While honey bees are generally regarded as friendly pollinators and important assets for the environment — wasps tend to have a more negative reception. They can cause a host problems and scare the heck out of your kids when they get in the house! So you may be wondering how to keep wasps away from your house, which is exactly what we’ll cover in this article.
Wasps belong to a different family than bees called Vespidae. They are infamously known for their aggressive nature and painful sting when provoked. Unlike bees, wasps can sting multiple times without hurting themselves as their stingers remain intact similar to bumble bees.
Unfortunately, they also have the tendency to build nests in or around homes and other structures. This makes them a common pest that can be frustrating, and a little scary to deal with.
Luckily, preventing wasps from congregating around your property and removing them from your home isn’t as hard as one may think.
Keep reading to learn how to keep wasps away from your house.
How to Identify Wasps
Being able to identify wasps from other insects is important when it comes to successfully deterring them from your home. The Vespidae family includes thousands of species found globally, but the most commonly encountered types of wasps are paper wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets.
Yellow Jackets are probably what come to mind when imagining a wasp. They possess very thin waists ( like all wasps ) and hairless bodies — much different than the fuzzy, thick bodies of honey bees and bumblebees. Because of this, yellow jackets appear shinier and more colorful than bees. Their abdomens are also longer and pointed at the end.
Paper wasps and hornets are very similar in physical appearance to yellow jackets, with minor differences in coloration and size. The color of paper wasps can range from dark, reddish brown with yellow markings, to coloration more like that of a regular yellow jacket.
Hornets, on the other hand, are a little easier to distinguish as they typically have black and white markings and are generally larger than wasps. Their abdomens are also closer to their thoraxes.
What Does a Wasp Nest Look Like?
So how do you know whether the nest on your porch belongs to a bee or a wasp? The biggest difference is building material. Bees build their hives out of wax, while wasps construct greyish, cylindrical nests out of paper and saliva.
Wasps like to build their nests in secluded, protected places. Some examples are:
- crawl spaces
- underneath awnings and overhangs
- in attics
- or even hanging from tree branches
During the cold months they seek refuge in warm, dry spaces. Below is an example of what a wasps nest looks like.
How To Keep Wasps Away From Your House – 4 Helpful Tips
Whether you’re dealing with yellow jackets, hornets, or other wasps, there are some important tips to keep in mind in order to keep them away from your property.
1. Use a Decoy
This tip uses the wasps’ own behavior to deter them from your home. Since wasps are very territorial, they won’t build a nest when they know other wasps have already settled in the area. Even if there are already wasps near your property, they may leave once they think another colony has moved in.
You can try to create your own fake nest out of shreds of paper and string, then place it where you believe the wasps are hanging around. If you’re not really a crafty type, check out these eco-friendly decoys instead. They’re made of weather resistant material to last a little longer outdoors and don’t require any chemicals or sprays.
Wasps are highly beneficial to the environment. They reduce the numbers of other pests and insects, as well as help pollinate. This method of preventing wasps around your home is a great first step to take. It doesn’t harm or kill any wasps, just keeps them at bay.
2. Ultrasonic Repellent
Consider using an ultrasonic repeller to deter wasps and other pests from your property. These devices are easy to use, can cover a wide area, and can work in different climates.
They work by sending out auditory signals that wasps can’t stand. Luckily, these frequencies shouldn’t be audible to humans, and they are harmless to pets. Like the wasp decoy mentioned above, these repellents are also non toxic and chemical free.
Setup is a breeze, just plug it in either inside your home where you think wasps are entering or living. You can also place it outside on a patio, deck, or other seating area to send wasps and other pests flying.
However, since these devices also affect rodents like mice, they should not be used if you have pet mice, guinea pigs, or hamsters.
3. Try a Spray
If you’ve tried other deterrents to no avail, then maybe a spray is your best bet. This all natural, pure peppermint spray works well at repelling wasps and other insects from your home and yard.
You only need to spray a little bit for it to be effective — use it around windows, doors, patios, pools, and other vulnerable areas to keep wasps and pests away.
You can also try making your own spray using dish soap and water. Put two tablespoons in a spray bottle and fill it with water. Use it on small nests and on the actual wasps to kill them instantly. It works by clogging the pores that they use to breathe. However, this will not prevent other wasps from returning to the area.
4. Use Traps
A final method you can try to get rid of wasps is to set up a trap. Traps usually work by attracting the wasp inside with something sugary and appealing.
You can make a simple version using empty water or soda bottles. Simply by cutting them in half, placing bait in the bottom, and inverting the top so that the opening is placed inside the bottom half. You can also buy pre-made traps like these reusable ones if you don’t feel like making your own.
The downside to using traps is that, like using spray, it doesn’t prevent other wasps from returning to the same area — especially if there is already a nest nearby.
Prevention is Key
Overall, the best way to keep wasps away from your house is to remove what attracts them. Sealing areas of your home that they could enter from is crucial.
This means removing any food sources outside such as sugary drinks or food left in the yard, sealing garbage cans, and picking up any fallen fruit on the ground. When wasps build their nests, they are motivated by food. So eliminating these easy sources of food from your property is the first step to reducing the chances that they’ll stay in the area.
You’ll also want to patch up any cracks, drafts, or other openings in your home that wasps and other pests could enter through. Queen wasps typically look for a warm, safe place to overwinter during the cold months. Always make sure to prepare your house before then to prevent wasps from emerging once the weather warms up.
If you came here in search of how to keep wasps away from your house, I hope these tips and ideas put you on the right track.