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How To Keep Wasps Away From A Wooden Deck

From family barbeques in the heat of the summer to a nice cool morning with a cup of coffee, everyone loves spending time out on a wooden deck. What people don't love, however, is sharing this sacred space with wasps. But how exactly should you go about getting rid of them? For your convenience, we brought you the answer.

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To keep wasps away from your wooden deck, do the following:

  1. Don't leave food out.
  2. Remove any trash that's nearby.
  3. Close holes in your home's exterior.
  4. Eliminate standing water.
  5. Keep your pool covered.
  6. Install insect netting around the deck.
  7. Set up commercial wasp traps.
  8. Spray wasp nests with commercial spray.
  9. Spray rogue wasps with commercial spray or a mixture of dish soap and water.
  10. Keep a close eye out for new nests.

If you still have some questions about these wasp control measures, don't worry. In this post, we'll discuss them at length to ensure your deck remains free of pesky wasps. We'll also talk about why wasps like to hang around your deck, what smells wasps hate, and more. Without further ado, let's get into it!

Backyard deck and pergola landscaping, How To Keep Wasps Away From A Wooden Deck

Why Are Wasps All Over My Deck?

Before we talk more about the steps you can take to rid your wooden deck of wasps, it's important to discuss why wasps are swarming your deck in the first place. 

The primary reason wasps have made your deck their new home is that they have ample food and water nearby. Wasps are mostly attracted to sweet things. This means that the majority of foods that are accidentally left outside (perhaps after that barbeque we mentioned earlier) are fair game for wasps.

A wasp nest beneath the wooden patio deck

The same goes for pet food. Pet food has been known to attract these unwelcome patio guests.

Keeping Wasps Away From A Wooden Deck

Now that we've discussed why wasps tend to hang around wooden decks, we'll talk more about what you can do to keep them away.

1. Don't Leave Food Out

Bright daylight on deck wiht open barbecue cooker and beer

Perhaps the most significant thing you can do to keep wasps away from your deck area is to remove food sources.

It's all too easy to leave a soda or a snack out on the deck, but something as small and simple as a soda can be an enticing treat for wasps. And if wasps find food around your patio area, they'll make a home there, and that's the last thing you want.

So, any time you eat or grill out on your deck, don't leave any bits of food behind.

And again, this applies to pet food. If you have historically kept pet food out on the back deck, relocate it. 

2. Remove Any Trash That's Nearby

If you have trashcans close to your deck, they are likely attracting wasps; what might be trash to humans might be a viable food source for wasps. So, treat nearby trash the same as food—move it away from the deck area. 

3. Close Holes In Your Home's Exterior

If you notice a family of wasps buzzing around your deck area, there are likely small openings in your home's exterior (likely close to the deck) or yard in which the wasps have taken up residence. 

Conduct a thorough search of the exterior of your home and the ground in your backyard (that's right—sometimes wasps opt to take shelter in the ground) for holes. Then, seal them up. Doing so will make your property that much less appealing to wasps in search of shelter.

4. Eliminate Standing Water

Eurasian blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus, perched by the side of a bird bath drinking water

Wasps not only need food but water as well. And if you have standing water in your backyard (i.e. a fountain, bird bath, etc.), it could be attracting wasps. Relocate these kinds of yard items to make your property less of a viable home for wasps.

5. Keep Your Pool Covered

A Blue Vinyl Pool Covered

We know that standing water can attract wasps, so we now need to address the largest water source in some yards—a pool.

If you have a pool in your backyard, keep it covered while it's not being used. We've already established that wasps have set up shop around your deck because they have a good supply of food and water in the area. And what makes a better water source for these pests than a swimming pool?

If you've spent any time in or around swimming pools, you've likely seen wasps land on top of the water, stay there for several seconds, and then fly away. When they do this, they are actually drinking the water from the pool.

So, if you leave your pool uncovered, that's tantamount to a written invitation for wasps to partake in their new favorite watering hole. 

Click here to see this pool cover on Amazon.

6. Install Insect Netting Around The Deck

We've talked a lot about preventative measures you can take to make your wooden deck and the surrounding area unappealing to wasps, but it's time to take it up a notch—installing a physical barrier that will keep wasps out.

If the architecture around your deck allows for it, consider enclosing the entire deck in insect netting. If wasps have continued to stick around after you've taken the aforementioned measures, installing netting will physically prevent them from wreaking havoc around the deck area.

As an added bonus, this netting will keep other nuisance insects away as well.

Click here to see this insect netting on Amazon.

7. Set Up Commercial Wasp Traps

If wasps continue to be a problem around your deck area, set up commercial wasp traps. Sticky traps have been known to work great against all kinds of flying pests, wasps included. Simply hang them up, and wait.

Click here to see these sticky wasp traps on Amazon.

8. Spray Wasp Nests With Commercial Spray

Woman using insecticide to kill cockroach or anytype of insect

If you find that the wasps that have been plaguing your wooden deck have constructed a nest nearby, buy some commercial spray to treat the nest with. Dousing the nest with the spray will kill any wasps inside the nest and render the nest unusable. 

Be sure to use the appropriate protective equipment when spraying.

Click here to see this wasp spray on Amazon.

9. Spray Rogue Wasps With Commercial Spray Or A Mixture Of Dish Soap And Water

If there are still a few rogue wasps buzzing about, use the same commercial spray to take them out. Or, if you prefer a cheaper, less chemically-intense method, you can simply use a mixture of dish soap and water in a spray bottle.

If you opt for the commercial approach, again, be sure to use the appropriate protective equipment when spraying.

10. Keep A Close Eye Out For New Nests

If you've followed these steps up to this point, your wooden deck should now be free of wasps. But don't get complacent; remain vigilant, keeping a close eye out for the construction of new nests. 

Wasps either nest up high or down low in the ground, so be sure to thoroughly check the surrounding area for nests from time to time. 

What Smell Do Wasps Hate?

If you want to fortify not only your deck area but your yard, you can strategically cultivate plants whose scents are known to repel wasps. Some of these include:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Marigold
  • Lemongrass

Does WD-40 Repel Wasps?

WD-40 is known for its many useful applications, but one thing you might not have known is that WD-40 kills wasps and destroys their nests. Simply spray rogue wasps to kill them on contact, and douse their nests to take them out as well. 

It's also recommended to apply WD-40 to any areas where wasps have previously built nests. Doing so will prevent them from coming back.

So, if you have a can of WD-40 laying around, you already have a potent wasp spray on hand. And if not, simply purchase one online:

These cans of WD-40 have long applicator straws that will help put some distance between you and your unwelcome patio guests. 

Click here to see this two-pack of WD-40 on Amazon.

In Closing

Backyard deck and pergola landscaping

We hope this guide has helped you fortify your beloved wooden deck. Wasps can be an annoying, painful nuisance, so it's important to take every measure possible to thwart them.

Before you go, be sure to take a look at these other guides:

How To Build A Four Season Sunroom On A Deck

What Deck Height Requires A Railing? [Code Requirements]

How Much Space Between Deck Boards?