13 Effective Home Remedies to Keep Bees And Wasps Away

bee on hive gofer background

If you are among those who are allergic to bee stings, then you certainly have every reason to want to keep them away from your home, especially when you are enjoying your backyard, working in your flowerbed, or weeding your vegetable garden.

Keep in mind that bees are actually beneficial insects and killing them off using pesticides is really not the right course to take. A better solution for those who need to make peace with bees is to make use of one or more of our 13 home remedies to keep bees away without eliminating them completely.

What Bees and Wasps are Looking For

Bees and wasps are both attracted to flowers and flowery smells, but for slightly different reasons.
Bees are pollinators, and they are primarily attracted to flowers for their nectar and pollen. Nectar serves as a source of energy for bees, while pollen is a protein-rich food source. As bees collect nectar and pollen from flowers, they inadvertently transfer pollen from one flower to another, facilitating the process of pollination, which is crucial for the reproduction of many plant species. Bees are typically more focused on the nectar and are more likely to be seen actively foraging in flowers.

Wasps are omnivores, and while they do feed on nectar from flowers, they are also attracted to other food sources like insects and sugary substances. Some wasp species are predatory and hunt other insects, while others are scavengers and are drawn to sugary foods like ripe fruit, soda, or sweet beverages. While wasps do contribute to pollination to some extent, they are not as effective as bees in this regard. They are more opportunistic in their foraging behavior.

Both bees and wasps are highly sensitive to scents and can be attracted to flowery smells. Gardens and areas with a variety of blooming flowers often provide an ideal environment for these insects. It’s important to note that while bees are generally docile and focused on foraging, some wasp species can become aggressive if they feel threatened, so it’s essential to exercise caution around them.

If your goal is to keep these insects from coming around your home or property, then it can help to first consider what types of spaces they usually seek out.

Although there are multiple strains of bees and wasps in the world, they share preferences for spaces that are relatively dry and clean. This applies to both lofty nesting and low/ground-nesting varieties. They don’t like spaces that are occupied by other creatures and they vastly prefer spaces that are about 40 liters in size. A single entrance that they can defend is also a favorite.

peppermint oil with leaves

How to Keep Bees Away From House Naturally

Essential oils that keep both bees and wasps away

  • Peppermint oil
  • Cayenne oil
  • Garlic oil
  • Citronella oil

When it comes to keeping these insects away, one of the most simple and effective home remedies involves the use of essential oils. Because bees do not like these odors, they tend to keep their distance from it.

What to do:

  • Combine equal parts of essential oil and water in a dish or spray bottle.
  • Apply small amounts to your hair, arms, wrists, ankles, or socks to get the most complete coverage.
  • You can set out several dishes with the mixture in them around your patio or deck in order to keep them away during a barbeque or backyard party.
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Other Home Remedies To Keep Bees And Wasps Away

Vinegar Spray

Another scent that repels bees comes from a home remedy involving vinegar spray. Spraying the areas around the hives as well as plants, flowers, and bushes that attract them most with this spray is a great way to keep bees and wasps away.

What to do:

  • Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
  • It is best to spray at night when bees are dormant in order to avoid agitating them.
  • Spray objects and areas around the hive as well as flowers, bushes, and plants that attract them. Saturate them well.
  • Repeat this daily until the bees vacate the hive.


A home remedy that will keep bees away is mothballs. Just like a lot of other insects, the odor is given off by mothballs also repels bees and wasps.

What to do:

  • String mothballs together using a needle and fishing line.
  • Hang the strings from trees, the eaves of your home, storage sheds, and other areas where bees tend to congregate.
  • You can also spread them around in your flower beds and around dry areas on your lawn to keep ground bees at bay.


For ground-dwelling bees, which tend to be less aggressive, but can still do plenty of damage to a person with allergies, an effective home remedy that will keep bees away is a process known as tarping. Tarping, or placing a tarp over the beehive will cause bees to move their hive elsewhere as well.

What to do:

  • Wait until nighttime when all of the bees are in the hive.
  • Wear dark clothing in order to attract less attention.
  • Get some friends or family (preferably those who are not allergic) to help you spread and place a tarp over the area of the nest.
  • Place weights on the corners in order to keep the tarp in place.
  • This can be risky to do by yourself because you run the risk of angering the bees and getting stung.

Fake Nests

Hanging fake nests around your home is another effective home remedy that will help you to keep bees away. Because wasps and bees are territorial, they will not locate their hives close to where another hive (or perceived hive) already exists. Therefore, if there is a strong presence of hives around your home, no new bees will move in.

What to do:

  • Purchase and have your fake nests on hand in early spring before bees start moving in.
  • Hang your fake nests early in the year in numerous locations where bees and wasps like to build their nests.
  • You can make fake nests easily if you don’t know where to purchase them.


Another of the most potent compounds to keep bees away is cinnamon powder or cinnamon oil. Spreading cinnamon powder or spraying essential oil on objects close to a beehive will make bees move their colony somewhere else.

What to do:

  • Sprinkle powdered cinnamon or cinnamon oil on or around objects close to the beehive.
  • Repeat this daily for two weeks to be certain that the bees relocate for good.


A home remedy, which comes right out of your pantry, and is effective at keeping bees away is vanilla. Like mint and cinnamon, bees are repelled by the scent of vanilla and also the alcohol it contains.

What to do:

  • Mix 1 Tbsp of vanilla extract in a pint of water.
  • Put the mixture in a spray bottle or just wipe it on your skin.
  • Place it in your hair, on your wrists, and on your ankles to get the best coverage.

Watering Your Lawn

Keeping bees away can be as simple as watering your lawn. Obviously, this home remedy is only effective on ground-dwelling bees, but it is quite effective at getting them to move away as well as keeping newcomers from moving in. Nesting females prefer dry soil, so moist soil will keep them away and cause the colony to relocate.

What to do:

  • Water your lawn frequently.
  • Pay special attention to areas where soil tends to drain or dry out faster.
fresh cucumbers

Cucumber Peels: Natural Home Remedy to Keep Bees Away

In order to keep bees away from smaller, specific areas you can make use of the peels of cucumbers. The scent put off by cucumber peels is another that is unpleasant for bees and they avoid areas where it is prevalent.

What to do:

  • Scatter cucumber peels around specified areas, like window sills or around the porch.
  • This can also work for repelling bees around your deck during a backyard barbeque.
  • You will have to replace the peels as they dry out and become ineffective, so this is obviously a short-term solution for larger areas.

Crushed Garlic Keeps Bees Away

Garlic is also a natural repellant that can help to keep bees away. Like cucumbers, vanilla, mint, and cinnamon, garlic tends to burn in the sensory organs of bees. This discomfort causes them to want to stay away.

What to do:

  • Peel and finely chop several cloves of fresh garlic.
  • Place the garlic in a pint of water and allow it to soak for a few days to make it nice and rancid.
  • Put the garlic-infused water in a spray bottle and spray it on and around areas where bees commonly gather most or around the area you want to keep them away from.
  • You can spray it on your body if you don’t mind smelling like an Italian dish.

Baby Powder

A final repellant that works to keep bees away is baby powder or talcum powder. This is another substance that tends to cause discomfort to bees and is, therefore, another great home remedy to keep in mind.

What to do:

  • Rub baby powder or talcum powder on your skin when you go outdoors or out into the woods.
  • You can also use baby powder for repelling bees from specific areas as well.

Repelling Plants To keep Bees and Wasps Away

Introducing repelling plants into your garden, flower beds, and around your deck and yard is another effective home remedy that will keep bees away. Non-flowering plants with scents that bees do not like will help keep them away from the ones which they do like. Without a food source, bees will move on.

  • Wormwood or Artemisia
  • Mint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Citronella

What to do:

  • Plant wormwood around your deck, garden, flower beds, and around the exterior of your yard.

Keep Bees Away But Also Keep Them Alive!

Because bee populations have been in steady decline since 2006, killing bees, which are beneficial insects, is really not a good thing for the ecosystem, but those who are allergic to them must keep them at bay or risk severe consequences to their health.

The best way to coexist with bees is to make use of one or more of our home remedies to keep bees away so that you can enjoy your backyard, vegetable garden, or flower beds without running the risk of being stung. Please add any questions, comments, or other solutions you might have to the area provided below.