3 Highly-Effective Natural Wasp Repellents with Essential Oils

by | Jul 4, 2023 | Garden Pest Control, Pest, Wasp Control

It’s getting to be that time of year when wasps buzz around our picnics, and can cause anxiety or stinging incidents. You don’t want to get stung, but you also don’t want to use toxic chemicals to keep wasps away.

No problem. Luckily there are lots of great ways ways to get rid of wasps naturally. Here’s the buzz on 3 natural paper wasp repellents–that work for hornets & yellow jackets too–

Essential Oils for Wasps

Some professional wasp exterminators might laugh at the idea of using essential oils to keep wasps away. But essential oils are the active ingredient in countless proven natural wasp sprays.

Natural wasp deterrent sprays work great for 2 reasons:

  • essential oils kill insects on contact,
  • and can help repel them from the treated area.

The pungent smelling plant oils naturally repel wasps because wasps have an acute sense of smell (just like their ant cousins). The one downside is that you must re-apply as needed. Wasps’ sense of smell are so strong, they may sense their colony’s pheromons after the spray has worn off.

Organic Wasp Control.   

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Homemade Wasp Repellent Spray

The best essential oils to repel wasps are geraniol, clove, thyme, peppermint, lemongrass and rosemary. 

Simply mix a few drops in a sprayer and add some dish soap to help the mixture spread & stick!

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Natural Wasp Repellent Recipe


  • 4–10 drops essential oil (we recommend peppermint or thyme)
  • 3 drops dish soap
  • 16oz. spray bottle


Mix together essential oils, dish soap into spray bottle and shake well. Spray wasps nests at your own risk. Treat eaves & other areas where wasps frequently visit. 

Do be aware, essential oils are usually labelled for aromatherapy. To get the best results when using them to kill or repel bugs, it’s usually best to go with a product that is clearly labelled for that use.

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Use an Oil Diffuser to Repel Wasps

Using essential oils to repel insects works fabulously.

But after a few days, the essential oils will evaporate and wear off.

No problem! If you have an essential oil diffuser, you can bring it outside and fill it and with peppermint oil to deter yellow jackets and wasps from your outdoor dining area.

This is highly recommended for porches, patios and enclosed outdoor spaces. And it will add a pleasant aromatherapy to your picnic.

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Citronella Candles for Wasps

Citronalla is famous for its funky odor that repels mosquitos.

That funky odor offgasses and drifts around when you burn citronella candles. Hornets, yellow jackets & wasps hate the smell and will stay far away.

Citronella candles and torches are a great natural remedy to keep wasps and other insects away from your yard in the summertime.

Natural Wasp Prevention

•  If your home has persistent issues with wasps in eaves every year, consider hanging one or two store-bought wasp traps outside at the very beginning of Spring. Sometimes you can catch the queen and prevent wasps from ever becoming a problem.

•  Caulk any gaps along the eaves that would allow wasps to get into your soffits to overwinter. If wasps overwinter inside, they’ll get an earlier start to nest building and become a bigger nuisance, faster.

•  For yellow jacket ground nest prevention, consider using rosemary, thyme, and citronella on landscaping edges where yellow jackets like to nest.

Natural Wasp Control Portland. 

Luckily essential oils work great on wasps, like they do on stink bugs.

For other household pests like repelling rats, or controlling ants inside, essential oils aren’t a great solution long term.

If you’re in Portland Oregon and need help navigating the murky world of using essential oils to get safe, natural pest control, get in touch with us today.

Pest and Pollinator contact information phone 9712568440 email info@pestandpollinator.com