How to Keep Wasps Out of Air Conditioners

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Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves

  • Safety goggles

  • Long pants

  • Long-sleeved shirt

  • Socks

  • Shoes

  • Cap

  • Plastic tote

  • Flashlight

  • Plastic garbage or cloth bag

  • Brick

  • Outdoor trashcan

  • Air conditioner cover

  • Wasp trap (optional)

  • Glass jar

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 1 tbsp. liquid dish soap

  • Maple syrup or honey

  • Tin foil

  • Staples or duct tape

  • Mint, citronella or clove oil

Check for wasp nests inside walls and underground.

Wasps enter a home through cracks in the foundation, holes in a window screen or a door inadvertently left open. Another overlooked culprit is your window air conditioner. When the air conditioner runs, its internal parts create heat, making the unit's inner chamber an attractive space for bees, wasps and yellow jackets to nest. There are several inexpensive solutions to wasp-proof your window air conditioner and keep your family and pets safe from these unwanted invaders.

Destroy the Wasp Nest

Step 1

Slip on a pair of rubber gloves, safety goggles, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, socks, shoes and a cap before approaching the wasp nest.

Step 2

Fill a plastic tote halfway with cold water. Set the tote on the ground near the wasp nest.

Step 3

Holding a flashlight, approach the wasp nest cautiously at night. Wasps are dormant at night, which slows down their reaction time and the likelihood of stings.

Step 4

Wrap the wasp nest with a plastic garbage or cloth bag. Perform this action quickly to prevent wasps from escaping. Once the nest is covered, pull the bag's drawstring tight and yank the bag and nest away from the eave, tree or overhang it was attached to.

Step 5

Submerge the bag in the cold water. Set a brick onto the bag to keep it completely under water. Cover the tote with its matching lid and leave it until morning.

Step 6

Remove the tote's lid, lift the bag from the water and discard it in an outdoor trashcan.

Other Strategies

Step 1

Install an air conditioner cover when it is not in use. Choose a cover that fits your air conditioner snugly and is free of holes or tears.

Step 2

Set a wasp trap near the air conditioner. Purchase a wasp trap from a home improvement or hardware store or create your own with a glass jar. Fill the jar with 1 cup warm water and 1 tbsp. liquid dish soap. Coat the outside of the jar with maple syrup, honey or anything sweet and set it next to the air conditioner. The wasps will be attracted to the trap, fall into the water and perish.

Step 3

Cover the siding or outdoor window trim around the air conditioner with tin foil. Attach the foil to the siding or trim with staples or duct tape. Spread mint essential oil, citronella essential oil or clove oil on the foil. The combination of the scent and light reflecting off the foil creates a powerful deterrent.


Jaimie Zinski

Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.