Illinois residents may not be able to stop the billions of cicadas that will begin to descend from the ground any day now, but we can do something about another nasty insect poised to ruin our outdoor fun; wasps.

Little Known Fact About Wasps

It may only be mid-April, but I removed the first wasp from my house yesterday, and I REFUSE to spend another summer too afraid to spend time on my deck because it is being held hostage by multiple wasps nests. The time to declare war is now!

DIY Wasp Destroyer

As I prepare to embark on yet another valiant quest to reclaim my yard from tiny, angry helicopters with stingers I did a little research. This is not the first time I will wage war with wasps, but today I learned something new about my enemy that could be the key to my success; wasps always return to the same spot!

According to the;

Wasps will come back to the same spot yearly. That's because they've spread pheromones (secreted chemicals) in that area which continue to communicate with other wasps even after the nest is removed.

So now that we know what wasps' biggest weakness is, we can launch our attack.


6 Natural Ways to Win the War With Wasps

If you're on a mission and start searching for natural ways to get rid of wasps, here are six tips pest experts and wasp-haters swear work the best:

1. The Essential Oil Evasion: Certain essential oils, like peppermint and citronella, are known wasp repellents. Add a few drops of your chosen oil to a spray bottle filled with water (some say cayenne pepper works well too). While not a guaranteed solution, spraying this concoction around potential nesting areas may help deter wasps from setting up camp.

2. Fortress Food & Drink: Wasps are attracted to picnic leftovers and sugary drinks. Seal up any leftover chips and dips in airtight containers, and ditch the open-faced juice boxes.

3. The Phony Foe: Wasps are territorial and hate competition. Create decoy nests! Paper bags inflated like balloons and hung strategically around your yard can trick wasps into thinking another colony has already staked its claim. Just be sure these decoys are far away from your actual entertaining areas – you know, because sometimes a wasp-shaped bluff can backfire.

4. The Soap Spray Spectacular:  Mix a tablespoon of dish soap with a quart of water in a spray bottle. This concoction disrupts a wasp's wings, making it difficult for them to fly. Spray directly at the nest (from a safe distance, of course!) in the early morning or evening when they're less active.

5. The Nighttime Ninja: Continue your nighttime attack by knocking down accessible nests with a long stick, broom, or rake and then dunk them in a bucket of soapy water. Ninja skills, activated!

6. The Dryer Sheet Diversion:  Dryer sheets contain fragrances that wasps don't like. Try tucking a few dryer sheets around potential nesting sites, or even placing them near doorways and patios to create a less-than-welcoming barrier. I have put a dryer sheet in my mailbox in the past, and I never had a problem with finding them in there again!


Remember, with a little planning and these handy tips, you can transform your yard from wasp wasteland to sting-free sanctuary. For more helpful wasp elimination tips, check out's full article, here.

Now go forth and reclaim your outdoor space!

READ MORE: Beware of Cicada Killer Wasps in Illinois This Summer

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