How to get rid of wasps naturally

My backyard has two nests of these little critters:

how to get rid of wasps naturally

Yes, wasps. Those are nasty little buggers, and right now they have setup shop just underneath the roof edge of my home, outside the entrance of my kitchen. As I’ve been spending so much time outside, many afternoons see me doing this:

natural wasp spray

I truly enjoy being out in the garden, so I can’t let those yellow jackets keep chasing me indoors! So this involves taking matters into my own hands. But everyone has an opinion on how to remove them. My neighbor suggested trying the traditional bug spray, and my buddy recommended the aerosol that turns into a chemical-laden goo surrounding the entire wasps nest, and turning into a hardened foam cloud that slowly poisons yourself, children or pets in the process.

While hunting for something a little less expensive and noxious, I found a non-toxic solution that involves essential oil, dish soap, a spray bottle and water. The dish soap is optional. I found a cute little orange bottle from the $.99 Cent Store, peppermint oil from my local health food store, and the dish soap and water always in regular supply. In comparison to the other $8-15 dollar toxic sprays, my very inexpensive $1.50 solution is the way to go.

And if you make a solution without the soap, you can spray it directly on your skin to keep them away, and smell delicious.

Non-Toxic Wasp Spray/Repellant

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of peppermint oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dish soap (optional)

Combine all of these ingredients together into your spray bottle. Wait until the very early morning hours, or late at night when it looks like they’re sleeping, then shake and spray!

You might need to apply the solution twice, but they will fall to the ground and die within seconds. Talk about a natural remedy!

Love essential oils? I’m a self-proclaimed oil-junkie! Read up on the brand of essential oils I absolutely love and currently use for everything from warding off strep, to eliminating my daughter’s asthma.

Do you have a solution that you use for combatting wasps or other types of bugs? Tell us about it in the comment section, and be sure to also check out this natural bug repellent recipe.

By |2016-06-03T10:07:44-04:00June 26th, 2013|Natural Remedies|40 Comments

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  1. Shannon June 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    You picture made me laugh! I feel the same way at times! I love the idea of a natural spray. I will have to try this one and let you know how it works for us! πŸ™‚

  2. emily July 1, 2013 at 1:11 am - Reply

    i totally understand not wanting yourself or you children getting stung but i just have to put out there that wasps are a beneficial bug that helps to get rid of things eating your garden. thanks for the tip though, it just in time. there’s a nest right next to our front door that i’ve been wondering how to take care of. thanks

    • michele August 1, 2013 at 11:55 pm - Reply

      You are right Emily. They are very useful. I just wa to send them away, not kill them.

    • Gerald April 7, 2014 at 10:13 am - Reply

      Just scrape it down (you can wet it first–mist setting so it settles on the wasps and they can’t fly very well). They will try to rebuild so scrape it down again. At that point they usually go somewhere else and set up shop and doesn’t kill them.
      They are “good” bugs.

    • Barbara March 19, 2015 at 12:24 pm - Reply

      They are totally annoying, can’t even swim in summer,
      My method is free, knock down the nest and step on it!

  3. Aude sapere September 30, 2013 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    The wasps that had a nest above our front door made it difficult to enjoy eating on the veranda. I accidently invented a wasp trap by leaving a pot of meat broth out to cool. The next day I found a dozen dead wasps stuck in the fat layer. I repeated this every few days with just a half inch of broth and caught a bunch of wasps every time, until there weren’t enough left to bother us.

    • Karen April 18, 2017 at 1:47 am - Reply

      I think that’s a fabulous idea!

  4. Ray October 2, 2013 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    I’ve used Murphy’s oil soap instead of other oils with excellent results. A faster (and I think more satisfying) technique is to light a newspaper on fire and wave under them when they’re asleep.

  5. Cary April 22, 2014 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Hi Crystal,

    I came across your post about getting rid of wasps. I have one or 2 just starting to build a nest so want to try your spray. I was wondering if I could use another type of oil beside peppermint? I have on hand geranium, sage, orange, sandalwood and maybe others.

    Thanks for your help!


    • Crystal Collins April 25, 2014 at 1:14 pm - Reply

      Hey Cary! I haven’t tried anything other than peppermint, so I’m not sure.

      • Cary April 25, 2014 at 1:56 pm - Reply

        Ok Crystal….thanks!


        • Karen April 18, 2017 at 1:55 am - Reply

          U could try orange or 1 of the other citruses but, peppermint is the best. Side note, using lemon scented dishsoap helps by not being as toxic to any surrounding foliage u might hit & it makes sure the concoction sticks to the wasps.

  6. Skye May 13, 2014 at 12:32 am - Reply

    Love this! I just had pur maintenance guys come take care of a nest but I have no idea what they sprayed… I am definitely going to try this if we need to!! Peppermint is amazing! Its a natural painkiller (I draw a “W” on the back of my neck with it when I have a headache and WOW! The releif!! And a spray with water and peppermint (I also add lavender and orange oils but the mint is the most important) will also work well to keep spiders and mice away!!

  7. Lorraine May 28, 2014 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    I made my own peppermint oil and water spray. I had the tiny small ants that got into my house. I think they are grease ants. Cause I had some fries and forgot to throw away the paper plate I ate from and when I got up there was a bunch of them on that plate. So I sprayed them real good and they died a few seconds later. So in my opinion it works very well. I chose to use peppermint oil cause it was non-toxic to humans and animals.

    • pjj March 16, 2017 at 11:10 pm - Reply

      Not true . Peppermint oil can be toxic to animals and children

  8. Lynn Anne Miller August 19, 2014 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    I try many natural remedies first without killing a creature of nature. Not crazy about wasps, but I bought a hanging assimilated wasp nest, which seemed to work very well this summer. Now, I’ve noticed a little battalion of wasps making home at the side of my house, near the kitchen. So, I made the solution above and did not wait until dusk. The wasps came flying out in droves, and I don’t think they were at all concerned about stinging me. A few succumbed. I’m armed and ready.

    • Karen April 18, 2017 at 2:01 am - Reply

      Big mistake not waiting until DARK! That’s the only way u know their all inside & sleeping. They can be down right unyielding. Wait a few hours after dark to be sure.

  9. anna January 17, 2015 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    I just use a ‘hula hoe’ to knock the next down

  10. Kat May 4, 2015 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    I read somewhere that you can use Orange oil instead of peppermint, also.

    I’m wondering if you spray the area after knocking down the nest, won’t that make them go elsewhere to rebuild ? And then, if I don’t want them to rebuild in other areas around the house, thinking that maybe I could spray those areas as a preventative measure . Your thoughts?

  11. Elizabeth July 11, 2015 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    Ooo, I really need to try this! A small nest of wasps have taken refuge in the middle of my screened sliding glass doorway O_o I don’t know how they fit!

    Would peppermint extract do essentially the same thing or should I go buy some peppermint oil?

    • Crystal Collins July 20, 2015 at 10:40 am - Reply

      I don’t think it would act the same.

      • Linda May 4, 2017 at 3:28 pm - Reply

        Yes, peppermint extract DOES work; I have used in the past with success. The ingredients are: alcohol, water, peppermint oil; so even though it isn’t 100% peppermint, it still does the job. I stock up when it is on sale at Krogers for 2.50 for a 1 oz jar. Vitacost has pure 100% oil on sale right now for 4.48. I keep 2 spray bottles on hand, 1 without soap & 1 with so I can spray myself so they don’t bother me when I am on my deck; I also spray my tables on the deck so it keeps them away when we are eating outdoors with company; works great. Even when there are no nests they would always be flying by but not when the area is sprayed. Also love pure peppermint oil in my coffee!

  12. Dean July 11, 2016 at 3:34 am - Reply

    All I can say is “Wow”!!! This worked unbelievably well. I sprayed it on the nest and they started to just drop right down to the ground. They didn’t even put up a fight….. Now I have to go return the bug spray I bought just in case…..

  13. Scott August 2, 2016 at 6:41 am - Reply

    Found this solution a few years back online. Works wonders. Haven’t used anything else since.

  14. Steph DeFerie August 22, 2016 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    thanks, i just spent $10 for a bottle of essential peppermint oil & your recipe did absolutely nothing to get rid of the wasps on my deck.

    • gerriann September 20, 2016 at 11:40 am - Reply

      It makes mice and bugs stay away. use it as an inside boarder in the back of your cupboards and garage. they hate the smell and go elsewhere.

    • Ess July 30, 2017 at 11:49 pm - Reply

      Essential Peppermint oil with water only helps work in deterring wasps from landing on you or building nests near your home and the only way to deter them from setting up housekeeping in areas you don’t want them to build is to spray those areas at least once a week as the peppermimt oil scent does dissipate over time. If they have already built a nest near areas that are a concern or threat to wellbeing then you have no choice but to eliminate them. The quickest and most humane way to kill them is with water and dish soap. Obviously you need to be heavily clothed and protected before spraying their nest and only at night when they are inside the nest asleep.
      That said, I do not advocate killing wasps unless absolutely nessecary. Wasps help eat pests that destroy farmers crops and they also help pollenate plants.

  15. Gail September 8, 2016 at 10:38 am - Reply

    I was having coffee on my fromt porch and i noticed that the wasps are really enjoying my hummingbird feeders now that its September. So, got my essential pol of peppermint and put some on bottom of feeders. They made one curious inspection and left. Have not com back. Took the remainder in my hand and rubbed it on my legs and the flies left too! EO’s ROCK!

  16. Patsy February 15, 2017 at 12:22 am - Reply

    I have tiny moths Cannot get rid of them really bad in my house and Insome plants near my swing in my yard. Any ideas

  17. Cindy Johnson May 26, 2017 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    I found this recipe on Pinterest last summer and it worked amazingly well; even convinced my skeptical brother-in-law who scoffed that it wouldn’t ever work!! I used orange essential, it was what I had on hand at the time!! Thanks for sharing!!

  18. Sharon Fowler June 6, 2017 at 9:58 am - Reply

    If you are allergic to being stung you might want to use a long range water gun to spray with. The one that is long and cylindrical that sucks water up and when plunger is pressed puts out a long distant stream would work well for this.

  19. Heather September 5, 2017 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    I took a small plastic milk jug, slashed an x near the top in a few spots put a couple inches of apple juice in bottom , put the lid back on and hung it on my deck. They fly in and can’t get out. Within an hour there were lots dead. My grandchildren can’t even eat on the deck they were. So bad.

  20. Richard Donatelli March 27, 2018 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    I used to have trouble with wasps nests under the master bedroom balcony that covered a portion of the deck. I have had none for the past three seasons due to a small trick I learned about deterring them from building a nest there and nearby. It sounds to good to be true but has worked for me and it’s totally humane. I simply fill a brown paper lunch bag with plastic bags, shape it to resemble a nest and tie it under the base of the balcony. Wasps that fly by think that there is already a nest there and avoid the area. 3 seasons now and no wasps or hornets. Give this a try, you will be happy that you did.

  21. Denise April 11, 2018 at 5:25 am - Reply

    Why kill them – they are part of nature – without wasps and ants Man cannot live !

  22. Becky July 14, 2018 at 11:15 am - Reply

    I don’t kill the wasp that make nest in my yard, they are beneficial insects. They come every year & make their best under my eves. Spiders in my house the put them outside. I only kill fleas, mosquitoes, roaches &mice. Oh & flys! I have yet to get stung by a wasp, I leave them alone they leave me alone. We share the garden

  23. Larry McCormack October 14, 2018 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    The wasps & I have been at war for a few years. Everybody comes & goes with no trouble, except me. I walk out and here they come. I buy a couple cans of wasp killer & we fight until my cans are empty. Once I went to Walmart to buy more spray & on my way home, one flew in my van on the passenger side window, stung me on the hand & flew out my window. I think they have as much fun as I do. I’ve only been stung around 30 times, but it still hurts. I just get madder & go hunting some more.

  24. Jeff December 12, 2018 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    I have wasps all around my house that get into the groves of the vinyl siding. I have had exterminators come out, I have tried wasp sprays, dawn and water, dawn and vinegar….. I am able to kill the ones that come out but I can;t kill the ones that remain in the siding crevices. I even had my front porch taken down and there were huge red wasp nest. What do I do short of burning the house or moving?

  25. Mollie E Donovan April 15, 2019 at 11:13 am - Reply

    i Love You!!! You not only saved me money….. You gave me a remedy of everything I have on hand but have not put together!!! Thank You very much!!!!!

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