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17th Aug 2023

Four ways to keep wasps at bay and what to do if your little one gets stung

Sophie Collins

Wasp flying towards a kid

The summer season is veering to an end, but despite that, warmer temperatures and blue skies will continue into September.

This means the wasp population will continue to thrive for another few weeks.

While they are usually harmless – but annoying – each year we try new ways to keep them away from ourselves and the kids, and out of our homes.

Whether you love to dine outdoors or simply want to sunbathe in peace and let the kids play in the garden, we have some key tricks to keep the wasps away.

Keep the perfume and cologne to a minimum

Wasps love sweet scents because they mistake them for the smell of flowers.

So if you’re heading out in the garden this summer, keep it to a minimum to stop yourself from attracting wasps.

If you’re applying sunscreen to your kids, a non-scented one would avoid this issue also.

Wasps like salt and the smell of sweat too, so make sure you use deodorant.

Leave copper coins around the house and garden

It is understood that wasps hate the smell of copper. So grab some of your loose change and take the Queen of Clean’s advice.

Mrs Hinch says she is a big fan of the penny trick for keeping wasps, flies and other insects away in the summer months.

She said: “Half-fill some clear plastic bags with water, with a few coins in them.

“Hang on windows or doors and you won’t see a fly in your house. They think the bags are hives and won’t go near.”



This commonly used hack is one that remains effective. It works by masking the smells that wasps would generally be attracted to.

You can pick up these candles in almost every grocery store or garden centre for as little as €2.

Pop them around the garden and your table if you’re dining outdoors.

Wear red

According to research, wasps’ behaviour can be influenced by colours.

Yellow and white are known to attract them because they remind them flowers – which is where they find their nectar.

The only colour wasps can’t see is red, so they aren’t attracted to it – making it the safest bet for clothing.

What to do if you or your child gets stung

According to WebMD, you should:

  • First, wash the affected area with warm soap and water. Cleaning the site can remove any bacteria or venom the wasp might have carried. This will also help wash out some of the venom left behind by the wasp
  • Wrap a thin cloth around an ice or cold pack. Apply this pack to the sting site for 30 to 60 minutes, in intervals of 10 minutes on and off. This will help reduce the swelling and pain of the wasp sting.
  • To reduce the swelling, take an anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen. This will help lessen pain from the wasp sting and also reduce swelling at the sting site.
  • Another symptom of wasp stings is itchiness at the injection site and surrounding area, depending on how far the sting has spread. To relieve the itchiness, which can increase for hours after the initial sting, apply an antihistamine, corticosteroid, or calamine cream to the entire red and swollen area. This will also help alleviate the pain of the wasp sting.

If you have an infection or are experiencing an allergic reaction to wasp stings, they can cause more harm, so you should seek medical attention immediately.

If you start experiencing the symptoms below, you may have a life-threatening allergic reaction:

  • Tightness in the throat or chest
  • Tickling in your throat
  • Uncontrolled coughing
  • Wheezing in the chest
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Profuse sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Hives over large parts of your body


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