How Effective Are Natural Wasp Repellents? Truths To Follow And Myths To Avoid

Nothing ruins a backyard BBQ faster than a swarm of aggressive wasps. Not only are they a nuisance, many people have severe, life-threatening reactions to wasp stings. If you suspect that wasps have built a nest on your property (within or outside your home), the pest professionals at Scherzinger Pest Control will respond immediately to remove them. Preventing wasps from aggregating in the first place is the best course of action but difficult to do. The Internet is chock full of ideas for repelling wasps so let’s take a look at a few to see if they’re worth trying. First, however, it’s important to understand the habits of wasps related to building nests.

Brief Wasp Overview

Common wasps in Ohio include the yellow-jacket, paper wasp, and bald-faced hornet. Common nesting sites for all three include trees and branches, but they will also nest under roof eaves, spaces behind gutter boards, hollow cavities in trees, or in sheds and barns. Wasps often nest in the ground, too. Some wasps build papery nests, which are constructed in layers and can become as big as a basketball.

Nests are generally only used for one season; each year a new one is constructed. Early in the year, wasps’ diets consist of small insects, but as summer wears on – and particularly as they are nest-building – wasps become voracious feeders on human foods. Look for them buzzing picnics, trash bins, and pop cans looking for sweet, sugary foods such as soda, fruits, cookies and cakes. If wasps build next to or onto your home, their primary foraging range will be up to 1000 feet, making them a constant nuisance.

Fake Nests

Many home and garden stores sell fake wasp nests. These work on the premise that, because wasps are very territorial, they won’t build a nest in proximity to an existing one. Ideally, you can hang a fake nest early in the spring to deter wasps from attempting to establish a nest. Installing a fake nest will not deter wasps if they’ve already begun constructing a nest – so you have to hang it early in spring.

The reviews on these nests are mixed in terms of their efficacy. These nests have been described as sort of like a paper lantern. Many people complain that they are very lightweight and blow away easily.


There are traps you can purchase – and ones you can easily make – to catch wasps. They are typically constructed of a funnel device (homemade ones use a plastic soda bottle) and baited with an attractant. When the wasps enter the device, they cannot get out. While trapping wasps may reduce the number of them around your home, it does not get at the real issue of preventing nests or removing one if you find it on your property.


Avid gardeners swear by botanical deterrents in the form of specific plants which naturally repel wasps. The three most commonly mentioned plants for this purpose are eucalyptus, citronella and mint. Again, the reviews are mixed related to how effective this method is, but the benefits are that it’s completely natural, generally safe and requires minimal effort other than planting.

These methods all have the potential to deter or mitigate the presences of wasps around your home. However, if there are stinging insects nesting on your property, the best remedy is to call in a professional. Scherzinger Pest Control can help to locate nests and colonies in your yard and around your home and they have the knowledge and equipment for addressing the problem safely and effectively.

Scherzinger Termite and Pest Control is a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or via web inquiryFacebook or Twitter.