With the summer fast approaching, deck and pool season is also beginning to ramp up alongside it. And that, of course, means wasps buzzing about and setting up their nests nearby.
Thankfully, we have a huge arsenal of tools at our disposal that we can use to keep these bugs away. From repellents you can easily make at home to more permanent fixtures you can set up around your area, you shouldn’t have too much trouble keeping wasps at bay.
What are these tools? How do they work? And why do wasps come to your deck in the first place?
Read on to learn everything you need to know about keeping wasps away from your deck so you can enjoy the summer to the fullest.
Why Are Wasps Coming To Your Deck?
Before we go into the solutions you can use, it is a good idea to first understand why wasps are coming to your deck in the first place.
The general principle that you need to understand is that wasps are drawn to three things: water, food, and shelter (if the wasp colony is scouting for a good area).
With regards to food sources, wasps will try to feed on just about anything that is easily accessible, whether they find it in your barbeque grill or your outdoor trash cans. Wasps aren’t picky about what food they are drawn to, either—although they do tend to seek out sugary or protein-rich foods.
How To Keep Wasps Away: 8 Strategies and Solutions
Now that we know why and how wasps are drawn to our decks, we can now come up with ideas to deal with them.
All of the solutions in our list below generally work well to keep wasps away from your deck, so feel free to experiment with the repellents that you need based on what is most convenient or economical for you.
1. Seal Cracks And Holes
Wasp queens seeking a new place to build their new nest will typically do so in cracks and crevices in your deck or your house walls that allow them to stay safe from the elements. If left unchecked, these queens will eventually spawn their own colonies that build the nests.
Sealing off cracks and holes in your deck and around the exterior of your house should help prevent new colonies from taking root.
2. Clean Up After Food
Now, cleaning up after any food you eat outside is something you should be doing in general; however, you would want to make sure that there is no food at all on your deck to prevent wasps from swarming it. This also includes any food you leave for your outdoor pets, as wasps can and do feed on it as a viable food source.
3. Use Repellent Spray
One of the more direct ways you can get rid of wasps on your deck is by using repellent spray. The typical store-bought bug spray is the best at killing off existing wasp colonies—if there is one near your deck, spray the wasp nest down at night as they will be resting around this time.
You can also make wasp repellent at home with a mix of water, dish soap, and white vinegar. Mix this together, then spray the areas around your deck area where you do not want wasps to land on.
4. Install An Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
For those that prefer a more technological approach, you can have an ultrasonic pest repeller installed on your deck. These devices are basically speakers that emit a very high frequency sound that humans can’t hear but wasps and other insects can. For the widest coverage, install this in an area with as few obstructions as possible.
It should be noted, however, that the sound emitted by some pest repellers can also be heard by pets, who may become irritated or uncomfortable with the sound. You may want to consider other solutions if this becomes an issue.
5. Add Food And Water Lures
Since wasps will seek out food and water while scouting, leaving out a dedicated food and water source for them that is far enough away from your deck may convince them to head there rather than buzz around the deck while you and your family and friends are there to use it.
As per Solution 2, of course, you should make sure to clean up after you’re done to keep wasps from seeing your deck as a consistent feeding area.
6. Install Wasp Traps
Wasp traps can basically be seen as a low-tech alternative to the ultrasonic pest repeller, and usually work quite well to catch and kill any wasps scouting around your deck. You can do this with either a store-bought trap or go the DIY route with large soda bottles.
To set up your traps, fill the trap with some bait—this can either be sugar water, soda, apple cider vinegar, or something similar. Then simply place the trap anywhere you feel wasps will be flying around, then leave the trap to work its magic as it catches dozens of wasps over the next few days.
To ensure its effectiveness, you will need to clean out the trap and replace the bait inside.
7. Use Essential Oils
A good alternative to using wasp repellent spray is to use essential oils, as they tend to take longer to dry and therefore stay more effective in the area a bit longer than water-based solutions. The oils that work best as insect repellants include lemongrass, mint, and thyme, which you can spray onto problem areas.
8. Have Insect-repelling Plants
If having to regularly buy and spray essential oils around your deck isn’t your thing, you can always make use of their sources. Yes, the aforementioned lemongrass, mint, and thyme, along with eucalyptus, scented geraniums, and citronella are all effective insect-repelling plants that keep wasps and other bugs away.
Simply plant these around your garden (it doesn’t matter if they’re in the ground or in planters) and care for them well enough and you have an all-natural sentry against the pesky bugs.