The warmth of summer brings barbecues, pool opportunities, and fun in the sun. But it also invites unwanted stinging pests to crash your party. With so much outside time, you may be wondering how to keep bees away from deck or your house in general.
You can use many techniques to naturally keep bees away from your deck, porch, patio, or home. Your best option is to avoid bee attention, apply repellent to mask any attractive scents, and protect your home. Stay on the lookout for nests to avoid a full-on infestation.
In this article, we will discuss the common types of bees you’re likely to encounter and the many ways you can get rid of them. We’ll also show you how to take care of any beehives or nests you may find.
- Can You Keep Bees Away from the Home?
- How to Keep Bees Away from Deck, Porch, Patio, House
- 1. Grow Specific Herbs Near the Deck
- 2. Never Keep Flowers and Strong-Scented Plants Near the Porch
- 3. Sprinkle Cinnamon
- 4. Place Garlic Around the Deck or Porch
- 5. Spray a Heavy Oil
- 6. Make a Garlic and Vinegar Solution
- 7. Use Baby Oil or Vanilla Extract
- 8. Serve Food Inside
- 9. Layer Cucumber Peels Nearby
- 10. Plant Marigolds with Caution
- 11. Make Bee Bait
- 12. Sprinkle Baby Powder Around Your Home
- 13. Repel Bees with Mothballs
- 14. Use Pool Jets
- 15. Secure Entrances to Your Home
- 16. Put Away Empty Tools, Toys, and Pots
- 17. Leave Light Off at Night
- 18. Inspect Your Property for Nests Regularly
- More Tips on How to Keep Bees Away from Your Deck
- How to Naturally Get Rid of a Bee Nest
Can You Keep Bees Away from the Home?
You can use many tips and tricks to keep bees away from your home. There are many ways to ditch beneficial pollinators without causing harm. However, the technique you use may depend on the bee type you encounter.
Before you start, consider figuring out what type of bee you may have. Some options may work for every bee. But other species come with specific methods for dealing with them.
Common Types of Bees
Bees are related to ants and wasps. Like these insects, bees are intricate to our ecological balance and well-being.
According to Pest World for Kids, bees are pollinators, which means they help plants reproduce by transferring pollen using their body and legs. Without bees, we wouldn’t have flowers or foods like nuts, vegetables, or fruits.
While there are numerous bee types, the most common species you may come across include:
- European honey bees: Well-known worldwide for producing beeswax and honey, honey bees are only a small portion of the bee species population. They live in large colonies and can survive many years by eating honey during the winter.
- Western honey bees: Sometimes called European honey bees, Western honey bees are the most common species worldwide. They pollinate and produce honey and are typically favored by beekeepers.
- Bumblebees: Tiny, round bees, bumblebees are distinguishable by their soft hair called pile. They are social insects and not likely to attack unless provoked. However, bumblebees will ferociously defend their nest against invaders, sometimes even over great distances.
- Carpenter bees: This species gets its name from the nesting behavior. Carpenter bees make their nests in dead wood or bamboo. They look similar to bumblebees, but they are mostly harmless. Don’t expect a carpenter bee to sting unless you provoke it.
- Killer bees: Also known as Africanized honey bees, killer bees are a hybrid species that came from cross-breeding the African and European honey bees. Unlike the other species, they are defensive and attack humans freely. They also attack as a group, so victims receive numerous stings simultaneously.
- European dark bees: This bee is a sub-species of the honey bee. They’re sometimes called the German black bee, and they aggressively sting without provocation.
- Mining bees: The least common bee type you’ll see, mining bees are solitary creatures. They build nests underground and tend to avoid people.
Knowing this crucial information will help you handle bees near your home. For example, you may need to use more caution in removing a bumblebee nest.
However, finding bees near your home doesn’t necessarily mean you’re at risk of getting stung. It’s all about the species’ temperament and nesting habits.
If you are allergic, use caution. Strings can sometimes become life-threatening.
How to Keep Bees Away from Deck, Porch, Patio, House
Sometimes food or bright patterns can draw bees into your yard. Other times, open drinks and uncovered foods invite the pests to join you for a meal. Use any of the following tips to keep bees away from deck, porch, patio, or your house overall.
1. Grow Specific Herbs Near the DeckCertain plants work as natural bee repellents, such as herbs with strong scents. Peppermint, basil, eucalyptus, lemongrass, citronella, and pennyroyal repel bees.
Consider growing peppermint or basil near your porch or in pots along your deck to keep them away.
2. Never Keep Flowers and Strong-Scented Plants Near the PorchBees enjoy flowers because they have a natural inclination to pollinate. Any plants with attractive scents should be away from your porch.
Some of the most popular flowers for bees include:
- Black-eyed Susans
- Anise hyssop
- Nasturtiums (garden variety)
- California poppies
Herbs like mint, rosemary, chives, thyme, and oregano also attract bees.
3. Sprinkle CinnamonAlready have bees hanging around your porch or deck?
Chase them away by sprinkling cinnamon powder in the area.
The scent deters them and confuses them from returning.
4. Place Garlic Around the Deck or Porch
Bees hate the smell of garlic, like many other insects. You can make a spray with water and crushed garlic to spritz around your home. Another option is to crush garlic and place the pieces around your deck or porch.
5. Spray a Heavy Oil
Most bee types won’t stick around if they smell heavy oil, such as cedarwood, clove, eucalyptus, or citronella. You can place items with these heavy oil scents on the porch or near a beehive to get the bees to go away.
6. Make a Garlic and Vinegar Solution
If your bees are tough to get rid of, consider making a garlic and vinegar solution to spray around your home. Soak crushed garlic in white distilled vinegar for a few days, then add it to a spray bottle. Use it anywhere you notice the bees visit. This spray also works on a bee’s nest.
7. Use Baby Oil or Vanilla Extract
Both baby oil and vanilla extract repel bees. Add the oil to a spray bottle with water to spritz around the house. You can also apply these oils directly to your skin to keep bees from stinging you as you mow the lawn or remove their nests.
8. Serve Food Inside
Bees adore sticky beverages like soda and uncovered foods like when you’re grilling. Aluminum foil and plastic wrap aren’t enough to keep them out either. Keep all food and drinks inside or covered to keep bees from invading your next cookout.
Serving foods inside only cuts back on the scents that attract bees. Plus, you’re less likely to have to deal with spills and crumbs before the invaders find them. Choose cups with a lid and dispose of food immediately when your meal is over.
9. Layer Cucumber Peels Nearby
Cucumbers make your home unattractive to bees. You could grow cucumbers on your patio or layer cucumber peels in your garden, flower bed, window sills (inside or out), or near decks to keep bees away.
10. Plant Marigolds with Caution
Marigolds are beneficial plants around the home and garden. They help ward off tons of pests, and some information on the internet claims the flowers deter some types of bees. The strong scent is enough to keep many pests away.
However, the bright orange, red, and yellow flowers attract honey bees.
11. Make Bee Bait
If you plan to go outside, you can deter bees from you by making a bait of sweet-smelling liquid to draw them away from you. This trick could also help if you’re trying to draw bees away from their hive before relocating it.
To make bee bait, combine all the sweet liquids you have in a bowl. Include things like:
- Fruit juice
- Maple syrup
Set the bowl at least five yards away from your picnic area around 20 minutes before you gather outside, and you’re likely to see fewer bees.
12. Sprinkle Baby Powder Around Your Home
Organic baby powder is another solution for deterring bees. Not all of the baby powders you find in stores will work. Make sure to find a natural, organic option. Sprinkle the powder around your deck, and the bees will avoid your home.
13. Repel Bees with Mothballs
Mothballs have an unpleasant odor that makes them perfect for deterring pests. However, the scent also makes this option less commonly used by homeowners.
Spread mothballs around your garden to defend against bees. You could also place mothballs in pantyhose or a decorative cloth bag to drape them near a pool or fence.
14. Use Pool Jets
Bees are not excellent swimmers. If you have a pool, turn on your pool jets. The jets create ripples in the water’s surface, which deter bees from landing.
15. Secure Entrances to Your Home
Any openings to your house, including crawl spaces and overhangs, are the ideal place for bees to move in and build a nest. Make sure all entrances are secure. Use caulk or expandable foam to fill crevices and cracks and block the bottoms of any empty pipes.
16. Put Away Empty Tools, Toys, and Pots
Never leave anything around your yard that bees may use for nesting, such as objects in the yard. Bee colonies may start to build a nest in things like:
- Empty plant containers
17. Leave Light Off at Night
Light attracts bees and other insects to your yard. Leaving the lights off a night can help deter them.
18. Inspect Your Property for Nests Regularly
The best defense against bees is to make sure there are no nests in your yard. Regularly inspect your home and areas nearby for nests. But use caution, as these areas are where bees are more territorial and aggressive.
The most common places you’ll find nests include:
- Under a deck or porch
- Along fences
- Old birdhouses
- Unused playgrounds
- Trash cans
- Rock crevices
- Tall grass (ground nests)
If you see a large congregation of bees near your home, you probably have a nest. Check dark cavities and look for holes in wood.
Remove any nests you find as soon as possible. Some bee types, like carpenter bees, may cause serious damage if you don’t take care of the nest immediately. Carpenter bees create holes in wood to build extravagant nests, which can destroy your shed or porch over time.
More Tips on How to Keep Bees Away from Your Deck
Finally, there are a few more things you can do to protect yourself from bees. Use these tips to bee-proof yourself when you’re outside, no matter what you’re doing.
1. Avoid Wearing Attractive Perfume When Outside
Floral scents attract bees even when they’re in the form of perfume and cologne. Avoid wearing flowery fragrances if you plan to spend time outside. Make sure to pay attention to the scents in your hairspray, sunscreen, and lotion as well.
2. Wear a Hat
Because bees have a heightened sense of awareness when they notice fur or hair, dogs should stay away from bee-ridden areas. Hats can protect people for the same reason.
Try Professional Beekeeping Gear for Nests
A protective bee hat is highly recommended if you’re dealing with a nest or have a large infestation of bees, like the VIVO Professional White Beekeeping Smock. The smock comes with a veil to keep the bees from your face, and it extends into a protective shirt to cover your entire torso.
The fabric is lightweight, so you can still move around freely on hot summer days. Plus, the elastic waistband keeps the bees from stinging you as you work in the garden or remove their nests from your porch.
3. Rub Dryer Sheets on Your Skin and Furniture
Bees also hate the smell of dryer sheets. Use them as a tool to deter bees by rubbing dryer sheets on your skin. You can also place them in potted plants or patio furniture for an added layer of protection. Your yard will smell fresh and stay bee-free longer.
4. Avoid Bright Colors and Floral Patterns
Colorful clothing, swimsuits, and towels can make you look like a meal. Bees don’t feast on humans, but they might mistake your colorful appearance for a flower. Never wear bright colors or floral patterns if you plan to be outside.
5. Never Serve Sweet or Pungent Foods Outdoors
Avoid drawing bees near your barbeque altogether by keeping sweet or pungent-smelling foods inside. Ask your guests to fill their plates inside, then step out to eat. Use a cup with a lid, and hold food in airtight containers.
The foods bees especially enjoy include:
- Sweet barbeque sauce
- Fried chicken
6. Throw Trash Out Immediately
Bees are also attracted to food trash. Because the smell of your garbage could draw them closer, always throw away the trash immediately after eating. Place trash in a can with a secure lid or a dumpster to keep the smell from attracting them.
How to Naturally Get Rid of a Bee Nest
Most bee species sting when they feel threatened, especially if you mess with their nests. Getting rid of a bee nest is a dangerous process. You can learn how to get rid of bees quick and easy on your own or hire a professional.
The approach you use to tackle the bees on your property depends on the species and the specific trouble they cause. Choose a treatment method based on your case.
Step 1: Locate the Nest and Species Type
Look around your home to locate any bee nests. Before you do anything, try to figure out what species created the nest. Pests.org can help you identify the bee type. Determine if you can move the hive or handle the nest yourself.
Step 2: Protect Yourself
Begin by wearing protective gear. Wear long pants and sleeves to avoid stings. Include gloves, goggles, and a face mask to further protect against stings.
Step 3: Create a Spray
Make a natural repellent to deter bees. Homemade recipes may include Dawn dish soap, cinnamon, basil, or citronella. Insecticide spray should only be used for bees as a last resort.
Step 4: Block the Entrance
Keep bees from flying out to sting you by blocking the entrance with a breathable material like mesh. Wrap the fabric around the hive to relocate it safely.
Step 5: Attack at Night
Bees tend to be inside their nest and less likely to fly out at you if you take care of them at night. Spritz your bee spray directly onto and inside of the nest.
Remember, never move a beehive unless it’s close to your home or in a spot where your kids and pets play. Bees are highly beneficial to our livelihood, so you’ll want to relocate a beehive. But if you move it too far, they may have trouble finding their home.
Moving a beehive also comes with serious risk. Honey bees typically build them on the ground or in trees. They become highly aggressive when you threaten their hive and sting ruthlessly.
If the infestation is massive or you have honey bees, don’t take on the task yourself. Call an exterminator for help. Professionals can extract the nest safely and relocate it to a proper area.
Do you have bees lurking around your deck? Figuring out what bee type they are is the first step toward taking care of the problem. You can also avoid attracting the insects to you with some simple tricks, like avoiding bright colors or leaving pungent foods out.
If this article helped you get rid of the bees around your home, let us know in the comments below. We also appreciate it if you could share our bee tips with your friends and family.