I have a camera setup outside. Wasp seem to enjoy nesting in and around this camera. I know there are all kinds of wasp killers but is there anything I can do to repel wasps from nesting in and around the area of my camera?

Most all of my motion pictures are of wasps climbing on the lens which does me no good.

  • 2
    DEET is the best insect repellent, but this melts plastic so don't put that on your camera...
    – user2766
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 13:14
  • 1
    Citronella is supposed to keep most flying insects away, you could also combine this with a wasp trap?
    – Aravona
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 13:14
  • Thanks, I will play around with some of these options. It's in a high wind and rain area, so I don't know how soon that would affect sprays. I've also never made a wasp trap but I'll look into these as they sound promising.
    – jAce
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 13:40
  • The high wind doesn't blow the wasps away?
    – gerrit
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 14:02
  • It is possibly the smell of the camera - I get that with the SLRs. You need something that is sweeter smelling than the camera in the wasp trap.
    – cup
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 5:28

6 Answers 6


Forget the DEET. That's for mosquitoes, and it's not a repellent, but rather it interferes with their sense of smell so since they can't smell you (food) they don't bother you. It's also toxic.

Citronella is not a repellent of any kind. Smoke from Citronella candles is a repellent (downwind from the candle). Smoke from ANY candle is the same repellent. There have been many, many studies on this, but the legends live on.

What I use is Permethrin. This is an insecticide (meaning it's designed to kill) but works good as a repellent as well. It's a synthetic copy of a natural compound, ‎Pyrethrin, found in marigold flowers.

It's mostly used to spray orchards. It's also used a lot in dog flea control medicines.

The stuff binds to materials, so keeps working even when dry. When sprayed onto clothing, it will continue to work for months, even after washing. The military even washes their uniforms with it.

Once dry, it is odorless, colorless, and doesn't effect the feel. Basically, you won't know it's there. It will leave a residue on glass though.

Safe for clothing & gear. I spray all my outdoor clothing and gear every spring, then need to reapply it in the fall.

You can find it in cans at REI and other outdoor stores. I buy the concentrated stuff off of Amazon, then dilute it and apply it with a garden sprayer.

I've been using this for years and am very rarely bothered by bugs.

Btw, if you spray the perimeter of your house, it's pretty good at keeping bugs out.

WARNING: While it's still liquid, this is very toxic to cats and fish. Once dry, it's safe.

  • This has perked my interest. I'm not sure why I've never thought of pesticides. I think I'll look into this, if I can't get something I have on hand to work. I did some searching on Permethrin and found another caution. It's a "pyrethroid" and can make whatever's sprayed really excited before they die. I suppose if you kill the wasps and then spray this, that might be safer. Thanks for the thoughts though.
    – jAce
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 21:55

I have a very similar problem with wasps nesting in my mailbox. This has made it rather difficult to get to my mail, and pay my bills on time.

I would suggest staying away from traps as, while they will trap and kill a wasp, they do have a scented bait meant to draw wasps to the area. So your camera would still probably capture a fair amount of wasps on the lens.

I have just recently implemented the first of these two solutions myself. I needed not try the second option, however, several other people have vouched for both solutions, both online, and at my local hardware store.

  1. Mothballs: Apparently these are just as effective on wasps as they are on moths. It seems so effective the wasps have abandon their (small) nest. However, this may not work outside in a breezy location, but it still might be worth a try. Perhaps you can hang an old sock full of the mothballs.

  2. Decoy Wasp Nest: Wasps are very territorial creatures. If the wasps think there is a larger, already established, nest nearby they won't dare try to build their own. There are several pre-made nest decoys out on the market, but I've heard you can make one yourself out of a paper bag shaped to resemble a wasp nest.

As I said, I can't personally speak to the effectiveness of the second option.

Hope this helps!


Citronella candles set up around a perimeter are what we use when camping.

If we are going somewhere exceptionally bug-ridden, we do sometimes use DEET - it is much more effective, but rather toxic. As long as you are spraying and then leaving the area, I'd go with DEET.

I hadn't realised it would melt plastic (thanks @Liam) so be careful where you spray it.

  • 4
    Yeah, it horrible stuff. "DEET is an effective solvent,[4] and may dissolve some plastics, rayon, spandex, other synthetic fabrics, and painted or varnished surfaces including nail polish." from wikipedia
    – user2766
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 15:16

Since the problem seems to be that the wasps enjoy nesting around your camera, I would suggest making it unattractive for them.

For example, cover it with a kind of box or anything similar. Normally wasps and kind like cracks, corners and similar things to glue their nest to. If you present them with a smooth box they won´t find it attractive anymore.

You should also try to find out why they are attracted to the camera. Maybe there is lot less wind directly at the location of the cam, so that would be a reason for them to nest there. You could also try to make a nesting point for them close to the camera, using the things they like (wind and rain protection with small corners).

I know this sounds like a lot of work, and it might fail as well; Maybe they just like the ultraviolet-color of your camera. However, there is the chance that it keeps them away in a more reliable and permanent way than just spraying DEET around. It depends on your setup if its worth the struggle though.


I'm allergic to wasp/bee stings so this is a question I've been pondering for a long time, what works for me is slicing a lemon in half and putting a few cloves in there. Put it near the camera and the wasps wont go near it. It has a fairly penetrating and unpleasant odor.


get some bifenthrin concentrate,mix double the recommended strength in your garden sprayer, and spray all around your camera! this stuff will prevent wasps for weeks! It works by attacking their nervous system. It doesn't kill them instantly, but they will eventually die!

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