10 Simple Tricks to Keep Bees Away From Your Deck or Patio

Imagine you are relaxing in your yard, enjoying the summer warmth as you sip your favorite cold drink. Then a bee annoyingly buzzes around, looking to spoil the moment.

Bees are such a menace, and they can leave you with a sore face when mishandled. So how do you keep them off the deck or patio? Here are ten ways:

  1. Remove colored plants & scented flowers from the area
  2. Ensure your deck or patio area is clean & dry
  3. Apply essential oils on exposed skin
  4. Serve food inside the house
  5. Use water jets
  6. Keep the deck area dark
  7. Do not wear a strongly scented perfume
  8. Mothballs can deter bees
  9. Use a DIY bee catcher
  10. Do not wear bright colors

Let’s delve deeper into some of the critical hacks of keeping bees off your deck or patio. 

How Do I Get Rid of Bees on My Deck?

Keeping bees out of your homestead yard shouldn’t be a challenging calling when you understand what attracts them.

The trick is, therefore, to identify the attractants and eliminate them. Most of the techniques are also easy to execute. Here are some of the tricks: 

1. Remove Colored Plants & Scented Flowers from the Area

You cannot separate bees from colored plants, especially if they are flowering. Bees are fond of the plants as they are sources of nectar.

The range of colors that bees will find very attractive include blue, yellow, violet, and white. Hence if your deck or patio area has these flowers, you cannot avoid the frequent buzzing of bees. 

Another attractant in flowers is the sweet scent that they emit. Some of the sweet-scented flowers that are most attractive to bees include sunflower, lilacs, daisies, sumac, peonies, and anise hyssop, among others. 

It would be best to keep these flowers and colored plants from your deck area to keep off bees. You can move the flowers to other sites away from the deck or patio if the flowers are potted.

2. Ensure Your Deck or Patio Area is Clean & Dry

Your patio area could be having items that should not be there. These include materials such as old pipes and pots, which are lying all over the area. You need to remove these materials and ensure that the place is clean. The bees will not find it attractive when you eliminate the objects. 

Also, you must ensure that there is no water on the deck or patio. Bees are attracted to water as it helps make honey. Thus, if you have water spilled on the patio, it could keep bees around.

The problem is prevalent, especially in the summer when there is water scarcity. Hence, to ensure that bees are not attracted, wipe off water and keep the deck and patio surfaces moisture-free. 

Check out if the deck has small holes where water can collect. If present, seal them using silicon or any other adhesive product like foam. It would be best to comb the entire deck area for gaps that could encourage bees’ entry. 

Also, it is essential to remove any beehive around the yard, even if the bees have already left. Bees will perch on any space that can be an ideal home. Therefore, you could soon host a large swarm in the empty beehive near your homestead yard. 

The ultimate hack to avoid the probable nesting or frequent visit by bees is making the surroundings unattractive to the insects. 

3. Apply Essential Oils on Exposed Skin

Essential oils will do a perfect job scaring bees off your yard, especially if you choose the right type. Also, for best results, you must settle for essential oils that are effective and, at the same time, harmless to humans. 

You must also ensure that you apply the essential oils effectively for the best results. Here are some of the effective essential oils that will effectively keep bees off your deck or patio without harming them. 

Peppermint Oil

The smell of peppermint is sweet, but bees will avoid being around the scent. Hence, you can spray your deck or patio with peppermint oil. 

During application, soak cotton balls with essential oil and place them in strategic points. 

You can also apply the treatment via spray instead of using cotton balls. In this option, make a mixture of the essential oils and water. Ensure that you have a concentrated solution and spray it on the deck or patio. 

Majestic Pure peppermint oil will effectively dispel the insects from your yard. It is naturally extracted from peppermint and has no harmful additives. It will thus be safe to use.

Geranium Oil

The oil is an effective bee repellant, and it comes from rose geranium trees. You can plant the trees around your yard. But you do not have to undergo this hassle when you can use geranium oil extract such as Cliganic Organic Geranium Essential Oil

It is easy to apply as you are only required to use cotton wool. Soak cotton balls or pieces of cloth in the oil and lay them on the deck’s surface. It will be active for some time. Thus you do not have to keep reapplying. 

Eugenol (clove oil)

Clove oil will be as effective as the other aforementioned essential oils in repelling bees. In addition, it will also discourage other flying insects such as wasps from perching on your deck. 

Apply eugenol as a spray by first diluting it in water. Once you have a homogenous mixture, spray it around your patio or deck. Use SUN’s Clove Essential Oil or any other clove oil brand that has high quality. 

It is also important not to dilute the mixture too much to ensure the smell persists for some time. 

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil may not have the pungent smells that the other essential oils are renowned for. Nonetheless, it is highly effective in repelling bees from visiting specific areas. 

Also, it comes with a woody smell which will undoubtedly improve the appeal of your yard. Nonetheless, its effectiveness quickly wears off. Thus, you will have to reapply after a short while. 

The upside with regular use of tea tree oil is that it has fungicide properties. Hence, it will keep your deck or patio protected from fungal attacks.

Consider using a reputable brand such as Handcraft Blend’s Tea Tree Essential Oil. It is sold together with a glass differ, and this will facilitate the application process. 

Citronella Oil

Citronella effectively repels mosquitoes, and its oil extract is also effective in keeping bees off your yard. 

It is nonetheless not active for an extended period. Therefore, you need to keep reapplying often. However, this should not be a difficult thing to do considering it’s cheap. Due to its limited ability to stay active, it’s best for use in small areas. 

4. Serve Food Inside The House

Bees have a knack for foods, especially if they are sugary. Therefore, avoid serving food and drinks on the deck or patio. Instead, you can place them where the insects have no access, such as inside the house. 

However, you can still serve food outside but ensure that you leave it covered. Using this technique, you may not fully manage to keep the bees off the area, but you will mitigate the degree of the nuisance they will cause. 

In addition, do not dispose of food wastes and other waste in the open. They will create a moist environment that will attract bees.

5. Use Water Jets 

Bees are not good at swimming, and once they land on the water’s surface, you will have controlled them. Thus, in case a large swarm has infested your yard, spraying them with water will do the trick. 

The technique will only alleviate their threat but will not keep the bees away from your yard. Therefore, you can only use it to keep them from flying around. You will still need to use any other discussed methods to repel them from visiting your yard. 

6. Keep the Deck Area Dark

Bees are attracted to light in the same way as moths. Thus, one of the most effective ways of keeping them off the deck, especially at night, is to make it dimly lit. Otherwise, bright light will draw them, which will be hard to dispel the bees at night. 

You can thus install dimly lit lights around the deck area. The challenge with this technique is that it is only effective in warding off bees during the night. 

7. Do Not Wear a Strongly Scented Perfume

Scented perfume will strongly attract the bees. If the bees are already present in your yard, consider avoiding a strong fragrance altogether. They will keep buzzing around you as this smell is attractive. 

You can consider applying bee deterrents as perfume. For example, peppermint smells nice and will have you feeling fresh all day when you apply it. It will also repel bees. Also, instead of applying strongly scented lotions, consider using essential oils as they are repellents. 

8. Mothballs Can Deter Bees

Mothballs will produce an odor that is unattractive to bees. However, their scent is also a nuisance to people. Thus, people rarely use them in controlling a bee infestation. 

Still, you can use them to repel bees. Position mothballs near the deck or patio area or somewhere near, and they will deter the insects.

9. Use a DIY Bee Catcher

Catching the bees could be the last option you have, especially when they prove impossible to keep off. You can use the commercial bee catchers, but this is quite an expensive option. Instead, consider making one at home using readily available materials. 

Here are the materials that you’ll require: 

  • A plastic bottle
  • A pair of scissors
  • Maple syrup 
  • Water

Cut the plastic bottle to create a funnel. Insert the conduit on the other part of the bottle. Next, dilute the maple syrup and pour it into the bottle. 

The maple syrup will attract the bees and draw them to the bottom of the bottle. Nonetheless, because of the shape at the top, they’ll be unable to leave.

The upside of this trap is that it does not kill the bees and will only trap them inside. Therefore, transfer them to another place where they will not be a nuisance. 

10. Do Not Wear Bright Colors

It doesn’t sound fascinating but wearing bright colors is among the critical bees attractants. Worker bees are ever roaming, seeking flowers which they identify by their colorful appearance.

Thus, when you wear brightly colored clothes, bees will mistake you for a flower and keep buzzing around. The solution is to wear dark colors while you are outside. 

You must change your exterior decor from bright colors to dull ones. Avoid painting your yard with shouting colors such as red, purple, yellow, and green. Also, do not place brightly colored items in your yard.

If your patio has an attractive color, it could be why bees are a constant menace. Repaint it in dull colors such as brown or black, and you will have solved the problem. Lastly, do not lay tablecloths that are bright or feature floral patterns. 

It seems like you’re going to discard all your lovely bright colors, right? Well, it’s the trade-off that you must be willing to undertake. Otherwise, bees will always frequent your deck area even after you have applied the above measures. 

What Scents Do Bees Hate?

The bee population in the world has been declining mainly due to the use of insecticides in control. Hence, it is best to avoid using insecticides when you can instead use natural repellents. The latter will not kill bees but scare them off. 

Bees hate scents of some natural products that are of great importance to man. You can thus use the products to your advantage in keeping them off your patio or deck. 

Here are some of the natural scents that bees hate that you can use to your advantage:

1. Cucumber Peels

Position cucumber peels in aluminum plates near the deck or patio, and they will drive away from the bees. The use of cucumber might look like an innocuous method but is genuinely compelling. 

The reaction of cucumber and aluminum will yield an odor that is a bee irritant. Hence, the bees will avoid coming close. Also, this treatment will keep wasps at bay as it is also a wasps deterrent. 

2. Cinnamon

Apply cinnamon powder regularly on the deck or patio surfaces, and bees will avoid coming close to that area. The treatment method will be highly effective in scaring off-ground bees. 

If there is a mound on the ground near your deck or patio, the bees might nest there. You do not have to worry about this when you have cinnamon. Sprinkle it on the ground, and it will make it unfavorable for bees to build a nest. 

Also, cinnamon sticks will do the job. Position them around the patio area. 

3. Peppermint

As earlier highlighted, bees will avoid coming close to anything with a peppermint scent. Hence, instead of spending on peppermint oil, you can keep the insects at bay the natural way. 

Plant peppermint plants around your yard. Please make sure that there are plenty of them around the deck or yard area. Their scents will naturally repel the bees.

You do not have to plant them near the deck or patio necessarily. As long as peppermint plants are within your homestead yard, they will repel bees. 

Having the plants will bring two advantages. First, they will keep off the bees. Second, you will improve the ambiance of your compound as peppermint emits a fresh smell. It is just what you want as you relax outside on your deck. 

4. Garlic

Garlic is another human delicacy that bees loathe. Crush it and apply the juice on the patio or deck surfaces. It will drive bees away. The smell also remains active for some time. Hence, you do not have to keep reapplying.

Garlic will not only repel bees but will also drive away other insects.

5. Vanilla Mixture

Bees love the perfume that you have applied, which will get you stung. You can keep the insects away from your body by using a vanilla mixture. Add a small amount of vanilla extract to water and apply it to your body. 

Also, apply the mixture on the deck or patio. If you are uncomfortable with the vanilla scent, you can use baby oil. It will be equally effective. 

6. Baby Powder 

You can also use baby powder to keep the bees away. Sprinkle the baby powder around the deck, and it will keep them at bay. Nonetheless, when using baby powder, you must be keen to select the organic kind. 

Most of the baby powders in the market are not natural. Hence, seek one that is natural to avoid polluting the surrounding. A brand such as Baby Powder Talc Free is organic and will effectively drive away from the bees. 

7. Distilled Vinegar

Distilled vinegar is another natural product that will effectively discourage bees from visiting your yard. Application is also simple—place containers with vinegar near the deck or patio area.

Vinegar has a choking smell that slowly releases into the air. Hence when the bees come close to the scent, they will get irritated and take off. 

Also, you can use vinegar to clean structures such as empty bird feeders and birdhouses where bees are likely to perch. You do not have to do this consistently. Cleaning them once in a while will drive off the bees. 

Why Are Bees Attracted to My Patio?

There is a wide range of attractants that draw bees to your patio or deck. Thus for effective extermination, you must identify the ones that are specific to your yard.

For example, if you have many colorful flowers around, you cannot dispel the insects no matter what technique you try. They will still be attracted to the color and scent of the flowers. 

Also, you need to check if there are water sources around. As we earlier mentioned, bees can travel for miles in search of water. Hence, having open water sources in your yard is welcoming to bees, especially during summer. 

You will thus need to thoroughly investigate what is attracting bees to your yard before choosing the technique of repelling the insects. You can also consider involving a professional exterminator to examine and recommend what to use. 

If you can still not identify the attractants, it’s best to use the natural technique discussed above. For instance, planting peppermint trees around the yard will save you the hassle of identifying the cause. 

How Can You Naturally Get Rid of a Bee Nest?

You could be dealing with a problem of bees that have already made a nest. So which is the best way of naturally getting rid of them? 

First, understand that bees will not hesitate to sting, especially when they feel threatened. Hence, it would help if you were careful when removing a nest as it could get fatal. You can nonetheless do this task alone or hire a professional. 

Here are some of the critical tips for removing the bee nest while minimizing the risk of attack: 

  1. First, identify the species that you are dealing with. It will be important in plotting the handling technique that you will use. Some bee species are more dangerous than others and thus require to be handled with caution. 
  2. You also need to put on protective gear when approaching the bee nest. You can use the standard honey harvest equipment in this stage, such as a smoker. Ensure you put on a mask, gloves and goggles for an efficient shield against bee stings. 
  3. Create a bee repellent spray. You can use the aforementioned bee deterrents, such as essential oils, in this process. Avoid using an insecticide unless you have no other option. It will kill the bees, and this should not be your intention. 
  4. Ensure that you have covered the bee’s entrance. Cover the area where the bees entered using a mesh. It will prevent them from stinging you as you move them to another place. 
  5. Bees are less active in darkness, and thus you need to move the nest at night. It would be fatal to relocate them in the day as they are likely to get highly erratic.  

Final Thoughts 

You might have noted that I have avoided recommending electric zappers or insecticides in repelling bees. The methods will kill the bees, and this is not appropriate. Bees are essential to our ecosystem. Thus when at your deck or yard, their only problem is being at the wrong place. 

Hence, use the above techniques to scare the bees off. They will not be killed but will move to another place where they are harmless.

I primarily recommend the use of natural methods such as planting bee repellents such as peppermint. Also, applying essential oils is a safe method that will deter insects. 

Select any of the above-discussed techniques that best suits your case and apply. You will be assured of results as they are tried and tested deterrents.


Photo of author

Hubert Miles

Hello! My name is Hubert Miles. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. One of my favorite parts of my job is inspecting decks and patios. I also enjoy spending time in our backyard with friends and family. My team and I started this site to share this journey. We hope you enjoy the content.

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