If you’ve ever been stung by a wasp, you don’t need me to tell you how painful and aggravating their sting can be. During the warmer months, you may feel as though you’re constantly trying to figure out how to repel wasps from your property. And if you’re a homeowner, you’ve likely tried brainstorming how to keep wasps out of your shed.
Sheds are extremely popular places for wasps to construct their nests. Thankfully, if you’re looking for ways to stop wasps from nesting in your shed, the following tips will provide you with some great insight.
- Common Types of Wasps
- 15 Effective Ways How to Keep Wasps out of Shed
- 1. Perform Regular Shed Maintenance
- 2. Eliminate Food Sources
- 3. Clear Away Vacant Nests
- 4. Scrub Away The Pheromone Trail
- 5. Remove Piles Of Brush
- 6. Hang Wasp Traps
- 7. Install A Fake Nest
- 8. Wasp-Repellent Plants
- 9. Use Natural Wasp Repellent
- 10. Mothballs
- 11. Wasp Decoys
- 12. Strategically Placed Trash Cans
- 13. Build A “Wasp Home”
- 14. Use An Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
- 15. Call An Exterminator
- How To Get Rid of a Wasp Nest Naturally
Common Types of Wasps
Before we get started, it’s important to identify the different main types of wasps, just so that you know exactly what you’re dealing with. Firstly, you should note that bees and wasps are two very different creatures. Honey bees are chubby, fuzzy, and typically slower-moving than wasps.
Honey bees can sting if provoked or threatened, but this is rare, as they die immediately after delivering a sting. Wasps, on the other hand, are far more likely to sting than honey bees, and they can deliver multiple stings during their lifespan.
There are three main types of wasps:
Hornets look similar to yellowjacket wasps, but they are significantly larger. Hornets tend to build their nests from tree limbs and shrubs, and they are far more aggressive when guarding their nests than other wasp types. That being said, if you see a hornets’ nest, leave it be – you’ll be far better off calling in a professional to deal with the issue.
Paper wasps are the preferred wasp species, as they are important pollinators and also feed on crop-destroying pests. They tend to be far more subdued than hornets and yellowjackets, and will generally only sting if they feel threatened. Paper wasp nests can be identified by the open combs you’ll see around the exterior of the nest. Paper wasps will build their nests almost anywhere, and these are the wasp nests you’ll most commonly encounter hanging from the eaves of a shed, garage, or house.
As with paper wasps, yellowjackets are an important aspect of the ecosystem, as they eat pests that destroy crops. When yellowjackets sting, they tend to sting repeatedly. Similar to paper wasps, yellowjackets will construct nests in a variety of places, including from tree branches, in bushes, and from the eaves of manmade structures.
15 Effective Ways How to Keep Wasps out of Shed
Here are some effective ways to keep wasps from nesting in and around your shed!
1. Perform Regular Shed Maintenance
What’s the simplest way to prevent a wasp from building a nest in, around, or under your shed? The answer lies in ensuring that you are performing regular shed maintenance. At the beginning and end of the warm months, give your shed’s exterior a thorough inspection. Be sure to seal any cracks or holes, preferably with a foam sealant. This will prevent wasps from getting inside.
If your shed roof has a substantial overhang, the area may be appealing for wasps. For larger areas like this where the sealant isn’t going to cut it, you can install wire or mesh screening across the area. Not only will this prevent wasps from making their way inside your shed, but it will also eliminate “ideal” areas for nest building.
2. Eliminate Food Sources
Another simple way to keep wasps from nesting in and around your shed is to eliminate their favorite food sources. Wasps are extremely attracted to sweet, sugary things. If you’re having an outdoor barbecue or snack, get in the practice of cleaning up right afterward, so that leftover food isn’t attracting them to the area.
Wasps love nothing more than rotten fruit that has fallen from a fruit tree. If you have fruit trees in your yard, be sure to clean up any rotting, fallen fruit regularly. Wasps are also attracted to shallow pools of still water, so for the sake of wasp and mosquito prevention, ensure there’s no standing water around your yard.
3. Clear Away Vacant Nests
Interestingly enough, wasps generally only use the nest they have built for one year before abandoning it. Thus, it’s not uncommon to find empty, abandoned wasp nests around your shed and property. Although these abandoned nests may seem harmless, you should still get in the practice of removing them.
Although it is extremely rare for wasps to inhabit a preexisting nest, sensing an abandoned nest can signify to future wasp populations that the area is ideal for building a nest. To make a long story short, don’t give future wasps any ideas! Plus, empty nests are just plain old unsightly, and it’s better to remove them.
4. Scrub Away The Pheromone Trail
While we’re on the topic of clearing away vacant wasp nests, it’s a good time to discuss the pheromone trail briefly. When talking about wasps specifically, pheromone trails are chemicals left behind by previous wasps, which alert other wasps that they were once in the area. This tells future wasps that there is something desirable about the area, which may encourage them to start constructing another nest close by.
The easiest way to eliminate the pheromone trail is to remove old, vacant nests, and to scrub the area where the nest was with hot water and soap. Just because you can’t see the pheromone trail doesn’t mean it’s not there!
5. Remove Piles Of Brush
Another simple way to achieve wasp prevention is to remove any piles of brush, logs, or debris from under or around your shed. Certain wasp types prefer to nest in old, dead wood, so keeping anything like this around your shed is inviting wasps into the area.
Some wasp varieties will even nest in holes in the ground, provided they are somewhat deep. If you notice any holes in your yard that you think a wasp might like to call their home, be sure to fill them in as quickly as possible.
6. Hang Wasp TrapsMost of the tactics we’ve covered up until this point have been preventative. But what can you do when you know that there are already wasps in the area? Well, you can hang a wasp trap! There are many types of wasp traps that you can find in stores and online. Most wasp traps are easily disposable and reasonably priced, too.
Alternatively, you can make your wasp trap with little effort. A clear plastic or glass container and some sugar-infused water will lure wasps in, but they’ll be unable to get back out. Click here to find out how to make a simple DIY wasp trap.
7. Install A Fake NestIf you aren’t fond of the idea that wasps will meet their demise in a trap, you can practice tactics to scare them away from the area. Wasps are a territorial species, and they won’t generally build a nest in the immediate area of another colony. You can buy fake nests at many home stores and online here.
Again, if you’re more of the DIY type, you can easily make your own decoy nest as well. Stuff newspaper in a large, brown paper bag, or a clear bag. Shape the bag into an oval, similar to how a real wasp nest would look. Hang your fake wasp nest around your shed or yard, and wasps will be far more inclined to stay away.
8. Wasp-Repellent Plants
Like many insects and pests, wasps hate strong, overwhelming scents. And surprisingly, they hate the strong scents of many plant varieties. If you’re looking to prevent wasps from nesting in, around, or under your shed, consider planting lemongrass, citronella, spearmint, eucalyptus, or thyme in the area.
Not only will these plants keep wasps at bay, but they’ll also look aesthetically pleasing! Plus, you can use many of these plants for cooking, herbal remedies, and repelling other pest varieties. It’s a win-win situation!
9. Use Natural Wasp Repellent
In my opinion, if you can use a natural method for repelling wasps, it’s far superior to using a chemical-filled method. Fortunately, there are multiple natural wasp repellents that you can spritz in and on your shed to prevent wasps from nesting there.
In addition to clearing away the pheromone trail left behind by wasps, soap and water also happen to be a wasp deterrent. Wasps don’t care much for the smell of soap, and when they sense it, they won’t be keen on sticking around.
Wasps also hate the strong scent of multiple essential oils, specifically peppermint oil, clove oil, geranium oil, and lemongrass oil. You can transfer one (or a blend) of these oils to a spray bottle diluted with water, and spritz the exterior of your shed. You can also soak some cotton balls in these essential oils and leave them inside your shed to prevent wasps from nesting if they happen to make their way inside. Just remember, many essential oils can be harmful to pets, so be sure to keep anything containing essential oils out of their reach.
You may keep mothballs in some or all of your closets to prevent moths from eating away at your clothing and linens. However, did you know that the strong smell of mothballs also works to keep wasps away?
As with essential oils, wasps hate mothballs. Many people swear by placing some mothballs in a mesh bag or nylon sock, then hanging the sock around their shed, porch, or patio. This is a quick, inexpensive, and virtually effortless way to prevent wasps from buzzing around your shed and yard.
11. Wasp Decoys
As previously mentioned, wasps are territorial creatures. If they sense another colony in the area, they’ll generally move on and look to build their nest elsewhere. And that’s precisely where wasp decoys come in handy.
Most wasp species occupy a 200-foot area as their designated territory. In addition to planting decoy nests around your shed or yard, decoy wasps (in the form of true-to-size stickers) can be placed on shed windows. Just be sure to warn any guests who come over that the swarm of wasps they’re seeing (which happen to be eerily still) isn’t something they need to worry about!
12. Strategically Placed Trash Cans
As with sugar and rotting fruit, trash cans are a favorite food group of wasps. Many people keep their trash cans in or around their shed or garage, drawing wasps to the area, and making them more likely to construct their nests under shed overhangs.
To prevent this from happening, ensure that your trash cans all have properly fitting lids and that they are always tightly sealed. Never throw garbage straight into the bin – always have a garbage bag in place as a liner to prevent those gross garbage juices from sitting there. It’s also a good idea to hose down your trash cans a few times each year. This will keep them clean, stink-free, and make wasps far less likely to be attracted to them.
13. Build A “Wasp Home”
Yes, wasps can be annoying, particularly if you get stung by one. However, wasps are an important part of the ecosystem, as they prey on several pests that destroy farmers’ crops. For this reason, you may want to consider the nicest option in terms of how to keep wasps away from your shed – building what’s commonly referred to as a “wasp home” or “wasp hotel.”
You now know that wasps will nest in piles of wood and brush. If you build a wood structure that has multiple rows and small holes for wasps to nest in and be sure to build it away from your shed and other heavily frequented areas of your yard, wasps will be less likely to choose your shed as the perfect spot for their nest creation.
14. Use An Ultrasonic Pest RepellerAnother cruelty-free option for dealing with wasps is to use an ultrasonic pest repeller. These repellers don’t kill or harm pests – rather, they emit an ultrasonic wave that is undetectable to humans, but that pests will be sure to stay away from.
The best part about these ultrasonic pest repellers is that they can be plugged into any outlet. They don’t give off any harmful chemicals, and they generally only take a few short weeks to do their job long-term. Plus, they’re not very costly. Most ultrasonic pest repellers can be purchased online here.
15. Call An Exterminator
If you’ve tried just about everything to keep wasps from nesting in or around your shed to no avail, it may be time to call in the services of a professional. Exterminators are trained to deal with these sorts of problems, and they can generally do so very quickly, given they have all of the proper safety equipment to get the job done properly.
If you’re faced with removing an occupied nest, you must never try to do so yourself. It’s honestly just not worth the risk of getting stung multiple times and potentially suffering a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. Always call in a professional exterminator when faced with a live nest – it’s well worth the price of their services.
How To Get Rid of a Wasp Nest Naturally
As with many things in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The most effective way to keep wasps from nesting in or around your shed is to prevent them from showing up in the first place. With so many harsh chemicals at the use and floating around the environment, practicing safe, natural, and environmentally-friendly wasp prevention methods is always your best bet.
As previously mentioned, using essential oils to keep wasps away is highly effective. These oils have their roots in some herbs and plants, which we covered in tip #8. Planting these varieties around your shed is a simple, natural way to ward off wasps. You can also hang decoy wasp nests to trick wasps into thinking that there is already a colony in the area.
When dealing with an occupied wasp nest, it’s important not to fall victim to any of the multiple internet ploys that suggest spraying a wasp nest with a high-powered hose will solve the problem. I truly can’t stress this enough – always call in an exterminator when faced with a live nest.
Hopefully, you now have some good insight on how to keep wasps away, and specifically, how to keep wasps from nesting in or around your shed. Although wasps are important contributors to our ecosystem, their sting can be a significant threat to people and pets with allergies.
If you’ve tried methods #1 through #14 and are still dealing with wasp issues, be sure to call in the services of a professional exterminator. However, these methods are quite effective, and we’re fairly certain you’ll have luck with them. Be sure to leave us a note in the comments if you found this article informative, and feel free to share your wasp prevention methods as well!
Eugene has been a DIY enthusiast for most of his life and loves being creative while inspiring creativity in others. He is passionately interested in home improvement, renovation and woodworking.