Updated: May 19, 2023

Wasps are a common sight in many gardens and outdoor spaces during the warmer months. While they do play a crucial role in pollination and controlling pests, their presence can be a nuisance for homeowners. In some cases, wasps can even pose a threat to the well-being of those who are allergic to their stings. So, what attracts these buzzing insects to your home? In this article, we will explore the factors that draw wasps to your property and offer some helpful tips on how to prevent them from taking up residence.

Food Sources

One of the primary reasons wasps are attracted to your home is the availability of food. They have an incredibly diverse diet, which includes fruits, nectar, insects, and even human food. Here are some common food sources that may attract wasps:

Sugary Treats

Wasps have a sweet tooth and are especially drawn to sugary foods such as fruits, nectar, and even spilled soda or juice. Overripe fruit in your garden or on your patio is a prime target for wasps searching for a meal.

Protein-Rich Foods

In addition to sugar, wasps also require protein as part of their diet. They are known to hunt smaller insects such as caterpillars, flies, and spiders. If your garden is teeming with bugs, it could be attracting wasps.

Human Food

If you enjoy dining al fresco or hosting barbecues in your backyard, be aware that wasps may be attracted to your food. They are particularly fond of meat, so be sure to cover any leftovers or scraps from your outdoor meals.

Water Sources

Wasps need water not only for drinking but also for building their nests. They tend to build their nests near water sources so that they can easily collect water and mix it with wood fibers to create the papery material used for nest construction. Some common water sources that may attract wasps include:


Birdbaths are a welcome addition to any garden, but they can also be an attractive water source for wasps. Be sure to regularly clean and change the water in your birdbath to discourage wasps from visiting.

Leaky Faucets and Hoses

A dripping faucet or leaky hose can provide enough water to keep a wasp colony hydrated. Repair any leaks promptly to reduce the likelihood of wasps moving in.

Pools and Ponds

If you have a pool or pond on your property, it could be attracting wasps in search of water. Cover your pool when it’s not in use, and consider installing a water feature with a closed-loop system in your pond to deter wasps.

Shelter and Nesting Sites

Wasps require sheltered locations to build their nests. They typically prefer spots that are protected from the elements and predators. Some common nesting sites around your home include:

Eaves and Overhangs

The eaves of your house or other structures provide excellent shelter for wasp nests. Regularly inspect these areas for signs of nests and remove them before they become established.

Hollow Trees and Shrubs

Hollow trees or dense shrubs can make ideal nesting sites for wasps. Keep your garden well-maintained by pruning shrubs regularly and removing any dead trees or branches.

Outdoor Furniture and Equipment

Unused outdoor furniture, play equipment, or even gardening tools can provide a safe haven for wasps to build their nests. Store these items away when not in use, or cover them with a tarp to deter wasps from settling in.

How to Prevent Wasps from Invading Your Home

Now that we know what attracts wasps to your home, let’s discuss some preventative measures you can take to minimize their presence:

  1. Keep your garden tidy: Regularly mow your lawn, trim shrubs, and remove any dead branches or leaves that could provide shelter for wasps.

  2. Store food properly: When dining outdoors, keep food covered and promptly clean up after your meal. Seal waste in airtight containers before disposing of it.

  3. Eliminate standing water: Fix any leaks, change the water in birdbaths regularly, and cover pools when not in use to prevent wasps from accessing water sources.

  4. Inspect your property: Regularly check your home and yard for signs of nests, especially in sheltered areas like eaves and overhangs.

  5. Use natural deterrents: Planting herbs such as basil, mint, or lemongrass around your garden can help repel wasps due to their strong scent. You can also hang false wasp nests, which mimic the appearance of a real nest, to discourage wasps from building nearby.

By understanding what attracts wasps to your home and taking proactive steps to deter them, you can enjoy a more peaceful outdoor space and minimize the risk of painful stings or allergic reactions.