Does Citronella Repel Yellow Jackets – Myth or Fact?

Yellow jackets are aggressive stinging insects that can be a nuisance in outdoor spaces.

Many people seek natural methods to repel yellow jackets, and citronella is often considered a potential solution due to its reputation as an insect repellent.

But does citronella repel yellow jackets? In this article, we will find the answer and discuss further information!

Does Citronella Repel Yellow Jackets?

does citronella repel yellow jackets
Citronella Repel Yellow Jackets

Citronella extract may have limited effectiveness in repelling yellow jackets, but it may not be the most reliable or effective method.

While citronella oil is known for its insect-repelling properties, yellow jackets are aggressive and persistent insects that may not be deterred solely by the citronella plant.

It should be noted that yellow jackets are attracted to food and sweet scents, and citronella may not be strong enough to overcome their attraction to such food sources.

As a result, using citronella alone as a natural yellow jacket repellent may not completely protect against these stinging insects.

How To Deter Yellow Jackets?

What deters yellow jackets? Detering yellow jackets, which are aggressive stinging insects, can be achieved through several methods.

  • Cover food and drinks to prevent these food attractants from being attracted to the smells.
  • Clean up spills promptly to avoid leaving any sugar water from your soda bottle that can attract yellow jackets.
  • Remove food scraps and trash cans from your premises regularly, and store them in sealed containers to avoid attracting yellow jackets with food sources.
  • Wipe down tables and chairs after use, and avoid leaving any food or drink residues that can attract yellow jackets.
  • Avoid wearing bright colors or floral prints outdoors to deter them, as this can help reduce their attraction to you.
  • Yellow jackets are also attracted to sweet and pungent scents, so avoid wearing sweet-scented perfumes or lotions when spending time outdoors.
  • Placing yellow jacket traps away from human activity areas but close to their wasp nest can help capture and deter them from your vicinity.

What Plants Repel Yellow Jackets?

essential oils to repel yellow jackets
Plants Repel Yellow Jackets

There are some yellow jacket repellent plants due to their natural scents and properties:


Thyme is a fragrant herb believed to be the best yellow jacket repellent due to its strong scent.

Thyme can be planted in your garden or placed in pots near outdoor gathering areas to help keep the social wasps at bay.

Additionally, you can crush the leaves to release more of their scent and enhance their repellent properties.


Basil contains volatile oils that emit a strong aroma, which makes perfect plants that deter yellow jackets from your garden or outdoor spaces.

You can plant basil in your garden, place potted basil near seating areas, or crush basil leaves to release more of its sense of smell and enhance its bee-repellent effects.


Geraniums are well-known for their vibrant flowers and pleasant aroma, but they are also said to offer insect-repellent characteristics and notable repellency against aggressive wasps.

This plant produces essential oils with a strong aroma and may assist in keeping yellow jackets away from your garden or outdoor places.

Geraniums can be cultivated in the backyard, placed in pots near seating areas, or shredded to release the other perfume and repel yellow jackets’ powers.

Clove Tree

Clove trees, also known as clove basil or African basil, are believed to be one of the plants that repel yellow jackets.

To use clove trees as a potential yellow jacket deterrent, you can plant them in your garden or outdoor spaces where yellow jackets are a problem.


Pennyroyal, scientifically known as Mentha pulegium, has been used traditionally as essential oils to repel yellow jackets.

Plant pennyroyal in your yard or outdoor locations where yellow jackets are known to be an issue to use as a potential yellow jacket repellent.

The pungent aroma of pennyroyal is thought to help cover the scents that attract yellow jackets, reducing their attraction to the location.

Trumpet Flowers

What repels yellow jackets? Trumpet flowers, also known as trumpet vines or Campsis spp, are climbing plants known for their trumpet-shaped blooms in vibrant red, orange, and yellow colors.

The powerful aroma of the flowers may mask the scents that attract yellow jackets, reducing their likelihood of being drawn to the area where trumpet flowers are planted.

Additionally, the trumpet-shaped blooms of these flowers are typically long and tubular, which may make it difficult for yellow jackets to access the nectar.


Mentha spicata, or spearmint, is a fragrant herb with a strong scent extensively employed in culinary and medical uses.

Aside from its culinary applications, spearmint is thought to have insect-repellent characteristics, including potential efficiency against yellow jackets.

The volatile chemicals found in spearmint, such as menthol and carvone, are known to offer insect-repelling effects that can keep yellow jackets and other pests at bay.


Wormwood is a perennial herb that is reputed to have insecticidal properties due to the presence of volatile compounds such as thujone and artemisinin.

It should be noted that wormwood can be hazardous to people and animals if consumed in high amounts.

Therefore, caution should be exercised when using wormwood as an insect repellent and kept out of reach of children and pets.


natural yellow jacket repellent
Question Of Citronella Repel Wasps

Does Citronella Candle Repel Wasps?

Citronella candles are commonly used as an all-natural way to keep wasps away, although their effectiveness is limited. Citronella oil is derived from plants and is meant to mask the scent of humans and to give off a citrus smell that wasps hates it.

Citronella candles can leave a messy residue, and may not be effective in breezy weather. Additionally, some species of wasps may be drawn to the pleasant fragrance of citronella.

What Scent Will Repel The Yellow Jackets?

Several scents, including peppermint, eucalyptus plant, lemon, and cinnamon, may repel yellow jackets.

These scents can be used as sprays or applied to cloth strips in outdoor areas with yellow jackets.

However, their effectiveness may vary and should be combined with other preventive measures and professional pest control services if needed.

What Do Yellow Jackets Hate The Most?

Yellow jackets are known to be repelled by certain scents, including peppermint, citrus, cinnamon, vinegar, and smoke.

These scents can be used as natural deterrents to discourage yellow jackets from frequenting certain areas or nesting in certain locations.


Does citronella repel yellow jackets? Not exactly. However, it can be part of a comprehensive approach to yellow jacket control and other proven methods.

Though, it’s always best to consult with a pest control professional for a comprehensive pest management plan tailored to your specific situation.

Samuel Mark

Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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