Can you tell me how to get rid of yellow jackets naturally? I hate pesticides because they stink. I also don’t want to spend a lot of money on pest control.
Daniela Dias, Bellingham, WA
There are a number of ways for how you can get rid of yellow jackets naturally. Let’s start with plants you can grow around your home. First, yellow jackets aren’t fond of spearmint, thyme, lemongrass, or eucalyptus. Place those herbs in problem areas and they will repel mosquitoes and some wasps, too.
Secondly, some of the best ways to get rid of hornets and other stinging insects are to use essential oils to deter yellow jackets and keep them out of your yard. As an illustration, peppermint works quite well, and there is some evidence for geranium, clove, and lemongrass.
To get the best results for an organic wasp deterrent, mix a spray containing several drops of these oils combined with drops of dish detergent and water. Be sure to use a glass spray bottle to mix and store this solution, as essential oils degrade plastic materials over time. Peppermint, in particular, is one of the best smells to keep bees away, so we recommend trying this essential oil first.
While you’ll need to respray each evening (rather than during the day when bees are more active) for the best way to kill yellow jackets and their unwanted relatives, this mixture smells a lot better than pesticides and won’t harm the environment. It’s important not to attack the hornets with the spray directly because it may drive them to come after you and cause more problems than you already have.
Third, you can deceive yellow jackets into believing that your territory belongs to other wasps so that they build their nest elsewhere. See this article for how to build an inexpensive fake wasp nest:https://www.tipsbulletin.com/how-to-keep-yellow-jackets-away/
In conclusion, be careful not to agitate yellow jackets as they can sting more than once and they may call for backup to attack you. It’s best to have a professional remove them from your yard or house if you have more than a few. If you must eliminate them yourself, take action at night when they are less active, wear protective clothing, and plan a quick escape route after spraying.