Bees may seem like horrible pests, buzzing around with their threatening stingers and intimidating yellow jackets. While your first instinct might be to kill them with harsh chemicals, there are ways to keep them from your home in a more natural way.
Instead of killing them, use natural homemade bee repellents. After all, we may not want them as house guests, but we still need honey bees to pollinate local flowers and continue the growth cycle of many plants.
If your area is prone to swarms of bees, hornets and wasps, in addition to mixing up a repellent, you may want to take stock of your garden and its plants. It is possible that you may be growing sweet-scented flowers and plants that are attracting the bees, and if that’s the case any kind of repelling attempt is going to be an uphill battle.
You can create a home that bees, hornets and wasps alike will hate by following these simple steps:
Step 1 - Mix Soap and Water
In an empty spray bottle, combine a few teaspoons of liquid dish washing soap with the water. This will create a sticky, soapy mixture that you can safely spray on anything. Add more or less soap depending on the brand that you use, how sticky you’d like your homemade bee repellent to be, and what you’re spraying it on. For indoor applications, use more water and less soap so that you don’t ruin furniture or create a particularly pungent environment. For plants and outdoor areas, use more soap and less water so that the spray won’t easily wash away due to natural moisture or when it rains.
Step 2 - Add Peppermint Oil
Many bugs, including hornets, hate the smell of peppermint oil. While peppermint plants are just as susceptible to bee adoration as any plant, the distilled oils are another story.
Get some peppermint essential oil from your local health food store, and after the soapy water is mixed together, put a few drops of the peppermint essential oil into the sticky soap solution. Make sure you add enough peppermint oil to your homemade bee repellent so that you can smell it when you spray.
TIP: Peppermint oil can also be dabbed on rags or tissues and stashed around the house as a natural indoor repellent. While peppermint oil is safe to apply to most furniture, floors and skirting, by using something removable like tissues, you can make a change if you ever get sick of the whole house smelling like candy canes.
Step 3 - Add some Spice
To really ensure that the bees hate your mixture, add 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon to your sticky mint spray and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Hornets, bees and wasps hate the scent of cinnamon and spice, so with the help of these two ingredients, your mixture should be strong enough to make pesky bees buzz away.
Step 4 - Spray Away
If you’re dealing with pests buzzing around your home, this new homemade bee repellent should do the trick. While you can spray directly at the insects, your best bet is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place.
For indoor issues, spray your mixture on windowsills and door frames to prevent pests from entering. If your problem is mainly outside the home, try to find surfaces that won’t be damaged or made unusable by the mixture. Spray on the underside of lawn chairs, underneath tables, and on sidewalks.
The water from your homemade bee repellent will evaporate, but the peppermint, cinnamon, and cayenne smells will be left behind to deter insects from spending time in the areas, and the sticky soap left behind will stick to them and fight them off.
Spray your surfaces, not the pests themselves. While you can spray directly at the insects, any direct interaction or agitation like that can cause you to get stung. Remember that your mixture repels and doesn’t kill, so if you walk up to a bee and spray something it hates directly at it, the bee or wasp may get angry and come after you before it decides to vacate the garden.
Wasps in particular are known for their aggression. Never spray your homemade repellent directly at any wasps you see. If your yard is plagued by wasps that are especially numerous or aggressive, contact your local pest control office for professional intervention.