How to Keep Wasps Away: Avoid This Buzzing Pest When Eating Out
How to Keep Wasps Away: Avoid This Buzzing Pest When Eating Out
By Clara Danneberg, Evan Williams
If you want to organize a pleasant picnic with your friends and family, you will not be alone for long. Wasps are pesky pests, buzzing around and trying to steal your food. How do you keep wasps away and what are good wasp repellents?
Is there anything better than a good piece of fruit, a good jam, a fruit juice, a cold beer or a delicious cake? Wasps are monsters for these foods, just like humans, and these intrusive black and yellow insects make a habit of swarming across the picnic blanket in an attempt to join in the feast.
Interestingly, while wasps are famous for their love of sweet foods, their real bond is with meat and animal protein, which they bring home to their larvae. The real problem, however, is their stingers. Life threatening to some, painful to most, there are plenty of reasons to keep wasps away when we try to enjoy a good meal outdoors.
TAG24 guide has a list of natural wasp repellents and tactics available in your home, helping you keep these wasps away from your family, home, and food.
Don’t have much time? Here’s a quick TL; DR:
- You should not get into the habit of killing wasps. They are important to our ecosystems and in some places considered protected species.
- Use water and sprays to repel wasps.
- Sweet smells and bright colors often attract wasps, as does open food.
- Provide wasps with an alternative food source at a safe distance to prevent them from foraging for human food.
How to keep wasps away from you, your home and your food
When you’re going out with your family, having a picnic with your friends, or just dining out at a restaurant, the last thing you want is to be harassed by wasps. These little buggers are truly a pain in the back, and their bites can be incredibly painful, so how the hell do you keep them away?
Here are some tips and tricks to keep wasps away:
- Avoid wearing a strong smelling sweet perfume.
- Do not wear brightly colored clothing or use brightly colored table linens outside.
- Cover all food and drink when outside.
- Install a fake wasp nest.
- Regularly pick up fallen fruit in the garden.
- Always clean up leftovers.
- Wash your mouth and hands thoroughly after eating ice cream and other sugary foods.
Taking basic steps to reduce the risk of a wasp harassing you isn’t difficult, and it’s well worth the effort.
Keep Wasps Away With Natural Wasp Repellents & Home Remedies
You can’t just rely on basic cleanliness to keep wasps away from you. Even if you cover all your food, brush your teeth thoroughly, and take all the steps listed above, you can still be harassed. Luckily for you, however, you can do a lot with basic household items.
Here are some great ways to keep wasps away with home remedies.
Trick : One of the best ways to keep these little critters away is to remove their nest. Be careful though, follow our instructions, and preferably have it done by a professional.
Keep wasps away with water
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to keep wasps from harassing you is to keep a spray bottle filled with tap water handy. When you start getting harassed by those buzzing belligerents, start spraying on them. The wasp will think it is raining and return to its nest.
How to keep wasps away with odors
Wasps are very sensitive to different smells, preferring to stay away from particular plants, foods, and smells. Using these smells can help keep wasps from approaching you, driving them away with a foul smell that they really hate.
Here are some smells that will keep wasps away:
- Fresh garlic (leave a few sliced cloves nearby)
- Basil (plant it in the garden or put a pot on the table)
- Ammonia soaked rags
- Essential oils like lemongrass, clove oil or tea tree oil
- Lemon (cut one in half and leave it on the table with some fragrant cloves)
- Burnt coffee powder in a fireproof bowl
- Copper coins (rub them together and spread them on the table)
Please note: Many of these odors can also be quite unpleasant to humans. Keep this in mind when choosing which one you want to use.
Keep wasps away with decoys
It is actually not very difficult at all to build yourself a lure. Don’t use traps that torture wasps, it’s just inhumane and cruel. Instead, build a homemade decoy with basic cooking ingredients to keep them happy.
In other words, the best lure is an alternate food source located a sufficient distance from where you are going to relax.
Here are some food sources to keep wasps away:
- Charcuterie cooked ham and poultry
- Minced meat
- A mixture of jam and honey
- A plant infested with aphids
Try not to kill the wasps, but instead spread the chosen ingredient on a small dish where they can crawl and nibble. If it’s a fruit, cut it into slices so it can reach the sweet interior!
Hot tip: Try to always offer food to the wasps in one place, so that they remember and always look for that place for good food.
Keep wasps away with a fake paper wasp nest
It’s very easy to build a fake paper wasp nest yourself and will do wonders to stop them from building their hives near where you like to eat. You really only need four ingredients: a brown paper bag, crumpled up newspaper, masking tape, and string.
How to make a fake paper wasp nest:
Step 1: Open a large paper bag and fill it with crushed newspapers.
2nd step: Seal the opening of the bag with tape and crease it a little more so that it has the approximate shape of a wasp’s nest.
Step 3: Use the string to hang it nearby. Make sure it is covered and protected from the rain.
It’s not a completely foolproof method and won’t do a perfect job, especially if there’s already a wasp nest nearby, but it does help deter the building of beehives.
The best wasp repellents
With the advent of the internet, we have a huge range of wasp repellents and deterrents available to us at the click of a button. Many online shops will allow you to buy all sorts of things, but we also recommend that you go to a garden store and talk to the seller about the best shopping options available.
Potential wasp repellents include:
- Various sprays that you can apply to yourself or those around you
- Fake professional wasp nests
- Anti-wasp candles, essential oils and other burners
We recommend using home remedies to keep wasps away, as they are less harmful to the environment than chemicals. You can also use some plants as shown below.
There are a variety of garden plants you can use to keep wasps away. These plants often have a very strong but pleasant smell to humans, and are a great way to deter wasps from joining the party.
Some good wasp control plants include:
- Spearmint and peppermint
- bay leaves
Many of these wasp repellent plants can also be used in their essential oil form to help keep wasps away from your picking.
Are wasps dangerous?
Wasps are not dangerous to most people, but can cause anaphylaxis – a severe allergic reaction – in some. This is an incredibly dangerous condition for those inflicted and requires immediate medical attention.
Common symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
- Significant swelling all over the body
- Swelling of the throat, causing restriction of airflow to the lungs
- Severe swelling of the tongue which may also restrict airflow
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of consciousness
IMPORTANT: If you have been stung by a wasp and are showing signs of anaphylaxis, be sure to grab an EpiPen immediately if you have one. Emergency services should be called immediately after taking the EpiPen.
If no EpiPen is available, be sure to notify 911 responders, as this greatly increases the level of danger associated with anaphylaxis. Antihistamines are known to provide minor relief in such situations, but an ambulance will still be needed immediately.
Is it okay to kill wasps?
There are plenty of good reasons not to kill wasps. In many countries this is actually illegal, as is destroying their nests without the proper permission and professional help. In fact, wasps are a protected and essential species for the environment.
Killing a wasp is also not in your own interest. When a wasp is squashed or killed, it releases something that will make your life even more difficult: pheromones which then attract other wasps to the scene of the crime.
In other words, you shouldn’t kill the wasps because if you do, you’ll just attract more of them to your location and make the situation worse.
Wasps are easy to drive away, don’t worry!
There are different ways to keep wasps away when we feast with our family. From simple water sprays to more complex home remedies, almost all of these black and yellow bugs can be kept away with a few simple measures.
To get rid of wasps and drive them away, you don’t need to kill them. If you heed these simple tips, tricks and wasp repellents, you will keep wasps away without resorting to violence.
Cover photo: 123RF / Viktor2013