Learn 12 simple ways to keep wasps away from your pool this summer so that you can freely enjoy your outdoor oasis pest free!
Is it spring break for wasps or something?
Does it seem like every time you go to your pool, wasps are either drinking out of the water or flying overhead?
Well if so, you are unfortunately suffering from a pretty common problem among pool owners...
Wasps flying around your pool.
So what can you do?
Thankfully there a few tried and true solutions to keep wasps away from your pool and we've put together a list of our 12 favorites right here.
Just like we showed you how to keep frogs out of your pool, we are doing the same today with wasps.
- What Attracts Wasps to Your Pool?
- Why You Don’t Want Wasps Around Your Pool
- 1. Use Diesel Fuel
- 2. Spray with Chemicals
- 3. Get Rid of the Nest
- 4. Use Raw Meat
- 5. Create a Greasy Wasp Trap
- 6. Drain Your Pool
- 7. Get a Pool Cover
- 8. Give Them Another Water Source
- 9. Use a Decoy Nest
- 10. Use Margaritas
- 11. Use Special Plants
- 12. Use Cloves and Lemon
What Attracts Wasps to Your Pool?
Just like us, wasps get hot in the summer.
When they want to cool off, they might take a dip in your pool. They might also take drinks from your pool for the same reason.
Some nests will designate a handful of wasps just to transport water back to the nest to share with the rest of the team as well.
Hence why it feels like the wasps are CONSTANTLY around.
If your pool has a lot of flowers, grass, and wildlife around it, then that’s another open invitation for wasps to come visit too.
Why You Don’t Want Wasps Around Your Pool
The biggest reasons to keep wasps away are because of their stingers. Unlike bees, wasps can sting without sacrificing their own life.
You might have the same allergic reaction to wasps thanks to the chemicals in their stinger.
The worst part is that wasps are also notorious bullies of the animal kingdom. They will ruthlessly sting for minutes on end even unprovoked.
The best way to avoid a wasp sting is to avoid a wasp. Doing that means getting wasps away from your pool.
Whatever reason you have to get rid of wasps, this section is for you.
Let's take a closer look the Top 12 ways to keep wasps away from your pool.
1. Use Diesel Fuel
Have you ever smelled diesel fuel and wanted to run head-first into the container? If you answered yes to this question, you’re probably a wasp.
Wasps can’t get enough of the smell of diesel fuel.
So much so that they will fly right into inescapable containers just to get a whiff. If you put some diesel fuel in a small container or water bottle, you can just leave it at a distance from your pool or near the wasp nest.
In containers with small mouthed openings, like 2 liter soda bottles, the wasps can get in but have a hard time getting out. Especially if you cut off the top and flip it upside down.
Fill a soda bottle with some diesel fuel, and the next day can check out how many wasps you caught.
Then just plug up the opening and wait for the wasps to die.
2. Spray with Chemicals
If you’re not feeling friendly, you can bust out the chemicals. Chemical-based solutions are designed to kill wasps and get rid of them for good.
You can either try taking this challenge on yourself, or you can bring in a professional.
If you’re tackling it yourself, make sure you read the directions three times before even starting.
Incorrectly spraying can really hurt you, or it can irritate the wasps without killing them, making them angry.
And angry wasps like to sting.
A pyrethroid-based insecticide with cyfluthrin is notoriously fatal for wasps. In general, if the can says “wasp killer”, then you’re probably in good hands.
Try to spray at night because that’s when most of the wasps are in the nest just relaxing and hanging out.
We use this spray directly on wasp nests, and you can even spray it on a live wasp when it lands on a surface.
At our house, the wasps crawl through tiny openings at the bottom of each window. We spray directly into this opening.
If you try spraying the nest one or two times to no avail, you might as well just call in a pro to help.
3. Get Rid of the Nest
If you have a wasp nest near your pool, the best option is usually to get rid of the nest.
You really shouldn’t try this option on your own though. Consult a professional to help out.
The only thing worse than wasps around your pool is a face full of angry wasps that just had their home attacked.
The other problem with trying to remove the nest on your own is finding a place to put the nest.
Throwing it in your neighbor’s yard probably isn’t going to work. You might have luck putting it in a sealed bucket and waiting a while for them to die off.
4. Use Raw Meat
It always seems like wasps invite themselves to your barbecue. It’s not because they’re social creatures, it’s because they love raw meat.
They are fiercely attracted the smell and taste of it.
Similar to the diesel fuel, using raw meat as bait for a trap works wonders.
Put the raw meat in a soda bottle or a container that you can easily cover. After a little while, throw the cover on and let the wasps die off.
Some people claim success with putting a bucket of soapy water near the raw meat.
Either put the bucket on top of the raw meat or hang the meat somewhere with the bucket underneath of it.
The wasps are used to being able to land on the surface of water to take a drink.
However, the soap in the water reduces the surface tension and doesn’t allow the wasps to escape, ultimately drowning them.
5. Create a Greasy Wasp Trap
DIYers are going to love this tip – you can create your own wasp trap.
There’s a lot of room for creativity when it comes to making a wasp trap. There are also a few different trains of thought you can follow.
For these traps, you can use whatever you want for bait. The easiest option would be to use honey or sugar in water.
You are going to cut the top of off of a 2 liter soda bottle and turn it upside down, then shove it back in the bottle from which you cut it so the mouth opening is now pointing DOWN into the bottle.
Before you do this though, fill the bottle with sugary water, diesel gas, or raw meat...or a yummy combination of all three.
These traps aren’t going to kill wasps on contact. You’re playing the long game. You’ll trap them in an inescapable area long enough for them to starve to death.
Since you want to let the wasps get in, but don’t want to give them an opportunity to get out, use a generous layer of grease, or cooking oil, on every interior wall of the bottle.
You can use spray oil from your kitchen if you want a quick and easy solution.
Turn the top upside down like a funnel and push it back into the bottle.
In most cases, wasps will want to climb the walls to get out. The grease will make the walls too slippery to get any traction on.
Pro Tip: If you notice wasps are flying out of your trap, then run some grease around the mouth hole of the bottle. They likely need to crawl out of the hole and can't fly directly out without touching the edges. So if the mouth hole is greased up too, they won't be able to land and crawl out of it.
In other words, the more grease, the better.
6. Drain Your Pool
Ok, this is getting a little more drastic, but sometimes drastic is what it takes...
If your situation is getting too scary, then you might be left with no other option but to drain your pool.
Wasps are very habitual insects. They establish their home late in the fall or early in the spring based around a water source.
If their source of water suddenly disappears, then they will have no choice but to move on and find a new nesting location.
If you have the ability to drain your pool for two weeks, that should be enough time to break the wasps’ memorized flight pattern to your pool.
They will move on to a new location, while you fill your pool back up and enjoy the rest of your summer.
Alternative Option: Try opening your pool LATER in the spring than usual, AFTER the wasps in your neighborhood have already established their homes elsewhere.
Yes, you lose a few weeks of swimming with this method, but at least the rest of your season may be more enjoyable.
Make sure to treat the exterior of your home early in the season before you open your pool to ensure the wasps don't set up camp in your backyard.
You can spray any small crevices and where gutters meet the house, or call in a pest control company to locate and treat all of the problem areas.
7. Get a Pool Cover
For people who can’t, or don’t want to, drain their pool, there’s always a cover.
Even if it’s not time to winterize and close your pool, you can throw a pool cover over the water.
You can use the same cover during the off-season to officially winterize your pool, but in the meantime, it will prevent access to your water.
The same concept is at play here – the wasps will realize they can’t access their normal body of water and they’ll move to a new location.
8. Give Them Another Water Source
The wasps don’t visit just because they like pools, they just like water in general.
If you want to keep them away from your pool, you can put together an alternative source of water for them to play in.
This method is a little riskier because you’re still providing a place for wasps to congregate. You can use a birdbath or a bucket of water. If this water dries up, you’ll be on the hook again.
It’s best to introduce this source of water when the wasps can’t access your pool. Whether that means draining or covering your pool, it doesn’t matter.
There’s nothing stopping the wasps from returning to your pool after a period of time. This isn’t a highly suggested option as far as longevity is concerned.
9. Use a Decoy Nest
Wasps are naturally territorial.
If they see a fake wasp nest in your backyard, they may avoid the area and search for a place they can call their own.
You can either buy them on Amazon or make your own with a paper bag and some string. It doesn’t have to look perfect, but it should at least resemble a wasp nest.
10. Use Margaritas
Even though wasps love lounging poolside, they can’t stand margaritas.
This doesn’t mean you have to be a bartender for the wasps, you just need to pick up Margarita Spazzaz.
You can dissolve some in water and put it near your pool. The smell is pleasant for us but unbearable for wasps.
11. Use Special Plants
Wasps love a lot of different plants and flowers, but there is a short list of plants they can’t stand.
If you want to keep the wasps away, try planting:
This is another instance where a pleasant smell for humans will deter unwanted wasps.
You don’t need soil around your pool to plant it, just put these herbs in a small planter or container and keep them poolside.
Because wasps are territorial, they often don't stick around when other insects, such as dragonflies, are in the area.
You may also consider planting some plants that attract dragonflies.
12. Use Cloves and Lemon
Another quick solution is brought to you by a lemon and cloves.
Cut a lemon in half and put whole cloves in it. Put it on a plate or dish and leave it near the pool.
Yet again, this smells great to you and your guests but wasps can’t stand it.
Your pool doesn’t have to smell like chemicals just to keep away insects!