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11 February 2023 / Laura Garvin Gomez

Does Peppermint Oil Repel Wasps?

Peppermint oil has long been touted as a natural insect repellent, but does it really keep wasps away?

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Collection of fruit with a wasp on a cut pear
When it comes to the height of summer and early autumn, we tend to see more flying insects around, with bees and wasps in particular, causing the most concern.

Things can become even more tricky if a wasp nest is built in or nearby to your home, increasing the risk of you being stung.

But instead of using a repellent made up of chemicals that kill wasps and can also harm humans and pets, using a natural, non-lethal mixture can prove very effective. With that in mind, we consider why you shouldn’t ignore a wasp problem and how you can use to repel them.

Why use peppermint oil for wasp control?

While the presence of wasps can be annoying, not everyone feels comfortable killing or harming an animal (all insects are categorised as animals). Using peppermint essential oil offers a natural alternative that can help keep them at bay and away from your home without causing them any harm. This is because peppermint oil has insecticidal properties, namely menthol, which is the primary active ingredient used in pesticides.

When you spray a chemical-based wasp repellent, it can also cause damage to other life forms that are within the spray zone, with the droplets entering the respiratory system.

This includes humans and can cause serious side effects, such as sore throats or coughs, eye or skin irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, seizures or long-term toxicity. Of course, the more extreme reactions are rare, but for people who are more sensitive to chemicals, using a safer alternative makes sense.

Wasp on a leaf

What dangers do wasps pose?

You are more likely to encounter wasps between late July and early October, as this is when the amount of sugar produced by wasp larvae in the nest is reduced. This forces wasps to leave their nest to find other sources of sugar, such as human food.

Wasps do not see your home as a place they are intruding, but merely as another location for them to potentially nest. If you start to notice a rise in numbers around your home, there is a good chance that a wasp nest is being constructed, or they are scouting the location to see if it is suitable.

When it comes to their stings, there is an important distinction to be made between bees and wasps. Honeybees die after they have used their stinger, which is most likely to happen when a female thinks there is a threat to the hive. However, like hornets, wasps can use their stinger several times without it having any effect on them.

How do I use peppermint oil to repel wasps?

There are a couple of ways you can use peppermint oil to repel wasps, depending on how many there are and how confident you feel in tackling the problem.

Peppermint spray

Mix a tablespoon of peppermint essential oil with four cups of water inside of a spray bottle. Add a dash of dish soap to help emulsify. Be sure to shake thoroughly before use to ensure it has mixed well.

You must take precautions if you are going to spray a live wasp nest. They tend to be less active in the early morning or night-time, so this might be the best time. And in case you anger any wasps, wear long sleeve clothes, trousers, gloves, a hat and a face mask to protect yourself.

Keep your distance from the nest and carefully spray it and the surrounding areas. Once the nest has been deserted (you must be very sure about this part) you can remove and crush it or submerge it in water to kill off larvae.

Peppermint oil pads

Wasps tend to congregate in certain areas, which can vary depending on the conditions. If you notice there is a regular spot they fly to, soak a cotton pad with the diluted peppermint oil mixture (as used with the spray) and place it in this area (when they are not present).

Wasps are often scouting out these locations as possible places to build nests, so the peppermint spray can act as a deterrent to make them think twice.

Mint plant in a pot

What is the best peppermint oil to use for wasps?

As a natural option, peppermint oil offers a great way to ward off wasps, with  it has great potential as an efficient and environmentally friendly repellent. People also use peppermint oil to deal with other pests, including mice, rats, spiders and mosquitos, giving you an all-round natural repellent that can be used to protect your home from unwanted guests.

And, of course, peppermint essential oil offers a host of health benefits if used for aromatherapy, possibly helping to improve breath flow, soothe sore muscles and boost energy levels.

How long will peppermint oil keep wasps away?

If you are attempting to clear out a wasp nest with peppermint spray, you should try to spray the nest every 2-3 days. When wasp activity reduces, you can start to cut this down to about once a week. Try to avoid using the spray on a sunny day as foliage can be burned by the oils.

Botanical illustration of mint

In most cases, wasps stay out of our way if we stay out of theirs. However, if they decide to build a nest in your home, then it’s a problem that should not be ignored. Most homes are filled with chemical-based products, so looking for a natural alternative that is kinder to wasps, ourselves, and others is never a bad thing. Just remember, if you are tackling a wasp nest, do it with extreme caution to avoid being stung, or you can simply use the spray on the odd occasion to deal with any stray wasps that have flown into your home.

Product Name

100% Pure Peppermint (Piperita) Essential Oil
Botanical Name Mentha Piperita
Scent Type Herbs
Benefits & Uses Fresh, Decongestant, Spider Repellent
Suitable for Diffusers? Yes, this peppermint (piperita) essential oil is perfect for diffusers.
Suitable for Candles and Soaps? Yes, this peppermint (piperita) essential oil is perfect for candle and soap making.
Extraction Method Steam Distillation
Bottle Type Tamper proof and UV resistant

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