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How do you calm down wasps?

Wasps can be quite aggressive and their stings are painful, so it’s understandable that people want to know how to calm them down and avoid getting stung. There are a few techniques you can use to help diffuse tense situations with wasps and reduce the chances of being stung. In this article, we’ll go over some quick answers to common questions about calming down wasps, and provide more detailed explanations of effective strategies.

Quick Tips for Calming Wasps

What scents deter wasps?

Wasps dislike strong scents like peppermint, lemongrass, and citronella oils. You can use these scents around your home to help deter wasps.

What repels wasps instantly?

Aerosol sprays containing pyrethrin insecticides will instantly kill and repel wasps. Wasp freeze sprays can also immobilize wasps on contact.

What home remedy keeps wasps away?

Hanging fake wasp nests around your property can trick real wasps into thinking the area is already occupied by a rival colony. This deters them from building new nests nearby.

What scent do wasps hate?

Wasps strongly dislike the scents of essential oils like peppermint, spearmint, citronella, lemongrass, clove, and tea tree oil. Use these scents to repel wasps.

Do wasps calm down at night?

Wasps are less active and aggressive at night when they return to their nests to rest. This is the best time to safely remove nests without disturbing and angering the colony.

Will wasp spray calm them down?

No, wasp spray is designed to kill wasps on contact. It may temporarily deter other nearby wasps from approaching while the spray is in the air, but it will not calm down the colony long term.

Avoid Aggressive Behavior

The most effective way to avoid stings is to prevent provoking defensive behavior from wasps in the first place. Here are some tips:

Move Slowly and Carefully

If you see wasps around, slow down your movements to avoid startling them. Do not swat at them or make sudden jerky motions that may seem threatening. Move calmly and gradually away from the area.

Cover Food and Drinks Outdoors

wasps are attracted to sugary substances like soda, juice, candy, and ripe fruit. Make sure to keep food and drinks covered or moved indoors where wasps can’t access it.

Wear Light Colored Clothing

Wasps are more likely to land on and sting dark colors which they may mistake as a threat. Wear white, tan, or other light colors when around areas where wasps are present.

Avoid Scents That Attract Wasps

Avoid using perfumes, scented soaps, and cosmetics outdoors as they contain fragrances that can attract curious wasps. Also avoid cooking meat or fish on an outdoor grill.

Stay Clear of Nests

Keep away from obvious wasp nests, especially at night when they are most protective of their colony. If you find a nest on your property, call a professional pest control service for safe removal.

Use Repellents and Deterrents

There are several natural repellents and deterrents you can use to encourage wasps to steer clear without harming them:

Essential Oils

Oils from peppermint, spearmint, eucalyptus, citronella, lemongrass, clove, and tea tree have scents that wasps strongly dislike. Apply these oils around door and window frames, under seating areas, or diluted in water and sprayed around outdoor gathering spots. Reapply after it rains.

Citrus Peels

Place fresh citrus peels from lemons, oranges, or limes around areas where you want to deter wasps. Refresh them frequently as the scent will fade. The fruit acids will also disrupt wasp scents making an area less desirable.


Rubbins garlic oil on screens, door frames, and other surfaces can mask smells that attract wasps with a strong scent they wish to avoid. Crush raw garlic cloves and sprinkle around gardens, window sills, and doorway entrances.


Lighting citronella candles, torches, or mosquito coils near gathering spaces like decks will generate smoke wasps dislike. Just take care to avoid fire hazards and supervise open flames.

Repellent How to Use
Essential Oils Apply around doors, windows, and outdoor areas
Citrus Peels Place in areas you want to deter wasps
Garlic Rub on surfaces or hang crushed garlic cloves
Smoke Light citronella candles, torches, or coils nearby


You can also make homemade traps to attract and catch wasps using:

– Funnels or bottles filled with sugary liquids

– Bags with fermented fruit juice

– Open containers with raw meat chunks

Once wasps enter the traps they struggle to find their way out again. Just remember to clean out traps frequently to prevent attracting new wasps to the area.

Professional Treatments

For serious wasp problems, consider contacting a licensed exterminator who has experience with safe and effective wasp removal methods. They may use:

Wasp Sprays

Powerful aerosol sprays containing pyrethrin insecticides can kill wasps and hornets on contact while repelling others in the area. Sprays reach up to 20 feet and can treat nests without having to get too close.

Wasp Freezing Sprays

These specialized sprays contain ingredients that instantly immobilize wasps and freeze adults, larvae, and nest structures. They are useful for nest removal without agitating the colony.

Dust Insecticides

Fine dusts containing permethrin are blown directly into nest openings using special equipment. Wasps spread the dust while moving through the nest which provides lasting control.

Nest Removal

Professionals have gear like suits, traps, vacuums, and long tools that allow them to safely access and remove wasp nests located in hard to reach spots.

Avoid Exterminator Chemicals

Many traditional professional pest control chemicals like organophosphates, carbamates and pyrethroids can be hazardous to humans and pets. Consider asking about more natural options like:

Diatomaceous Earth

This mineral dust made from ancient seashells damages the exoskeleton and kills wasps within 48 hours of contact while being safe for mammals.

Boric Acid

A natural mineral salt that can be mixed with sugar water and applied into nest openings. It is abrasive and toxic to wasps when ingested.

Botanical Insecticides

Plant-derived insect killers containing pyrethrum, neem oil, or essential oils provide control while being less toxic than synthetic pesticides.

While chemical treatments may provide quick knockdown of large nests, milder options help limit environmental impact. Monitor effectiveness and retreat nests if wasps return.

Prevent Nest Building

To help prevent wasps from building nests on your property in the first place:

Seal Up Entry Points

Caulk and seal any crevices, holes, or openings on your home bigger than 1/8-inch that wasps can access and start making nests. Pay special attention to eaves, vents, light fixtures, and under decks.

Install Screens

Add fine wire mesh screens to open windows, crawl spaces, attics, vent openings, and anywhere else wasps could sneak into and build nests undisturbed.

Inspect Regularly

Visually check around your home weekly for the start of any new nests forming. It’s much easier to simply knock down new nests than removing established large colonies.

Limit Food Sources

Don’t leave pet food or water dishes outside, clean up fallen fruit from trees, keep garbage cans sealed, and follow other practices that can attract foraging wasps.

Add Strong Scents

Use repellent plants, essential oils, or traps around likely nest locations like sheds, playground equipment, or trees to make an area less appealing for nests.

If you do find any new nests forming on your property, act quickly and contact a professional to treat them before the colony has time to grow.

When to Call An Exterminator

In some cases, wasp issues may be beyond what you can safely manage yourself. Call a pest control expert if you see:

Large Nests

If a wasp nest is roughly the size of a basketball or larger, do not attempt removal without professional gear and training. Large colonies can have thousands of aggressive individuals.

Difficult Locations

Nests located high in trees, inside wall voids, or other hard to access areas should be treated by qualified technicians with proper equipment to reach them.

Multiple Nests

If there are several nests on your property, call for professional area-wide treatment. Having multiple colonies indicates ideal conditions for wasp habitation that needs correction.

Swarming Activity

Seeing wasps flying erratically around an area for extended periods may signal a colony disturbance. Call for help before it escalates.


If any family members are stung, or you feel you can no longer safely enjoy your yard space, contact a pest provider for removal services.

Don’t wait – the longer established a wasp colony becomes, the more difficult and hazardous removal will be.


Wasps can certainly be pests, but they are beneficial in nature and pollinate plants just like bees. With some smart tactics, you can deter wasps without harming them and safely coexist. Focus on excluding them from your home, using repellents, and preventing nest establishment. With patience and the right approach, you can minimize stings and enjoy outdoor living despite nuisance wasps. But know when to call on a professional exterminator to manage large infestations. By understanding wasp behavior patterns and employing multiple deterrence methods, you can remain calm and keep wasps at bay.