Wasps and Sting Prevention

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Food smells and wasps

Spot the hazard! Dustbin too close to caravan

The smell from food brings wasps into close contact with us thus increasing the chance of being stung. There are simple steps you can take to reduce this risk to a minimum. Things to consider changing relate to food preparation, food storage, food display, eating and rubbish disposal. You can very easily decrease the numbers of wasps entering your kitchen and there are vital measures to take when you are eating out-of-doors. You may find it difficult to follow every piece of advice below at first, but as you see the success of using a few measures I hope you will want to add your own solutions to these ideas.


Close windows and outside doors during food preparation especially when cooking as the steam will carry food aroma out of the house quickly. If an open window is essential due to steam build up then only have it open a small amount. On cool or rainy days you will find less wasp interest in your food smells so you can try opening windows or doors. If a wasp gets in, deal with the situation immediately. 

Food that is not in the fridge should be in tightly covered containers. Keep ripe fruit in the fridge and keep less fruit on the fruit bowl than usual. Empty your food waste in the compost regularly but wait until cool parts of the day to do this if there are wasps around the compost bin. Wasps will take little interest in a clean, firmly closed dustbin with little food waste in it. Keep your dustbin away from the back door in hot weather. Cover or clear up pet food.

Drinking outdoors

Either don’t use cans or dark bottles (which may conceal a wasp) or keep them covered between mouthfuls. Boxed drinks with a straw are safer for children. Sugary or sweet smelling drinks like fruit juice and beer will attract wasps – so avoid or cover them, especially when the drink is unattended.

Eating outdoors

Autumn "sell by"! Fruit in open in dustbin near shop

Eat indoors if there are wasps in the vicinity! Check drink and food for wasps before each mouthful! Keep food and rubbish in tightly covered containers. Throwing away food crumbs “For the birds” increases the likelihood of wasp sting on another occasion. Shake outdoor rugs before storing.


Take care near bottle banks as the sweet smell from remains of food and drink attracts wasps. Wash glass for recycling before you store it for the next trip to the bottle bank.