You inspect your porch. There it is again! Didn’t you destroy that wasp nest a few weeks ago? Keeping wasps away from your outdoor living space may seem like a battle, so we turned to a panel of professionals to get their tried-and-true tips for keeping wasps at bay.
Owen Mosser

Owen Mosser

Owen Mosser, Home Repair, Garden, and Automobile Editor at Boureston Media Inc.

Do these steps regularly

Check For Nests

It’s important that you regularly check your porch for nests before they can grow into bigger ones. Check every corner. Once you locate a nest, get rid of it as soon as possible. You can get rid of it by wearing protective clothing while drenching the nest with any approved pesticide. Make sure to do this at night when the wasps are less active.

Remove Any Sources of Food From Your Porch

This means that you remove any food and food scraps from your porch. This includes pet food. Make sure no food is ever left outside. Make sure that you thoroughly cover your trash can, or keep it away from your porch. Wasps are attracted to the smell of rotting food. Leaving food on your porch makes your porch their favorite target.

Plant Wasp-Repelling Plants

Instead of planting flowers around your porch, consider [adding] some plants that can help you keep wasps (and other insects) away from your porch. These plants will act as a natural border on your porch. Some plants that have wasp-repelling properties are mint, basil, and marigolds, among others.

These steps can help you prevent wasps on your own, but if you are in doubt, you can always hire professionals that specialize in wasp prevention. Remember that it’s important that you do these [steps] regularly to make sure they never ruin any good time you’re having on your porch.

Setting out wasp bait stations

While it is always very difficult to deter any flying insect, there is some scientific evidence that essential oils from the sunflower family and the mint family can have a repellent effect on wasps. Generally, when wasps are attracted to the porch area of a home, it is typically because they have found a good nesting site under the eaves.

Spraying these areas regularly with a botanical insecticide that contains effective essential oils can help deter wasps from building nests in these areas.

Remember, the wasps have to have a reason to be congregating in the area of your porch. There’s nothing generally attractive about this part of the home unless it’s making a good nesting site or there’s a food source. So, it is important to keep any open food items away from your porch.

One method of keeping certain species of wasp away from your porch would include setting out wasp bait stations in the spring and early summer which will provide the wasps with a toxic food source that they will take back to their hive to kill the queen. The timing of this is important. Once late summer comes around, it can be very difficult to use this method.

Zachary Smith

Zachary Smith

Zachary Smith is the President of Smith’s Pest Management in San Jose, CA.

Harold K. Hardesty

Harold K. Hardesty

Harold Hardesty, Blogger at The House Wire, and a contractor for years.

Make sure to get into the crevices

Spray soapy water at the nest to kill existing wasps, then spray essential oils around your porch to keep them from coming back.

Warm, soapy water kills wasps. Fill a backpack hose (the bigger the better) with a dish-soap-slash-water mixture and spray it at the nest. If you’re afraid of getting stung, wear a hazmat suit in case any of them come at you.

Once the existing wasps are exterminated, remove the nest from your porch.

After that, you’ll need some essential oils. Mix twenty drops of clove oil, twenty drops of lemongrass, and twenty drops of geranium with a gallon of water. Put it into your backpack sprayer or a spray bottle and spray it on every surface of your porch.

Make sure to get into the crevices — anywhere wasps might build a nest. They hate the smell of these oils, so it’ll deter them for at least six weeks or so. We spray every four weeks just to be safe because once the wasps start building a new nest, you’ll have to repeat the whole process from the beginning.

Keep vegetation and debris away

Be vigilant about checking for nests in early spring, which will be smaller and easier to treat quickly. Keep vegetation and debris away from your home, as well as the grass short around your home. It’s important to also make sure that screens on porches are sealed, and close windows during the warmer months to prevent wasps from getting inside.

Dr. Nancy Troyano

Dr. Nancy Troyano

Dr. Nancy Troyano, Board-certified entomologist and Director of Operations Training and Education for Ehrlich Pest Control.

Natalie Barrett

Natalie Barrett, a pest control supervisor at Nifty Pest Control, an Australian-based pest control company that specializes in wasp and bee nest removal, spider control, mosquito control, and more.

Keep your porch clean

For starters, it’s important to know that wasps are attracted to a particular place in search of a safe environment to live in, stay warm, or feed. They’re attracted to bright [colors], fruity smells, meat, soda, rotting food, and more.

Here are some guaranteed ways for keeping the wasps away from your porch:

  1. Ensure that your porch does not have any food leftovers at any time. This could attract bees and wasps, which could later create a nest in your relaxation zone. If you’ve decided to gather some friends and family over for dinner on the porch, make sure to use insect sprays that will prevent wasps from being attracted to the area.
  2. Don’t leave your garbage cans open. A lot of people take out the garbage cans on the porch to avoid unpleasant smells building up inside. While this is a great idea, it may cause a lot of trouble if you leave your cans with no lids and full of food. This is certainly an attraction that wasps won’t ignore.
  3. If you’re a fan of feeding birds and leave bird food on your porch, keep in mind that they may not be the only ones interested in the meal. Wasps are often attracted to bird feeders, and in no time, you may notice wasp nests starting to form.
  4. You can push the wasps away from your porch by bringing out the smells that they simply can’t stand. These include peppermint, wormwood, citronella, spearmint, and eucalyptus.
  5. Interestingly, wasps don’t enjoy living in areas where other wasps live. You can take advantage of this and set up decoy nests around the porch to keep real wasps from flying around.
  6. Vinegar is another natural wasp repellent that you can make use of to keep the wasps away from your porch.

I’ve personally seen how all of these work, and I’m sure that the readers who try the tips outlined above will solve their wasp problems. If, however, a wasp nest has already been created on your porch, it’s advisable to call the experts to handle it using a safe and reliable method.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.


  • Nate Barrett

    As the President of SRI Decks, my greatest satisfaction comes from the immediate sense of fulfillment that our work brings. From the initial design discussions with our customers to the moment we capture the final project in photos, I feel an immense pride in my team for their dedicated efforts. My passion for hands-on work and outdoor projects is matched only by the joy I derive from seeing a delighted customer when we’ve successfully completed a job. Fun Facts: I like hot chocolate in my coffee. I’ve been with SRI for 12 years, prior to ownership. I have a daughter, 3 dogs and a loving girlfriend.

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