The Earthy Scent People Use To Deter Wasps Naturally (& Does It Work?)

Finding a wasps' nest on your porch can be terrifying, and you won't want these pests buzzing around while you're enjoying your backyard this summer. These stinging insects are a nuisance, but some people turn to the power of essential oils to deter wasps from making a home on their property. Eucalyptus oil is often recommended as an easy hack to get rid of wasps, and is also suggested as a natural, DIY method by pest control companies.

By creating a spray out of the oil and diluting it with water, some claim it's an effective and easy-to-use repellent. While there are several scientific studies that have tested eucalyptus oil as an insecticide or pesticide in general, there doesn't seem to be much research about its specific effects on wasps. Unfortunately, there's no way to be sure that eucalyptus oil will keep wasps out of your yard and garden, but it could be a good, natural method to try based on how other insects are repelled by the essential oil.

Why eucalyptus oil is recommended to deter wasps naturally

Several pest control companies claim online that eucalyptus oil is capable of repelling wasps. It's believed that the minty, earthy smell of the essential oil is overwhelming for these stinging insects. Additionally, some say the scent is strong enough to cover up other smells the wasps are seeking, like food sources, causing the insects to become confused and avoid the area. Eucalyptus plants are also touted as low-maintenance trees you should grow to naturally repel wasps.

To use this essential oil to deter wasps, you can either make a repellent spray or apply small amounts of the oil near where the wasps have been bothering you. For the first option, fill a spray bottle with water and add approximately two drops of oil for every ounce of water. The more oil you use, the stronger the scent will be. Alternatively, you could place a few drops of your eucalyptus oil onto tissue paper, streamers, or even regular pieces of paper and set them near your open windows, on your patio table, or wherever the wasps have been pestering you. Though there's no concrete, scientific proof that eucalyptus oil deters wasps definitively, research shows that it can be an effective insecticide.

How eucalyptus oil works as an insecticide

There seems to be no studies testing the effectiveness of eucalyptus oil as a wasp repellent, but there is scientific proof that the essential oil is capable of controlling other insects, such as mosquitoes and weevils. A 2021 study published by Tehran University of Medical Sciences found that a 10% eucalyptus oil solution had a repellency of almost 78% against Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes. Another 2021 study by the same university showed that the eucalyptus oil was also effective for controlling the larvae of the same mosquitoes.

Additionally, a 2011 study showed that lemon eucalyptus oil provided over 96% repellency for approximately four hours, depending on the type of mosquito. Besides pesky biting mosquitoes, research also showed other insects were susceptible to this essential oil. A 2011 study by the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture discovered that eucalyptus oil could repel and kill Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky weevils. Despite the lack of proof that eucalyptus oil will specifically repel wasps, there is a lot of evidence that it is an effective insecticide against different species of insects. Because of this, there could be some basis to the claim that this essential oil deters wasps, and it would be an interesting experiment to test for yourself.