A bee hovers in front of a puple bellflower

If you’re spending time outside in the summer, you probably aren’t alone: wasps and bees are active in the summer in the Memphis Metro. A run-in with wasps or bees can be annoying, painful or even cause a serious allergic reaction. But how can you keep wasps and bees away without loading up on bug spray? Read on to learn how to naturally repel bees and wasps while you’re outdoors this summer!

Which Plants Attract Bees and Wasps? 

Since bees and wasps are pollinators, it’s no surprise they’re attracted to flowering plants. Here are some species of plants that bees and/or wasps are particularly fond of: 

  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Honeysuckle
  • Lantana
  • Lilacs
  • Perennial Yarrow
  • Poppies
  • Pale Purple Coneflower
  • Sweet Fennel
  • Wisteria
  • Queen Anne’s Lace
  • Sedum
  • Snapdragon
  • Sunflowers

If any of these plants are growing near your home, consider relocating them further away on your property. Especially if they’re close to an outdoor space that you use often. 

Which Plants Repel Bees and Wasps?

Just because they’re pollinators doesn’t mean bees and wasps like all flowering plants. The scent of the following plants repel bees and wasps:

  • Basil
  • Citronella
  • Geraniums
  • Marigolds
  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Thyme
  • Wormwood

Just as moving plants that attract stinging insects helps keep them away from your home, so does adding plants that repel them. Particularly, if they’re near outdoor spaces like patios. 

Stinging Insects and Food

Whether it’s barbecues, picnics or s’mores, eating outside is a quintessential part of summer. This can be an issue because stinging insects are attracted to food. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the chance that an uninvited guest with a stinger will ruin your outdoor eating experience:

  • Pack up and throw away food and trash as soon as possible after finishing. 
  • When you put food or food-soiled trash in a trash can, close the lid securely.
  • Wasps love sugary drinks. Close or cover your beverage to keep them out.

Bees and wasps are attracted to many types of foods and ingredients. However, like with plants, there are some food items that repel stinging insects, including: 

  • Bay Leaves
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Sliced Cucumber
  • Vinegar

Since these can be found in most grocery stores and are inexpensive (often less expensive than a store-bought insect spray), they make a practical all-natural pest repellent. Just pour, slice or sprinkle them into a container that you keep near you or your outdoor space.

How to Keep Bees & Wasps Away with Essential Oils

A more portable and less passive way to keep stinging insects away naturally is to make a pest repellent spray using essential oils. Bees and wasps dislike the smell of these essential oils:

  • Citronella oil
  • Clove oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Geranium oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Rosemary oil

Simply combine essential oil and water at a ratio of two drops of essential oil per ounce of water to make a natural insect repellent. Pour the mixture it in a spray bottle and you’re all set. 

Best Bee and Wasp Exterminators in the Memphis Metro

Natural pest repellents can help keep wasps or bees away from your home. However, they won’t be enough to deal with a serious infestation. In that case, you may need to hire a local exterminator to get rid of the bees or wasps on your property. Inman-Murphy has been providing exterminator services in the Memphis Metro since 1999. If you’re looking for safe, effective bee, wasp and hornet removal, call us today for a free quote!

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