Natural Ways to Get Rid of Bees and Territorial Wasps

Yellow jacket

yellow jacket

Certain varieties of bees and wasps are aggressive in preserving their nests. These guys can be a danger to those allergic and attract other pests with the remaining smell of honey or dead insects for years to come. Observing your pest with double layered clothing and gloves will lead you to their homes were you want to remove them later at night. A local Bee Keeper will take the queen for free and her workers will follow. No one will remove wasps for free,  and their methods will be to use poisons that you may not want in your garden. 

Wear thick clothing such as: old sweat pants, thick long sleeved shirt, hat, neck scarf and gloves are necessary. Do not swat them. Do not wear perfume.

I don't want to remove my flowers fountains and pool that these unwelcome guests enjoy. My daughter is allergic so they must go.

Wasps that have mud nests in the ground can be killed off by pouring a pot of boiling water on the entrance of the nest while they sleep.

Another slower but effective method is to create a wasp feeder for them. This really is not a "feeder" like one you might have for hummingbirds because this is war. Take an empty green two liter plastic soda bottle and cut the top 1/3 off with a box cutter. (Green is better  because it provides some sun screen and visual distraction but clear are fine.)  The top piece is used inverted into the bottom 2/3 of the bottle. Staple the two together. (This project so reminds me of the bottle rockets we made for science but that's another story). You can poke two large holes through to be able to tie a heavy string through the bottle on opposite sides which will enable you to hang the bottle near to where the wasps currently forage during the day.

Fill the bottle with apple juice or seven up or any sweet smelling sugar juice and spill a little around to attract the wasps. You can even decorate your bottle with colors - flower colors are useful ( but don't use paint that smells). The wasps will enter and they either drown or are too drunk to figure out how to get out of the inverted cup. They starve and die in a day or so. The "feeder" will need to be cleaned when you see it with a number of dead guys or moldy because soon as it smells bad the wasps lose interest in entering what they now smell as a death trap.

Oil of citronella, orange oil, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus oil can be used on patio furniture, doors and humans to repel bees and wasps. Wasps do not like wormwood and eucalyptus but there really is no plant excepting oleander that bees do not care for. Learn to tolerate them for their good properties but move them away from your home. Plant cucumbers and use the peels and juice- bees don't care for the smell.

 I don't suggest smoking them out as it might be just as easy to have a pile of newspaper burning get out of control and burn your house but not the bees. Hairspray is works on their wings as it makes them too heavy to fly, but in order to get the purple can of Aquanet close enough, you will need protective clothing.

My favorite tool is my power washer, my now fourteen year old son has the same curiosity with spraying the eves of our two story house to remove spiders. Keeping the bees away from starting a colony in my walls is the best way to avoid them from returning. Encourage them to move on, the first days they swarm before they build a mess in your walls.

leaf cutter bee

If you have no luck finding a bee keeper who will relocate the bees for free or minimal cost here are some natural ways that don't require pesticides:

Bowl of sugar water with with dawn soap.

1 cup water 1/2 cup sugar teaspoon dawn 
The bees are attracted to the sugar - they think it is honey.
Use a colorful bowl or float some flowers.
The bees will drown. If they fly off the soap is sticky on
their wings. This will reduce the worker population in a nest.

 Windex and Spray Nine have outdoor window washing bottles that attach to a normal hose.
You can use the bottle with water and 1/4 cup dawn dish soap. Wear protective clothing and
wash the nest. You must remove all the wax, dead bees and honey or the nest will rot and smell
to high heaven, thus attracting ants and more bees.

brown recluse spider very nasty... that's another post about organic ways to avoid stinging, biting and icky

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