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How to Keep Bees & Hornets Away From the Porch

Brenton Shields

Bees and hornets may provide quite a scare during the warmer months of the year. Both can inflict powerful stings that may cause dangerous allergic reactions in some people. Bees and hornets that invade your porch will make it difficult to enjoy yourself during the pleasant summer days.

The only sure way to keep hornets off your porch is to destroy their nest.


Some have suggested painting your porch a shade of blue known as "haint" blue on the theory that it will keep hornets, bees and other insects away. This may or may not work for you. It has been speculated that the lime in old blue paints may have been what kept the insects at bay, but lime is no longer used in modern blue paint.


Always consult an exterminator before you attempt to destroy a nest. Hornets and bees can be very dangerous insects, so you should always take all necessary precautions.

Follow the directions on the insecticide exactly. Misuse of the product could be dangerous and each manufacturer will have different instructions.

There are several things you can try to keep them away from your porch, depending on whether you're dealing with carpenter bees that bore into wood or stinging hornets. However, either way, you may have to take out the nest, which could be a dangerous proposition.

Preventing Carpenter Bees

  1. Examine your porch or deck for holes. These holes are made by carpenter bees, which bore into the wood.

  2. Spray bee insecticide up into the holes. This should kill any bees that have nested inside.

  3. Plug up the holes with some sort of putty. Putty is pliable and available at most hardware stores. This will trap any bees still inside as well as keep bees from reusing the holes.

  4. Repeat the previous steps until the bees move away from your porch to find a new place to colonize.

Keeping Hornets Away

  1. Locate the hornets' nest. The nest will look like a large honeycomb, and could be located under your deck or in the crevice or a nearby tree. Follow a rogue hornet until you find the nest.

  2. Dress in protective clothing such as thick gloves, a ski mask and a long-sleeve shirt before you approach the nest.

  3. Place some red cellophane over a flashlight lens. Hornets cannot see red light, so it will be invisible to them. Wait until dusk to approach the nest. This is when the hornets are least active.

  4. Spray the nest with hornet insecticide from at least 10 to 20 feet away so you are not swarmed. Continue to spray until the nest is soaked and most of the colony is dead or dying.

General Prevention

  1. Remove any food from your porch, particularly if it is sweet-smelling. Hornets and bees are attracted to sweet odors and will approach your porch if you have any food lying around.

  2. Remove any flowers from your porch. Honey bees pollinate flowers, so having lots of flower arrangements on your porch will undoubtedly attract them.

  3. Set a hornet trap a considerable distance away from your porch. Hornet traps usually consists of a funnel leading down to a chamber that is laced with bait and that the hornets cannot escape. Keeping the bait away from your porch will draw the hornets' attention elsewhere.