Expert reveals how to safely keep wasps away when you're eating outside

29 April 2021, 13:08 | Updated: 6 May 2021, 12:18

How to keep the wasps away this summer
How to keep the wasps away this summer. Picture: Getty Images

By Heart

An expert has revealed the best techniques to keep wasps at bay when you're eating outside.

It’s finally starting to feel like summer, with forecasters predicting a very hot few months.

But while we’ve all been enjoying eating outside with loved ones, sometimes wasps can spoil your picnic or pub lunch.

Well, now a pest control expert has revealed how you can safely keep the insects at bay.

Walter Murphy, pest control expert at, has come up with a list of top tips, including covering your food and burning citronella candles.

Check out the full list below:

Picnics can be ruined by wasps
Picnics can be ruined by wasps. Picture: Getty Images

1. Do not swat

Unsurprisingly, moving your arms around can end up exciting or annoying the wasp, making it more likely to sting you.

Instead, try to stay calm and don’t kill them because as well as being cruel, dead and dying wasps emit pheromones that attract other wasps to the area.

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2. Avoid bright colours

Walter Murphy says that wasps are drawn towards bright colours so it’s best to avoid wearing bright clothing or planting colourful flowers in your garden.

He said: “Instead, wear light and pale colours to significantly reduce your chance of getting stung.

“White, tan, cream or grey are considered 'safe' colours, as opposed to yellow, orange or red, which may be perceived as a threat.”

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3. Burn citronella candles

Citronella candles release a distinctive odour that will make your alfresco setting difficult to locate for wasps, bees, flies and other insects too.

They can also be bought as tea lights, so you can put them around your garden, but remember to blow them out before you head inside.

4. Cover your food

If you’re not eating straight away or have finished, make sure you cover the food so wasps are less likely to smell it.

Walter says: “If you are on a picnic, pack your food in Tupperware boxes and uncover it as you need, instead of laying it all out at once.

“If you're eating at a table, cover the food once everyone has been served. Even if you can only cover your food with a mesh cloth, the wasp will eventually give up and fly away once it cannot access the food.”

5. Grow strong smelling plants

As well as burning candles, growing strong flowers could discourage wasps.

Wasps are naturally repelled by strong scents such as fresh mint, ground coffee, cloves and tomato stems.

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