How to Use Peppermint Oil to Get Rid of Wasps? [Natural & Effective]

I hate having wasps around my house. I definitely don’t want them around when my kids are playing outside. After putting up with wasps all spring, I decided to do something about it. After hours of consulting with exterminators and doing my own research, I found the best way to get rid of wasps around my home. 

To get rid of wasps with peppermint oil, mix the oil with dish soap. Put the mixture into a spray bottle with water. Spray the mixture over wasp nests and places you don’t want wasps to visit. Read on to learn more about why peppermint essential oils repel wasps.

Below, we’ll take a look at why peppermint oil repels wasps, how and when you should use it, and other ways to keep wasps away.

Using Peppermint Oil to Keep Wasps Away

Peppermint oil is just one of the essential oils that wasps don’t like. They hate the scent of peppermint oil so much that you don’t even have to blend it with other oils. Peppermint oil and mint plants will keep wasps away better than harsh insecticides in some cases.

So how can you use your peppermint oil to make your home wasp-free? 

Obtain Peppermint Oil

First, you’ll need pure peppermint essential oil. If you don’t have one in your bathroom, make sure that you are purchasing it from a reputable source. With essential oils, cheaper is not always better. Some companies heavily dilute essential oils in order to make more money. 

Choose a peppermint oil that has positive reviews, and perhaps has even been used for this purpose by other customers. A diluted essential oil will not work well to keep wasps from your home. 

Mix Peppermint Oil and Dish Soap

Once you have quality peppermint oil, you can mix the repellant. Use about 6 tablespoons of dish soap in a spray bottle. Add 2-3 drops of peppermint oil to this mixture and make sure to blend them well. 

Any dish soap will do for this mixture. It’s generally a good idea to use unscented or organic dish soap to keep artificial ingredients and scents away from the mixture. However, you can truly use what dish soap you have on hand to make this mixture. 

Add Water in a Spray Bottle

Now that you have your dish soap and essential oil mixture in a spray bottle, fill the rest of the bottle with water. Shake the mixture to make sure that the peppermint oil and dish soap are diffused throughout the water. 

It’s a good idea to use a spray bottle that can handle a thicker liquid. Essential oils and dish soap are both heavier than water. Even in this mixture, they might clog a standard spray bottle.

Spray Nests and Other Areas

Now you can apply the mixture to wasp nests and other areas. However, it’s not enough to simply spritz the nest a few times and be done with it. There is a strategy to removing wasp nests in this way (and keeping them from coming back)!

The Best Time to Remove a Wasps’ Nest

You can’t get rid of wasps at just any time of day. Of course, you’re more inclined to be spraying them in the middle of the day, but this might not help your wasp problem. 

At sunset, wasps are less active than they are at any other time of day. For most of the day, wasps are out of the nest gathering materials and searching for food sources – they won’t be in the nest at all. If you’re trying to remove them, it’s best to wait until they are all ‘at home’. 

For this reason, it’s best to use your spray at sunset. This way, you’ll catch as many wasps as possible with your removal efforts. 

Spray Directly at the Nest

You might want to take protective measures before beginning this step. Don’t stand directly underneath the nest as you spray it. Instead, get as far away as possible so that an adequate amount of spray will reach the next. 

Next, soak the nest thoroughly. Make sure that you cover as much of the nest as possible with the peppermint oil solution. 

A wasp nest is made of chewed wood and will fall apart when it gets wet. You only have to continue to soak it for the nest to fall down.

How Does This Mixture Work? 

Using peppermint oil and dish soap kills wasps on contact. That’s because of the way that wasps (and other insects) absorb oxygen through their bodies. The dish soap will cover their bodies and suffocate them

Peppermint oil is a strong, unpleasant scent to wasps and other insects. It will keep them from coming back to the same location.

Spray Other Areas

With the nest gone, make sure to spray all around your home. The peppermint oil in the mixture will deter wasps from building homes there again. 

Make sure to cover all of your eaves, overhangs, and other locations where wasps are known to build nests.

Is Peppermint Oil Safe for Kids and Pets?

Peppermint oil is safe for most children. If your child is allergic to peppermint or has had reactions in the past, keep them away from the areas you’re spraying. Since you are spraying only a small amount of oil in areas your kids can’t reach, they should only have to stay away until the fumes dissipate. This can take up to a few hours.

Dogs and cats can have adverse reactions to peppermint oil. For this reason, keep them away from the areas you are spraying. Make sure to clean up and drips or spills of peppermint oil from the surrounding area. Since you are only using a small amount, your dog is okay to be in the areas you’ve sprayed. As long as they can’t reach the areas where the peppermint oil is distributed, they will be okay.

Dispose of any fallen nests promptly to keep curious hands and noses away.

How Do I Keep Wasps from Coming Back? 

Spraying the peppermint oil may not be enough to keep wasps from coming back. If you live in an area where it rains a lot, you should reapply the oil regularly. 

You can also try soaking cotton balls in small bits of peppermint oil. Stick these little ‘repellant bombs’ into the cracks and crevices near where wasps make their nests. The persistent smell will keep them away. 

Alternatively, you can keep the old nest on display. If the nest is not totally disintegrated during your removal efforts, you can place it near your home to keep wasps from nesting there.

Wasps don’t usually nest near other colonies, so the sight of a nest may deter them. Even a dormant or empty nest is good for this purpose.

Peppermint Oil as Pest Control

Pure peppermint essential oil does a great job against wasps. However, peppermint oil can be used all around your home to keep pests away. 

The following pests are completely repelled by peppermint oil:

  • Wasps
  • Yellowjackets
  • Aphids
  • Beetles
  • Caterpillars
  • Fleas
  • Flies
  • Lice
  • Mice
  • Moths
  • Ants

As you can see, so many common household pests hate the smell of peppermint oil. While it doesn’t directly kill any of these pests, it does control where pests are willing to go. While we may find the scent soothing, insects and rodents don’t like it at all. 

Peppermint Oil as Pest Control

Can Peppermint Oil Get Rid of Yellowjackets? 

Peppermint Oil is just one of a host of essential oils that will repel yellowjackets. This study from 2012 shows that a variety of essential oils can repel yellow jackets as well as wasps. If you aren’t sure if your infestation is wasps or yellowjackets, peppermint oil is a great way to go.

Other Natural Ways to Get Rid of Wasps

It’s understandable to want to get rid of pests in a natural way. You might not want chemicals or toxic sprays around your kids or pets. Thankfully, there are many natural methods for getting rid of wasps, even if you, your kids, or your pets can’t stand the scent of peppermint oil.

Other Essential Oil Blends

There are other essential oil blends that can help deter wasps. If you can’t stand the smell of peppermint, try a mixture of clove, geranium, and lemongrass oil. Experts agree that the mixture of these oils seems to keep wasps away nearly as well as peppermint.

Spray this oil mixture in the same way as you would peppermint, and wasps will stay away. 

Keep in mind that most essential oils can be toxic to pets, including the ones listed here. Keep pets and kids away from the area, and follow the same guidelines discussed above for safety.

Wasp Traps

You can make a simple wasp trap out of a 2-liter bottle. Wasps are attracted to sweet smells. Put a sweet liquid or mixture at the bottom of the bottle. Cut the top off and attach it upside-down.

Now, wasps will go into the funnel for the sweet bait, but won’t be able to crawl out. Change this trap often for best results. 

This natural method is safe for kids and pets.

Wasp-Repellant Plants

There are a few types of plants that can help keep wasps away from your home. Plant spearmint, eucalyptus, citronella, or other fragrant plants around your home. Just like peppermint, wasps hate the smells these plants give off. 

Even if spearmint is out of the question, other fragrant plants may work. Just avoid plants like yarrow and fennel, as wasps will come running instead of flying away!

All of the fragrant plants that experts recommend are safe for dogs, cats, and children. Always double-check labels and research to make sure.

Control Food Waste

Wasps, like flies, are attracted to food waste. They might want to visit you more often if you have food debris or crumbs around the outside of your home. Check your outdoor trash cans and clean them well. Make sure to clean your porches and eliminate food waste from around your home. 

If you grill often, make sure to take preventative measures around your grilling area. 

Final Words

Peppermint oil is an amazing deterrent for wasps. Experts agree that a peppermint oil mixture can be a natural, safe method for getting rid of wasp nests. Spraying it around your home can deter wasps from nesting there! Simply use it in a spray mixture with dish soap and water to make your home safe from invasive wasp species. Other essential oil blends can repel wasps, but you can also try wasp-repellant plants, wasp traps, and other prevention methods.

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