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Ask Rick A Question

Wasp Repellent

Summary: Mother Nature provides us with many types of solutions to everyday problems. For example, there are various plants and shrubs that can be positioned in gardens that will help keep certain unwanted insects at bay.

A reader asks: What plants, bushes or trees deter bees and wasps?

Dear Reader: There are loads of articles with recommendations on how to control various kinds of insects in gardens. However, very little is written on ornamentals that will repel bees and wasps. (Yellow jackets are wasps.)

Yellow jacket nests are often found in the ground. We usually don't become aware of their presence until late in the year as the adult yellow jackets become more aggressive in their search for food to stockpile their nests.

Natural plant defenses don't repel bees because bees are necessary for


pollination. Wasps are also not repelled because wasps frequently feed on the small insects that otherwise would destroy various plants and flowers.

Herbs are most often mentioned as insect repellents. For example, garlic and chives will repel aphids. Basil repels flies and mosquitoes. Marigolds ward off nematodes. Mint stops ants. Pennyroyal deters fleas, mosquitoes, ticks and chiggers. Petunias control leafhoppers, certain aphids and tomato worms. Rue repels Japanese beetles in roses.

The only plant that is even mentioned as a wasp repellent is Wormwood (Artemisia). When planted as a border Wormwood is said to keep animals and many bugs out of the garden.

Ask Rick A Question


William Billingsley
29 Jul 2009, 10:09
I have two small sheds that I have built for feeding horses. Each shed has six small feeding stalls. The sheds have become popular wasp hangouts and my horses don't want to go inside. I kill the wasps and destroy the nests, but they don't stay away for long. I am spending a fortune in wasp spray and having to clear the sheds twice a day. Is there a chemical I can spray on the wood that will keep wasps from wanting to build a nest? Do the fake nests work? Thanks...
Andrew Gentleman
06 Aug 2009, 10:26
My garden over the last few days has become full of what appears to look like little wasps or is it sandflies,i have noticed that all my flowering potted plants have shrivled up ,is this connected and what can i do to get rid of them ?
11 Aug 2009, 10:56
What is the best way to repel wasps, hornets? I just moved to a home is south Austin and have a yard with oak trees. The backyard seems to be plagued with of waps/hornets, even some large red hornets. My son was attacked by two. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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