While wasps are important parts of the environment, most people don’t want much to do with them. This is especially true on warm summer days spent lounging on the deck or porch, or sitting by the pool.
Simply having wasps buzzing around can turn a fun time into an anxiety-inducing one. Plus, if wasps decide to nest nearby, the situation could even be dangerous.
Luckily, you can keep wasps away from your deck, porch, and pool. If you don’t know where to begin, here are 15 solid options.
- How to Keep Wasps Away from Your Deck, Porch, and Pool
- 1. Hang Decoy Wasp Nests
- 2. Use an Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
- 3. Create a “Wasp Plate”
- 4. Add a Water Source
- 5. Cover Your Pool When Not in Use
- 6. Set Up Wasp Traps
- 7. Make a Natural Repellent Spray
- 8. Add the Right Plants to Your Garden
- 9. Clean Up After Fruit-Producing Plants
- 10. Take Down or Relocate Hummingbird Feeders
- 11. Don’t Leave Pet Food Outside
- 12. Avoid Swatting Wasps
- 13. Close Up Holes
- 14. Relocate Garbage Cans
- 15 Get Professional Treatments
How to Keep Wasps Away from Your Deck, Porch, and Pool
1. Hang Decoy Wasp NestsIf your biggest concern is paper wasps, consider putting up a decoy wasp nest. Wasps are territorial by nature. If they see a nest nearby, they aren’t going to hang around.
With a decoy nest, you are making wasps think that there’s a colony in the area. By using a couple of paper nests, you decrease the odds that wasps will make a home near your yard or even fly through looking for food.
However, this approach typically works best in the spring. That’s the time when wasps set up new nests. If you wait until after the wasps have created a nest to put up a decoy, it probably won’t work. You’ll have to try the approach next year to see results.
2. Use an Ultrasonic Pest RepellerAnother deterrent-based approach involves using an ultrasonic pest repeller, a non-toxic, non-chemical approach to keeping wasps away. The device plugs in and, once turned on, produces high-frequency sounds and wavelengths.
While humans can’t hear or detect the soundwaves, many pests can. Along with possibly keeping wasps at bay, it may also discourage mosquitos, spiders, ants, roaches, and other bugs from coming around. Often, it even works on rodents, which is a nice bonus.
Just be aware that some of the high-powered versions are audible, even to people. That setting is usually only a good option if you won’t be home, so keep that in mind.
Additionally, your pets may be able to detect some of the lower power settings. That could make them uncomfortable while the device is operating, so you may not want to go this route if you have pets.
3. Create a “Wasp Plate”
If you plan on hosting a barbecue or having a picnic, the food you plan on eating could attract wasps. Once they realize there’s a meal available around your deck, patio, or yard, you’ll see more arrive for a snack.
But, by creating a wasp plate, you can reduce the odds that they’ll interrupt your meal. Take a small piece of raw meat and set it far away from deck, porch, or patio about one hour before your gathering. The idea is to let the wasps find that plate, attracting them to a spot away from where you’re going to be.
If you want to go the extra mile, make sure you don’t have your food outside for any longer than necessary. By cleaning up quickly, you limit the chances that a wasp will think your yard is an excellent place for a meal.
4. Add a Water SourceWasps may stop by your pool for a simple reason; they are thirsty. Water is essential for them, so wasps seek our reliable sources while they are flying around.
If you want to keep wasps from seeing your pool like a drinking fountain, consider providing an alternative water source. It will make your pool a less attractive option for getting a drink.
One of the easiest approaches is to install a birdbath in a far corner of your yard. Just make sure to change the water out regularly. Otherwise, it could become stagnate, creating a breeding ground for another annoying pest: mosquitos.
5. Cover Your Pool When Not in Use
Another step to make sure your pool isn’t a water source for wasps is to cover it when it isn’t in use. With a pool cover in place, reaching the water becomes difficult. As a result, fewer wasps will attempt to crawl under it to get a sip.
Just make sure that you choose a pool cover with a decent amount of weight. By doing so, the edges will stay down easier, decreasing the chances that gaps will form that wasps can fit through without an issue.
Additionally, secure it properly. If you want to cover to be effective, it needs to stay put. If you don’t secure it, a windy day may be all it takes to shift the cover and reveal the pool beneath.
6. Set Up Wasp TrapsWith a wasp trap, you entice the insects into a container by offering up a food source. Then, once inside, they can’t get back out. That means they won’t be buzzing around your deck, porch, or patio.
Usually, you have two choices for wasp traps. First, you can make your own using an empty two-liter bottle. This approach is economical but can be a bit unsightly.
Second, you can buy premade wasp traps. You can find reusable wasp traps as well as disposable wasp traps, giving you some options.
With either homemade or reusable traps, you’ll need to create bait. Usually, sugar water, apple cider vinegar, or a bit of beer are enough to do the trick.
7. Make a Natural Repellent SprayPeppermint, clove, lemongrass, and geranium oils deter wasps. The same goes for white vinegar.
If you want to keep wasps away or discourage them from building nests in specific areas, natural repellent sprays are a great choice. If you’re going to go the vinegar route, get a spray bottle, and use a 50/50 split of white vinegar and water. Add two drops of dish soap, give it a shake, and spray the areas.
For the oil route, fill a spray bottle with water. Add two drops of dish soap and ten drops of clove, lemongrass, or geranium oil. You could use a combination of oils, too. Once in place, tighten the lids and give the bottle a shake before spraying liberally around your deck, porch, or pool.
8. Add the Right Plants to Your Garden
Essential oils aren’t the only way to keep wasps from making your deck, porch, or pool area home. By adding the right plants to your garden, you can accomplish a similar goal.
Mint, spearmint, lemongrass, citronella, thyme, and eucalyptus can make your space less attractive to wasps. Plus, they are relatively easy to care for, making them good choices for anyone regardless of whether they have a green thumb.
Whether you plant them in the ground or containers doesn’t matter. Just spread them out in your yard, and you could see fewer wasps.
9. Clean Up After Fruit-Producing Plants
Wasps like fruit, especially in the fall and winter. If you have fruit-bearing plants, fallen fruit serves as a meal for wasps.
Once the fruit ripens, try to collect it from the tree or bush. That way, you have a chance to enjoy it while ensuring it doesn’t become a snack of buzzing pests.
If you have fallen fruit on the ground, clean it up quickly. Otherwise, there’s a decent chance nearby wasps will stop by for a bite.
10. Take Down or Relocate Hummingbird Feeders
Hummingbird nectar is essentially colored sugar water. Not only will the feeders attract hummingbirds, but they can also be attractive meal options for bees and wasps.
If you want to keep wasps away from your deck, patio, or pool, make sure that the feeders aren’t nearby. Move them to remote sections of your yard where you won’t be bothered if wasps stop by for a snack.
If you don’t have enough space in your yard to relocate the feeders, then you might have to take them down entirely. There’s no way to keep the nectar from potentially attracting wasps, so it may be your only choice.
11. Don’t Leave Pet Food Outside
Pet food can attract wasps because they can use the pellets or wet food to feed themselves. While it may be more convenient to feed your cat or dog outdoors, you don’t want to leave the bowls out. This is especially true if they aren’t empty.
Feeding your pets indoors is typically the easiest way to avoid attracting wasps. It prevents any food from being accessible, including spilled or dropped pieces. However, letting them enjoy their meal and then immediately carrying the dishes back inside can also work.
If you have to feed your pet outdoors and leave the dishes outside, keep them as far away from your deck, porch, or pool as possible. That way, if they do attract wasps, the pests won’t be near the areas you want to enjoy.
12. Avoid Swatting Wasps
When you see a wasp, you’re probably tempted to give it a whack. You may figure out that killing it is the best choice. The trick is, killing wasps can actually be a bad idea because doing so potentially attracts more into your yard.
Wasps release pheromones when they are dying or die, especially if they are attacked. It alerts other wasps to a threat, which, in this case, is you. Sometimes, those pheromones attract more wasps. They swoop in, trying to defend a nearby nest.
If you want to keep wasps away, don’t risk killing them near your deck, porch, or pool. Resist the urge to swat and use other approaches instead, like wasp traps and deterrent sprays.
13. Close Up Holes
Wasps usually explore properties looking for safe spaces, especially when they are trying to nest in the spring or want to hide away for the winter. In some cases, these insects may make a home in a gap in your house, deck, or porch. For ground wasps, holes in your yard can be inviting, as well.
If you want to keep wasps away, make sure they don’t next on your property. Check your home, porch, deck, pool area, and yard, filling any holes you find. This includes cracks or crevices near the ground, as not all wasps need high areas to feel secure.
14. Relocate Garbage Cans
Garbage, recycling, and compost piles can be all be food sources for wasps. If you leave your cans near your deck, porch, or pool, there’s a decent chance you’ll see pests coming by looking for a snack. By relocating your bins and compost away from the parts of your yard you want to use, you reduce your wasp encounters.
Additionally, if your garbage can lid isn’t on tight, wasps can easily squeeze inside for a meal. The same goes for recycling bins, especially if there are containers that once held sugary foods or drinks, like soda cans or bottles. Make sure your lids are on as tightly as possible.
15 Get Professional Treatments
Sometimes, hiring a pest control specialist is your best choice. This is especially true if you have a large, active nest on your property.
While there are DIY approaches to getting rid of wasp nests, doing so is always dangerous. It doesn’t matter if it’s day time or night, or what method you use. Once the wasps become agitated, they may attack.
Pest control specialists have the right equipment and treatment options for a variety of wasps. They can handle the nest correctly, all while you stay a safe distance away.
Additionally, pest control experts can apply preventative treatments. Once in place, the chance that wasps will return goes down substantially.
Ultimately, keeping wasps away from your deck, porch, or pool doesn’t have to be a challenge. With the tips above, you should be able to handle it with ease.
I hope you enjoyed the list above. If you’d like to share your thoughts, including more tips for keeping wasps away, please head to the comments section below. Also, pass this list along to anyone who would enjoy a wasp-free yard; they’ll be happy you did.