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How to Get Rid of Wasps Without Killing Them

By Melissa King ; Updated September 21, 2017
Wasps are attracted to bright colors and sweet scents.
John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Summer is a great time for backyard cookouts and swimming in the pool, but uninvited wasps can quickly ruin a party or gathering. Wasps are territorial creatures that sting relentlessly when threatened. Swatting a lone wasp often results in others coming to its aid, since an injured wasp gives off a chemical that announces its peril to its neighbors. One way to get rid of wasps is to repel them using natural, plant-based scents the insects hate. Making an area inhospitable to a wasp colony is another way to ensure that the pests leave your yard for good.

Make a chemical-free insect repellent body rub to discourage wasps from coming near you. Put 16 ounces of jojoba oil in a bowl. Add your choice of 1/4 ounce lavender oil, 1/8 ounce tea tree oil, 1/8 ounce pennyroyal oil or 1/2 ounce citronella oil. Blend well.

Turn the insect repellent body rub into a spray, if desired, by adding 16 ounces of vodka to the mix. Blend the vodka with the oil and pour it into a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to your body liberally.

Put away the food that wasps are attracted to. Near the end of summer and at the beginning of fall, wasps like the sweet taste of fruit. Keep all fruit, candy and open cans of soda covered. During early summer, near the end of spring, wasps prefer foods that contain protein. Remove or cover your garbage can, compost bin and pet food bowls.

Seal any cracks or gaps if wasps are seen inside your home. Wasps get into your home through cracks in windows and doors as well as through vents. Inspect the home thoroughly for nests and remove them if any are found.

Wear dark colors when outdoors. Wasps are attracted to bright colors, so this helps to deter them. Refrain from wearing cologne or perfume, since wasps also like flowery and fruit smells.

Put up a fake wasp's nest. These fake nests can be purchased online and in some garden supply shops. Wasps that see it will think another colony has already taken over the area, causing them to leave.


Things You Will Need

  • 16 ounces jojoba oil
  • 1/8 ounce pennyroyal oil, 1/8 ounce tea tree oil, 1/4 ounce lavender oil or 1/2 ounce citronella oil
  • 16 ounces vodka (optional)
  • Spray bottle (optional)


  • If a wasp is bothering you, do not strike it or make sudden movements. Calmly walk away from the wasp until it leaves you alone.

About the Author


Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.