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Does Citronella Repel Wasps, Too?

Wasp resting on a green leaf
Paul Reeves Photography/Shutterstock.com

Every year when summer rolls around, you probably see a variety of citronella candles and oils at your local superstore or hardware store. Most of them boast about keeping mosquitos away, and it’s true—mosquitos don’t like the scent, and they stay away from citronella. But, it also serves as a great repellent for other bugs, including wasps.

Not only can you surround your outdoor patio with citronella candles, but you can use drops of essential oil wherever you tend to get wasp nests around the house.

It’s a safe, effective, and easy way to keep these annoying and potentially dangerous insects away.

Many commercial wasp repellents contain harsh ingredients. While those ingredients are great for killing bugs, some people don’t want them sprayed around their homes or families. Natural solutions, like citronella for keeping wasps away, are typically safer and just as effective.

Murphy's Naturals Mosquito Repellent Candle

A safe and natural way to keep wasps away from your outdoor festivities.

Citronella comes from the lemongrass plant. It might have a pleasant smell to humans, but wasps don’t like it because of the strong smell. In general, wasps stay away from harsh scents. They have a very keen sense of smell and can sniff out citronella from far away.

The easiest way to use citronella to keep wasps away is by lighting those candles we talked about earlier. They’re readily available throughout the spring, summer, and fall, and lighting a few while you’re outside, even in the day time, will help to keep wasps away. Many places also sell torches that you can place in your yard for the same effect.

You can also use citronella oil if you tend to have wasps lingering around certain areas of your home exterior. Fill a spray bottle with warm water and add a few drops of the essential oil. Give those areas a spritz periodically, and wasps are likely to stay away and avoid building nests in those spots.

Even though citronella is easy to find this time of year, it’s not the only strong scent that will keep wasps away. They also hate peppermint, cloves, thyme, spearmint, basil, and cinnamon. Noticing a theme? Having some of those herbs in your garden or using essential oils around your home with any of those smells can help to prevent wasps from hanging around.

So, even if you don’t have a mosquito issue around your yard but want a natural way to keep wasps away, give citronella a try. You’re likely to see less wasps, bees, and even ticks throughout the summer months.

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a news writer at LifeSavvy. She's worked as a freelance writer for over ten years, focusing on family and lifestyle content. She also has a background in marketing and social media, and is always eager to talk (and write!) about the latest TikTok trends. Read Full Bio »
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