Mosquitoes flying around

How to Keep Wasps Away From Your Restaurant Patio

February 09, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

It’s hard for diners to enjoy a meal on your restaurant’s patio when wasps are buzzing nearby. Due to their aggressive nature, painful stings, and ability to cause allergic reactions, wasps are unwelcome outdoor visitors to any eating establishment. 

A wasp problem on your dining patio can keep customers away, affect your restaurant’s reputation, and lead to financial strain or hardship. Read this guide to learn what keeps wasps away outside and restore a pleasant and safe atmosphere to your outdoor dining area.

What are wasps?

Wasps are a type of stinging predatory insect. They differ from bees due to their narrow waist and nearly hairless legs. Being predatory or parasitic, wasps attack prey or feed off of a host to survive and, unlike bees, are capable of stinging repeatedly. Wasps represent a diverse array of species, from solitary to social and stinging to non-stinging. 

Most of us are familiar with wasps that have bright warning colors or buzz around in large, threatening groups. While most wasps are not maliciously interested in harming humans, they can view us as a threat and attempt to protect themselves and their colony. 

A social wasp in distress emits a pheromone that sends nearby wasps into a defensive frenzy. This frenzy is why so many animals, including humans, view wasps as particularly dangerous and why it’s essential to learn how to deter wasps from your patio safely and efficiently.

paper wasp on a green plant

Are wasps poisonous?

Yes, wasp venom is toxic and gets injected into you when you are stung. While wasps mostly use their venom to paralyze small insects to make transportation to their nest easier, it also provides a powerful defense. Wasp venom serves a second purpose of causing enough pain in larger animals to deter them from disturbing the wasps or their nests. 

Some people are allergic to wasp venom and could have severe reactions if stung. Depending on where a person is stung, they may experience different reactions, such as swelling, itching, or hives.

How to keep wasps away from your restaurant patio

The best way to keep wasps away from your patio is to set up preventative solutions at the start of the warmer seasons. Start by letting your staff know the importance of removing food particles, dirty dishes, or spills as quickly as possible. Wasps are attracted to sweet smells. A spilled soda, an unfinished fruit bowl, maple syrup containers, or open jams or jellies are an open invitation. Keeping your outdoor dining area clean and free of sitting food is a significant first step. 

Wasps also look for cool, dark spaces to set up nests which is why you often see them on covered porches, eves, or awnings. If your patio has any overhangs, remember to clean them regularly and, if possible, collapse them when not in use. Fold down umbrellas or shade devices to prevent wasps from moving in.

The best way to get rid of a wasp infestation

So, what keeps wasps away from outside spaces? Because wasps are so aggressive and cause significant pain, you’ll need to ensure you handle any wasp issue with patience, safety, and care. You also don’t want to introduce unsafe or harsh chemicals to your guests’ dining areas. 

Keeping wasps away from food can be challenging, but some simple remedies can keep them from approaching your outdoor space. 

  • Cleaning surfaces frequently with soap and water removes residue you may not even see or smell but that could attract wasps. 
  • You can also easily make a decoy wasp nest using a scrunched paper bag to mimic a wasp nest. If wasps think another hive already exists, they won’t make a new one in the same space.
  • The most reliable way to handle your wasp problem safely and effectively is to hire a professional pest control company with the expertise and equipment to handle the job.

Several yellow-jacket wasps swarm on the edge of a wooden bistro table on a restaurant patio.

Wasp pest control services

At Hawx Pest Control, we understand the importance of a safe and enjoyable environment for your patrons. We offer safe extermination for your current problems and preventative treatments to address potential threats before they even happen. Our friendly professionals are ready to help you all year round. Call us today for a free estimate to get your pest problem under control and get back to an enjoyable environment for your customers.

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