Experiments in Wasp Repellant

There hasn’t been a whole lot of baking going on here at Experiments in Baking. I’ve just been too busy and/or too exhausted to even curl up with a cookbook and find something to wrestle (though I have managed to wrestle some stingrays in my dreams). Excessive work always comes in waves for me, and I’ve been riding the crest since the last post.

But yesterday, I was presented with a possibility for another experiment similar to Auntie Rayna’s Magic Acne Cure in that it is an experiment that is NOT meant to be eaten.

Yesterday, I tried to go outside to play with my niece at her grandparents’ house. Apparently that plus the flowery scent of my hairspray (I use Herbal Essences) was an irresistible invitation for a very large wasp that had been hanging around. We did a really peculiar dance, consisting of the wasp getting as close as possible to my forehead while I ducked and twirled to try to get away from it without swatting or being stung, until I finally decided that that wasn’t very fun and ran back into the house.

It was a gorgeous day yesterday, but we played inside instead.

But I know that mint kills wasps (I have watched it happen myself, and convinced my in-laws to use it too) and have read personal claims in random forums on the Internet that wasps are repelled by the smell of mint. Which makes some logical sense, since most creatures are as keen to stay away from things that kill them as any human.

So I poured a bit of the peppermint essential oil that I normally use for my homemade mouthwash recipe into my hairspray bottle. The bottle is fairly new. I added only 10 drops and it now reeks of mint. Brad’s reaction was, “You smell like Robitussin.”

I’ll happily smell like cough syrup if it will keep the wasps away from me.

Of course, I needed to shake it. When I first poured the oil in and looked in, I thought it had congealed instantly since there was a motionless blob in the clear hairspray, but shaking seemed to distribute it quite well. The hairspray still works fine, too.

So we will see if this actually helps. The weather here is still rollercoastering between the winter chill that we never really got this year (which naturally keeps the bugs of all kinds from coming out) and actual spring temperatures, but I will hopefully be able to report back soon that there is a treaty of avoidance between me and the stingers.


6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Peasles said,

    what in god’s name is up with the background colors

  2. 2

    yes, the mint spray works! I plant mint everywhere to keep them away!

  3. 3

    Chris, I’ve used the mint spray myself (that’s where one of my links in this post leads) and it is awesome. I think it might keep them away temporarily but you would have to keep spraying it, which could get expensive fast. But I’ve heard (and am trying) that putting up paper bags in protected areas under the eaves – like where they would build nests – helps keep them away. Apparently, they are territorial and will think that the paper bag is an already-formed nest. Or you could splurge a little and get one of these if you want something nicer.

  4. 4

    Chris said,

    There is this product called Victor:Wasp and Hornet spray. Poison Free. Uses Mint oil, detergent, and CO2. From what people say it does kill them instantly. What I’d like to know is if you can spray it outside as a repellent for them as sort of a preventative measure. If anyone knows if this works please post a comment.

  5. 5

    […] Previous entries: Experiments in Wasp Repellant, Day 3 Experiments in Wasp Repellant […]

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