nest elsewhere than attack their intruders. They build their solitary nests from mud for themselves and their offspring.

Bees vs. Wasps

People can often confuse wasps and bees because of their similar shapes. Bees are fuzzier in appearance which helps them to gather pollen easily while wasps are more of bald and shiny insects. 

While it’s essential to deal with wasps in your yard, don’t forget that bees are our friends! Here are a few ways to distinguish between the two:

  • Colour: Wasps tend to have bright colours, like black and yellow, while bees usually sport a fuzzier appearance in shades of black and brown.
  • Size: Wasps are generally more slender, with a narrow waist, while bees have a more robust body.
  • Pollen: Bees are often seen collecting pollen from flowers and will have pollen attached to their hairy bodies. In contrast, wasps lack hair and don’t gather pollen.
  • Behaviour: Wasps can be more aggressive than bees, especially when defending their nests, and are more likely to sting humans. Bees, on the other hand, are typically more focused on flowering plants and are less likely to sting.

By understanding the differences between wasps and bees, you can enjoy the benefits of having bees in your garden while managing any potential wasp problems. Now that’s what I call a buzzworthy solution!

Recognising Wasp Nests

A wasp nest can come in various forms depending on the species, but some common features can help you identify them. Yellow Jacket nests are often found in the ground or wall cavities, and can be tricky to spot.

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Paper wasp nests, on the other hand, are easily recognisable by their papery, umbrella-like structures hanging from eaves, branches, or other structures. Hornets build large, oval-shaped nests with a paper-like texture, while mud dauber nests resemble long, tubular structures made of mud.

Why Wasps Are Attracted to Your Yard

Reasons Why There's A Wasp Infestation in the Yard

Food Sources

Wasps are keen on devouring insects such as aphids and spiders, but they also have a penchant for human food, especially sweets. So, while you might be setting up a picnic in your garden, these cheeky flying fellows have other ideas.

A garden filled with flowers, compost piles, or open garbage cans provides a delightful buffet for wasps. Covering your garbage bins and cleaning up leftovers from picnics is a simple yet effective step to deter these uninvited guests.

Water Sources

Water is essential for every living creature, and your yard might just be the perfect oasis for wasps. They are attracted to water sources like bird baths, fountains, or even a leaking hose.

This is where they quench their thirst and also where they seek moisture to build their nests. Keeping your water sources clean and ensuring there are no leaks in your hose can help reduce the attractiveness of your yard to wasps.

Potential Nesting Sites

Wasps are skilled architects seeking safe nesting sites to raise their families. They typically build their nests in protected locations such as tree branches, eaves, or even your garden shed.

When they find the perfect spot to create their new home, they tend to stick around. Regularly inspecting your property for signs of nesting and promptly removing any nests you find can help you keep these stinging insects at bay.

Did I mention wasps love sweets?

These insects got the sweet tooth and they’d be looking for sugar sources to stock for winter. They’d be going around looking for these mostly during fall. They’d love to check out an empty soda bottle head for any sugar residue.

They can also go looking inside garbage cans so you’d better be careful during this season. You might just find a swarm of them doing some wasp activity inside your dump finding a good source of sucrose.


As much as honey bees love nectar, wasps also find flowers delicious. They are pretty much attracted to flowers and its sweet scent. This is another reason why wasps can infest a garden of flowers in no time.

During spring and summer months, people are recommended not to wear strong fragrances especially when they are living in areas known to be wasp infested.

The Wasp Life Cycle

Ah, summer – the season of hot temperatures, refreshing drinks, and… wasps! To tackle these uninvited guests effectively, it’s crucial to understand their life cycle. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of wasps, shall we?

In early spring, a queen wasp emerges from her winter slumber and begins the process of building a new nest. In her quest for the perfect spot, she looks for a safe, hidden location – like a roof eave or a cavity in your garden shed.

Once settled, she lays her eggs and tends to them until they develop into larval workers. These diligent workers take over nest-building, allowing the queen to focus on her primary job – laying more eggs.

As the colony grows throughout the summer months, so does the number of adult worker wasps. Worry not; not all of them are after your refreshing lemonade. In fact, these skilled hunters mainly feed on insects, making them beneficial for your garden’s ecosystem.

Now, you might be thinking, “When does the wasp party end?” The answer is simple – as the summer season comes to a close, the cycle reaches its peak, and the colony starts to decline.

The queen lays some special eggs, giving rise to new queen wasps and male wasps, whose sole purpose is to mate. Once the mating mission is accomplished, the male wasps die off, while new queens set off to find a nice nook for their winter hibernation.

As autumn arrives, the remaining worker wasps die out, and the colony disintegrates. Consequently, the nest is abandoned, never to be used again. Soon enough, the cycle restarts as new queens emerge the following spring, ready to claim their garden territories anew.

And there you have it – the fascinating world of wasps and the essential knowledge to tackle them in your yard. With a better understanding of their life cycle, you’ll have the upper hand in keeping these unwelcome summer guests in check. So, go forth and reclaim your garden paradise!

DIY Wasp Deterrents

Soap and Water Solution

One simple yet effective method to deal with wasps in your yard is using a soap and water solution. Mix some dish soap with water in a spray bottle and spray it directly on any visible and accessible wasps or nests.

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This solution will destroy the wasp’s exoskeleton and cause them to die. The great thing about this method? It’s non-toxic, cheap, and you probably already have the ingredients in your kitchen cupboard. Just remember to be cautious while approaching wasp-infested areas, as you don’t want to provoke an angry swarm.

Natural Essential Oils

If you prefer a more natural approach, why not try using essential oils? Certain scents like peppermint, lemongrass, and citronella are quite effective in repelling wasps.

Mix a few drops of your chosen essential oil with water and spray it around your yard, focusing on areas where wasps congregate. It’s an eco-friendly solution that’ll keep your outdoor space wasp-free and smelling delightfully fresh!

Homemade Wasp Traps

Rather than purchasing expensive traps, you can create your own homemade wasp traps from items you already have at home. One popular method involves using a plastic bottle, sugar, and a bit of dish soap. Cut the top off an empty plastic bottle and invert it, creating a funnel-like entrance.

Fill the bottom with a mixture of sugar and water, add a few drops of soap, and place it around your yard. Wasps will be attracted to the sweet scent, enter the trap, and ultimately drown due to the soap, leaving your yard wasp-free!

Vinegar Spray

Last but not least, a vinegar spray can work wonders on deterring wasps. Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar or apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle.

Apply the vinegar solution on wasp-infested areas, such as nests and surfaces they frequently visit. The pungent odour of vinegar is highly unappealing to wasps, encouraging them to find a new place to call home. Plus, it’s a natural and cost-effective solution that won’t harm your garden.

Professional Extermination

Preventing Wasps from Getting Inside your Home

When to Call a Professional

Although DIY methods can sometimes help with wasp removal, there are instances when calling a professional exterminator is the safer and more effective option. If you encounter a large wasp nest, or if the nest is located in a hard-to-reach area like a roof or high up in a tree, it’s best to leave the job to the experts.

Additionally, if you are allergic to wasp stings, don’t put yourself in danger; let a professional handle the removal process.

Professional exterminators possess the knowledge, expertise, and appropriate tools for wasp removal. They are trained to identify wasp species and can use targeted methods to ensure the nest is removed safely, minimising the risk of harm to you and your family. Furthermore, professionals can provide guidance on how to prevent future infestations in your yard.

Choosing a Reliable Pest Control Service

Selecting the right pest control service is crucial for effective wasp removal. Follow these tips to ensure you choose a reliable provider:

  1. Research: Begin by researching local pest control services. Look for companies with positive reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers, and pay attention to their experience in handling wasp infestations specifically.
  2. Certification: Ensure the company has the necessary certifications and licences to operate in your area, which indicates their commitment to industry standards and best practices.
  3. Insurance: A reputable exterminator should be fully insured, which means they will cover any potential damages caused during the removal process.
  4. Methods: Inquire about the specific methods used by the service provider to remove wasps. A knowledgeable exterminator should be able to discuss the variety of techniques they employ, such as chemical treatments or trapping.
  5. Guarantees: Opt for a pest control service that offers a guarantee for their work. This demonstrates the company’s confidence in their ability to rid your yard of wasps effectively.

By following these steps, you will be better equipped to choose a reliable and skilled professional to manage the wasp infestation in your yard safely and effectively.

Safety Measures to Consider

When dealing with wasps in your yard, it’s essential to take some precautions to minimise risks. Remember, wasps are aggressive towards humans and can deliver painful, sometimes dangerous, stings if they feel threatened.

Usage of Protective Clothing

Before attempting any wasp control activities, make sure you’re wearing proper protective clothing. Go for long-sleeved shirts, trousers and gloves to cover as much skin as possible, reducing your exposure to potential wasp stings.

Consider wearing a hat with netting that covers your face and neck to keep the wasps from buzzing too close for comfort. Remember, looking a bit silly is better than being stung multiple times by these feisty insects!

Proper Timing for Wasp Control Activities

Timing is everything when it comes to dealing with these dangerous pests. Wasps are generally less active during the evening hours, making it an ideal time to tackle their nests. Ready to get rid of those pesky wasps? Grab your torch and keep a lookout for them as the sun begins to set.

In daytime hours, wasps are more active and, therefore, more likely to become aggressive if they sense you threatening their home. So, it’s best to avoid attempting any wasp control methods during the day, unless you fancy a run-in with some angry insects.

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Remember to always wear protective clothing and choose the right time to tackle wasp nests in your yard. With these precautions, you can minimise the risks and reclaim your garden from these uninvited guests.

Environmental Impact and Considerations

When it comes to dealing with wasps in your garden, it’s essential to consider the environmental impact of the methods you choose. Wasps, although they can be a nuisance, also play crucial roles in our ecosystem.

In this section, we will explore the roles of wasps in pollination and discuss methods to eliminate them while minimising the use of harmful pesticides.

The Role of Wasps in Pollination

Believe it or not, wasps are beneficial pollinators! Though not as efficient as their fluffy cousins, the honeybees, these buzzing insects also contribute to pollen transfer as they forage for nectar.

During their search for sweets, they brush against flowers, helping to spread pollen from one blossom to another. This promotes plant growth and produces delicious fruits and vegetables that you enjoy.

By keeping a balance between controlling wasps and preserving their existence, you’re doing your part in maintaining the intricate dance of pollination. So, next time you hear them buzzing about, remember that they’re not just annoying; they’re hard at work sustaining the circle of life!

Avoidance of Pesticides When Possible

While it might be tempting to reach for the most potent wasp spray or hornet killer, remember that chemicals can have unintended consequences. Pesticides and insecticides don’t discriminate between beneficial pollinators and bothersome pests.

Many of these toxic substances can harm honeybees and other vital pollinators upon contact or when ingested, affecting your garden’s health and the larger ecosystem.

Instead, look for alternative strategies to keep pesky wasps at bay. Creating your own wasp traps with a liquid that attracts wasps, such as sweet bait or feromones, can be an effective and more environmentally friendly solution.

Essential oils like peppermint, lemongrass and citronella are known to deter wasps, so try using them around your garden.

Lastly, ensure you’re not unintentionally creating a wasp paradise. Seal any open food containers, clean up and store rubbish bins properly, and cover sugary drinks. The less sweet stuff there is around, the less likely wasps will see your garden as a buzzing buffet.

Taking the time to consider the environmental impact of your wasp control methods will help you create a healthy garden that thrives for years to come. And remember, with a little patience and understanding, you can coexist harmoniously with these fascinating creatures who play a significant, albeit underappreciated, role in our ecosystem.

How to Get Rid of Wasps In Your Yard?

Effective Ways in Getting Rid of Wasps in Your Yard

1. Remove Attractants

Wasps love a good feast, so get rid of anything enticing them in. Keep your bins covered, clear away food, and store personal items like drinks and snacks indoors. Got a fruit tree? Make sure to regularly pick up any fallen fruit – it’s a wasp magnet, you know.

2. Set Up Wasp Traps

Wasp traps are a chap’s best friend when it comes to wasp control. Hang up a wasp trap filled with an alluring liquid they can’t resist. Once inside, they won’t find a way out – rather devilish, if you ask me!

3. Hang Wasp Deterrents

Wasps are territorial, so trick ’em good by hanging up false nests. They’ll see these and go find somewhere else to call home. You can find decoy wasp nests at stores or make your own with brown paper bags.

4. Spray Wasp Nests

Find a nest in your garden? Put on your protective gear and give it a good spray with a store-bought pesticide designed for wasps. Do this in the evening when they’re less active. And don’t forget, safety first!

5. Use a Soap and Water Mixture

If you’re not keen on chemicals, then a mixture of soap and water in a spray bottle will do the trick. Soapy water clogs their spiracles (breathing tubes), and they’ll meet their doom without polluting your garden with nasty chemicals.

6. Try Homemade DIY Traps

Feeling creative? Mix honey and water in a bottle and create a funnel to guide the wasps in. Or smear jam on an upside-down frisbee and fill a container with water nearby, they’ll be too busy with the sugary goodness to notice they’re being lured to their demise.

7. Kill Individual Emerging Wasps

For the odd wasp here and there, get yourself a good old-fashioned fly swatter and give ’em a whack. But remember, they sting when they feel threatened, so maybe wear gloves or use a long-handled swatter for your safety.

8. Treat Future Nesting Areas

To discourage future wasp invasions, seal up cracks, crevices, and other potential nesting sites. Add some peppermint, lemongrass, or citronella oil to repel them, as they loathe those essential oil scents.

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9. Call a Professional Pest Control Company

If all else fails and your garden’s turned into a wasp haven, don’t be a hero! Call in the professionals. They’ve got the experience, knowledge, and gear to handle the situation safely and effectively.

Now you can breathe easy in your garden, knowing those pesky wasps are well and truly ousted. Pass the Pimm’s, and let’s toast to reclaiming our outdoor spaces. Cheers!

How to Get Rid of Wasps In the House

Getting Rid of Wasps Nests

1. Identify the Nest

First things first, put on your detective hat and locate the wasp nest. Wasps often build their nests in spaces overhead, like eaves, garages, porches, and attics1. Keep an eye out for any signs of wasp activity, such as buzzing or that familiar paper-like texture of a wasp nest.

2. Inspect Your Home for Entry Points

Once you’ve located the nest, it’s time to figure out how the wasps are getting inside your home. Look for any gaps or cracks near windows, doors, or walls. MVP tip: Seal these openings with caulk or weatherproofing materials to prevent future invasions.

3. Use Effective Home Remedies

Time for some DIY magic! Did you know that wasps hate the smell of peppermint, lemongrass, and citronella2? Grab some essential oils and dab a few drops around the entry points you identified earlier. This will not only deter the wasps but also leave your home smelling lovely.

4. Spray the Wasp Nests

Dress for battle! Before spraying the nest with a store-bought wasp killer, ensure you’re wearing long pants, a long-sleeved shirt under a thick jacket, gloves, socks, shoes, and a hat paired with a bandana to cover your face. Spray the nest in the evening or early morning when the wasps are less active, and always follow the label’s instructions carefully.

5. Call a Professional Pest Control Company

If you feel unsure about handling wasps and their nests, don’t hesitate to call in the experts. Professional pest control companies are equipped to handle wasp infestations safely and effectively. Besides, sometimes it’s best to let the pros handle it, right?

Now, you’re all set to tackle the wasp situation in your house like a true warrior. Best of luck, and may you emerge victorious!

Frequently Asked Questions

Calling Professional Wasp Removal Services

What plants can repel wasps from my garden?

Did you know that some plants can act as natural wasp deterrents? These green friends can be your front line of defence in keeping wasps at bay! Plants such as spearmint, thyme, eucalyptus, and marigolds are brilliant choices for creating an unwelcoming environment for wasps. Not only do they add a beautiful touch to your garden, but they also help to keep those pesky wasps far away!

How to eliminate wasps without locating the nest?

Sometimes, the wasp nest isn’t easily accessible or even visible. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! You can try hanging wasp traps around your garden. These traps contain a liquid that attracts wasps, and once they enter, they won’t be able to leave. Easy peasy!

What natural methods can I use to remove wasps from my yard?

If you’re interested in eco-friendly methods to banish wasps, we have good news for you! One great method is to use essential oils, such as peppermint, lemongrass, and citronella. They not only smell heavenly but also efficiently make your yard a no-fly zone for wasps. Mix a few drops of essential oils with water in a spray bottle and spritz around your outdoor space. Goodbye, wasps!

Which instant-kill solution is best for tackling wasps?

We get it – sometimes, the situation calls for decisive action. If you find yourself in need of a more aggressive solution, you may consider hiring a professional exterminator who’ll use chemicals to kill the wasps. However, remember that this method should only be used when all other solutions fail, and if there’s a danger to people, such as being allergic to wasp stings.

How can I prevent wasps from returning to my outdoor space?

Prevention is key to keeping those winged troublemakers at bay. Clear out potential nesting sites, such as hollow trees, rooftop corners, and wall cavities. Additionally, keep your bins tightly sealed, as wasps love a free meal from your leftovers. Incorporate wasp-repelling plants in your garden, and you’ll create a haven that won’t entice any wasp to trespass.

What household items, like vinegar, can help with wasp control?

Ah, vinegar – it’s not only a salad dressing hero, but it’s also quite handy in the fight against wasps! Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle, shake it up, and spritz around your garden, especially near areas where wasps love to hangout. You’ll deliver a punch of pungent power that will leave wasps running (or rather, flying) for the hills!

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

A bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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