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How to Get Rid of Wasps and Hornets Without Chemicals

Make sure you know how to get rid of wasps BEFORE they bother you! Find out about other Natural Wasp Repellent Tips and keep the bugs away without chemicals!

how to get rid of wasps without chemicals

How to Get Rid of Wasps

Wasps are pretty scary – I can remember as a kid sitting down and having one land on my leg. I have actually only been stung by one a few times in my life but the pain is something I do not want to experience again!

We also had an invasion of wasps inside our house one summer after the painter mistakenly blocked them inside the wood. They were able to burrow their way inside the house and it was awful – especially with a newborn in the room!

Do you know that wasps and hornets are different from bees? Bumble bees – the big, fat, hairy bees – are actually pretty docile and will not go after you. They just want to pollinate and bee happy (sorry, couldn’t help myself). But wasps and hornets, on the other hand, are mean. Just mean!

wasps on wood

You can tell a wasp by their pointed lower abdomens and the narrow waist. They come in every color imaginable, from the familiar yellow to brown, metallic blue, and bright red. Generally, the brighter colored species are in the Vespidae, or stinging wasp, family.

All wasps build nests. Whereas bees secrete a waxy substance to construct their nests, wasps create their familiar papery abodes from wood fibers scraped with their hard mandibles and chewed into a pulp.

Wasps are divided into two primary subgroups: social and solitary. Social wasps account for only about a thousand species and include formidable colony-builders, like yellow jackets and hornets. Social wasp colonies are started from scratch each spring by a queen who was fertilized the previous year and survived the winter by hibernating in a warm place. When she emerges, she builds a small nest and rears a starter brood of worker females.

These workers then take over expanding the nest, building multiple six-sided cells into which the queen continually lays eggs. By late summer, a colony can have more than 5,000 individuals, all of whom, including the founding queen, die off at winter. Only newly fertilized queens survive the cold to restart the process in spring.

National Geographic

Why do we have wasps?

Ok, so sorry to have to say this, but wasps are actually extremely beneficial to humans. Wasps prey upon almost every insect species on earth either for food or as a host for its parasitic larvae. Wasps are so good at controlling pest populations that the agriculture industry now regularly deploys them to protect crops. Regardless, we all want to know wasp repellent strategies to keep them from stinging US.

wasp nest

Yellow jacket wasps feed their young liquefied insects, with caterpillars, flies and spiders comprising the largest food groups in the yellow jacket diet during most of the summer.

But that doesn’t mean we want them flying around our house, right? There are some pretty easy and eco-friendly ways to control wasp populations around the house. We had a wasp nest IN our house a few years ago. Our house was being painted and the painters discovered the nest and sprayed it in the evening, then patched it up with wood. Do you know what happened?

The wasps chewed through the wall and made their way into our home via the windows. It was awful, especially since we had a newborn in the house. There were SO many wasps inside, I felt like we were literally infested by these insects. If I had known how to get rid of wasps back then, I wouldn’t have been in the situation I was in.

How to Get Rid of Wasps with the Soda Bottle Trap

diy wasp trap
Get the instructions for this DIY Wasp Trap here!
wasp nest at home

How to Get Rid of Wasps with Soap and Water

Spray the wasps with a soap and water mixture on the wasps and their nest. The soap will stick to their wings and weigh them down. Eventually they will suffocate. Not terribly humane but it works.

  • All you have to do is to mix two tablespoons of dish liquid in a liter of water.
  • Line your doors and windows with soap to keep the wasps away.
  • If the yellow jackets have built a nest in the ground, pour soapy water into the hole at night and preferably during cooler temperature. The entire colony should die. Be sure to wear protective clothing in case the yellow jackets are feeling especially murderous.
repel wasps with lemons

How to Get Rid of Wasps with a Citrus Spray

Use citrus sprays to keep wasps at a distance while you are gardening or working in the yard.

spray bottle for wasp repellent

How to Repel Wasps with Essential Oils

Lavender oil and eucalyptus oil are super effective as wasp repellents. Lavender oil can be applied on skin/clothing or can be sprayed on areas frequented by these insects.

More Natural Wasp Repellent Resources:

Amazingly Effective Wasp Repellent Spray

The Best Wasp Repellent Plants

Easy DIY Wasp Trap

Peppermint Oil for Wasp Control

How to Get Rid of Wasps with Baby Powder

Baby powder can be sprinkled to repel wasps. You can also apply the powder on your body to prevent wasp stings. It is said that the talc in baby powder repels insects.

Tips to remember if you want to get rid of wasps

  • Avoid swatting.
  • Swatting and squashing wasps is counterproductive. When a wasp is squashed, a chemical is released which attracts and incites other nearby wasps. It’s best to walk away from a hovering wasp.
  • Avoid wearing bright colors or floral patterns – if you look like a big flower, you may be attracting the curious wasp looking for nectar.
  • Minimize use of perfumes and other strong scents – in the later part of the summer, wasps are attracted to sweet smells
wasp funny
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