How to Repel Wasps and Bees

Aug 4, 2023 | Bee control, Wasp Control

How to Repel Wasps and Bees

While bees play a vital role in our food production, no one wants to have their outdoor activities interrupted by a bee sting. The same can be said for an invasion of wasps into your backyard. While bee and wasp sprays can be a solution, they are often not effective and, in many cases, simply anger the stinging pests, increasing your risk of being stung.

So how do you repel wasps and bees? The good news is there are some natural solutions that don’t harm the insects but keep them out of your way, making it a win-win for everyone concerned.

Here we examine natural repellents that will keep your yard bee and wasp free as well as ways to help prevent these insects from moving onto your property.

These natural solutions can not only keep your yard bee and wasp free, but they are free from harsh chemicals and can also improve your landscape.

Key takeaways

  • Bees and wasps can be a buzzkill during outdoor activities, but natural solutions can keep them away without harming them.
  • Certain plants like basil, rosemary, and marigold emit scents that repel wasps and bees, creating a pest-free zone.
  • Soap and water spray, decoy nests, water bottle traps, essential oils, and even garlic can all help deter and trap these stinging insects.
  • Regular inspections, a well-maintained yard, and removing food sources like scraps and garbage can prevent bees and wasps from making your yard their home.
  • For massive swarms or large nests, it’s best to let professional bee and wasp control handle the situation and keep you safe.

Natural repellents

If you are seeing an increase in bees and wasps in your yard, there are some natural and homemade repellents that can be very effective at keeping these insects at bay.

Plants that repel wasps and bees

One way to repel wasps and bees is to spruce up your landscape with plants that act as natural repellents. The scents produced by specific plants are offensive to wasps, and they will avoid areas where these plants are prominent. Wasp-repelling plants can include:

    • Basil
    • Lemongrass
    • Wormword
    • Allium sativum
    • Spearmint
    • Marigold
    • Rosemary
    • Citronella
    • Pennyroyal
    • Petunias
    • Lemon balm
    • Clove
    • Geraniums

Homemade repellents

In addition to plants, there are many homemade repellents you can use to deter, trap, or treat wasps around your property.

Soap and water

If you are seeing wasp nests around your property, a simple mixture of two tablespoons of dish soap and water in a spray bottle may be your best solution. In the evening, when the wasps are less active, spray the nest directly with the soap and water mixture.

Decoy nest

Many wasp species will not build new nests when other nests are present. With an inflated paper bag, you can create a decoy wasp nest to hang under your patio and act as a deterrent to other wasps.

Water bottle trap

A used water or soda bottle and a little sugar are enough to make this homemade wasp trap that will not only attract the wasps to a specific location, but draw them in where they will drown.

To make the trap, simply cut the top 1/3 off of your plastic water bottle. Remove the cap and then invert this top section into the bottom, creating an opening that funnels down. Create and boil a mixture of one part sugar to two parts water. Once cooled, place the mixture in the bottom section of the bottle. Place the bottle in an area away from where you spend time and wait for it to work its magic.

Essential oils

Essential oils, such as clove and peppermint, are offensive to wasps. When mixing a soap and water solution, as mentioned above, adding a few drops of essential oil works as an additional deterrent.


Garlic is another smell that can be offensive to wasps. Mixing garlic and water in a spray bottle and spraying it around the area you want to keep wasp-free can be effective as long as you don’t min the smell of garlic.

Coin and bag method

In the South, many swear by the coin and bag trick to keep flying insects, like flies, bees, and wasps away. While there is no scientific proof that this method works, it is easy to do, and many people swear by its effects. It is believed the coins and water affect sight and confuse the insects, making them move on somewhere else. Simply place a few pennies into a plastic Ziploc bag and fill with water. Hang the bags in areas where you want the bugs to stay away.

White vinegar

While vinegar is another option that can help keep bees and wasps away. Simply spray white vinegar around the area you wish to keep wasp-free. However, keep in mind that white vinegar can damage and kill plants, so use this option with caution.

Owner Adam Judnich standing in front of truck

When to call professional bees and wasp control

While an invasion of a couple of bees or wasps can ruin your outdoor plans, calling in a pest control company is usually unnecessary. However, if you see large swarms of bees or wasps or spot a large nest, it may be time to call the professionals. While bees are less likely to attack, a large swarm of wasps can inflict hundreds or more stings as you try to remove them. Professionals have specialized equipment to handle these large swarms, and it is safest to leave large swarm control to them.

How to prevent wasps and bees

The best way to keep bees and wasps out of your yard and interfering with your summer plans is to prevent them from calling your yard home. These preventative methods will help keep wasps and bees away before becoming a real nuisance.

Regular inspections

Checking your property for signs of bee or wasp nests is essential. If you see the start of a nest, it is important to address them immediately before they become too large to handle on your own.

Maintaining the yard

Keeping your yard well maintained, planting natural deterring plants, and ensuring there are no potential food sources, such as rotting fruit from fruit trees, will help keep wasps away and allow you to enjoy the outdoors without unwanted guests.

Removing attractants

Bees and wasps venture into your yard looking for food sources, so it is important that you remove these potential sources. For example, wasps look for protein to eat and love food scrapes. When these sources are eliminated, the wasps will move on. Clean food scraps off BBQs, clean cans you store for recycling, and ensure that garbage cans are sealed tight.

Keeping the bees and wasps away

No one wants their outdoor activities spoiled by unwanted guests, and that includes bees and wasps. With these homemade and natural repellents, you can keep these pests at bay. However, if they are still a problem or you identify a large nest or swarm, it may be time to call in professional bee and wasp control to ensure your safety.

Read: How to Stop Wasps From Coming Back

Helping you keep your home and yard free from bees and wasps

At Arrest A Pest, we understand how certain pests can quickly ruin an outdoor celebration. Our experts specialize in bee and wasp removal and can quickly send these pests packing to a new location. Whether you have bees that need removal or wasp nests are taking over, we can help. Schedule an appointment today!

Adam Judnich

Adam Judnich

Owner @ Arrest A Pest

Serving the entire Coachella Valley

Arrest A Pest is your top-rated pest and bug control solution in the Coachella Valley! As a family-owned and operated business, our technicians grew up in the Coachella Valley and have a deep understanding of the pests in our area.

We understand that every pest infestation is an emergency, and we offer quick, safe, and thorough pest solutions and preventions for your home or business. No matter what pests are invading your space, our technicians are armed with state-of-the-art technology designed to rid your home or business of pests and help you stay pest-free long into the future.

Contact us today to schedule your FREE evaluation and let our team send the pests packing!

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