Get Rid of Wasps 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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Rocky Mountain Oils’ essential oils are verified by a third-party, independent lab. GC/MS tests verify purity and quality of the oils sold so you can look at the bottom of the bottle to find your individual batch code and then input that number into our website to pull up the GC/MS test results.

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RMO includes three different icons for recommended use on each bottle for easy reference: Diffuse, Topical Application and Household. So you can look at the bottle and know in what way it’s intended for use.

essential oils

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Do you know how to get rid of wasps? What methods have you tried?


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  1. We have been having trouble with wasps or hornets getting in the house lately. My husband will be glad to see this post. By the way, I walked away from the computer a few minutes ago and he saw your welcome that says your from NH and he was all excited. He said look Mt. Monadnock and NH, she’s from neck of the woods. He is from Keene and has wonderful memories of the area. I look forward to visiting up there.

  2. Great tips! I am always looking for chemical free ways to solve different household/outdoor issues and sometimes it’s hard because everyone seems to just want to take what they think is the “easy way” out (pesticides, etc).

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this at Savoring Saturdays, Vicki! I’m going to feature it this weekend – because we have tons of wasps around our house that I need to deal with and I hate that toxic spray stuff. :p Hope you’ll come back and share again!

  4. Hi, there! I’m co-host of Savoring Saturdays with Raia and I will also be featuring your post this week. Thanks for linking up!

  5. Pingback: Savoring Saturdays #23 & DIY Features
  6. I’ve heard about the bottle trap being used for flies too. I think it’s so funny that they have a hard time figuring out how to get out once they’re in.

  7. Man,,why do we have to kill!!
    If you mix orange oil and mint oil with water and spray the wasp nest in the evening.
    The queen will lead out all her wasps out and away by morning.
    Done, no one has to be murdered.

    Let the queen have her family safe somewhere else and work their magic for our dying environment.
    We need every last one of them to help our planet live.
    Thank you,,

    1. Thank for this! Like you, I don’t particularly want to kill them however, they have made a nest inside the outer brick of our house. The last thing we need is for them to come into the house through the walls. Definitely trying orange and peppermint oils tonight!

    2. I agree with u, I’m allergic to the mean little turds, but I don’t want to kill them. I use dog mace to get rid of them. It’s a combo of citronella oil, peppermint oil, lemongrass oil. It really freaks them out. I have a bunch of babies by my front door. Momma moves her mean little kids really fast 🙂

  8. Soap and water seems like an odd solution to a wasp problem, but if it works then who am I to complain? I should try this out in the spring when they like to come and make nests outside my door. Is there a good way to keep them from coming back, because killing them over and over again is annoying.

  9. Other related fun…running over a yellow jacket nest with a push mower. Those things like to build nests underground. Thanks for sharing your tips with us at Family Joy Blog linkup. Here’s to a sting-free summer!

  10. Pingback: Weekly Health News Mashup – July 12, 2014
  11. You might want to try this if there getting into your house. Take a lemon cut it in half and push cloves into it. We had them getting into the bedroom. Put these by the window no wasp’s since. Good luck.

  12. I’m terrified of wasps. We keep a can of that wasp killer that can spray from a distance in the house just in case (I also have a mother who is allergic so we don’t mess around). However, I hate having such strong chemicals around my kids. I never thought about soap and water. I also never thought about repelling them to begin with. I didn’t know that was possible!

  13. I have to write these down since I have one kiddo who is totally wasp-phobic! This is great and it’s my featured pick this week at Over the Moon. Be sure to stop by after the new party goes live and collect your badge.

  14. I’m highly allergic to bee stings, yellow jackets and wasps will knock me out of commission a couple of days afterward stinging me even when I take benedryl (and not just a dose and done, have to take it everybody 4 hours until the welp or hives are gone). Have to be rushed to the hospital if I’m stung by a hornet (never have been thank God *knock on wood*). Even with me being allergic I still try every year to set up preventative measures to keep them away, LOADS of bird feeders, spray lots of peppermint oil constantly around my house and other known deterrent oils, traps, fake nests but no matter what it’s like they sense my allergy and come find me. It is so bad sometimes I cannot leave my house because they are swarming around all exits (not joking and also this is why I think they know I’m allergic). I don’t want to kill them but sometimes that is our only choice especially since it could eventually kill me and we have two children who unfortunately are most likely allergic as well. Not like we are going to test the validity of that possibility with our children. Im desperate to find a method to keep them away so I can actually enjoy the outside areas of my house all year round instead of just during Fall and Winter…

    1. I was allergic, went to allergist. Started a 3 year bee sting progrom to be desensitized, after being tested for the type of be I was allergic to. It was successful, but still carry an Epipen. So I start early spring to remove new nest, and continue through out summer using non chemical products. PLEASE see your doctor, to get the best plan for you and your children!

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