Skip to Content

Does DEET Repel Bees and Wasps? (Read This First!)

You all wait for summer throughout the year to enjoy the outdoor activities. Clear sky, fine breeze, and sunshine, if you think you’re getting all these in the upcoming summer, let us remind you about the bugs that might join you as an unwanted guests. 

Specifically, the frequent presence of bees and wasps can keep you in constant fear since their bite and stings are really hurtful. That’s why people search for simple yet powerful methods to repel these insects. 

Deet as a mosquito repellent has earned much popularity. It’s also being used to deter many other bugs. So you may want to know if deer can keep bees and wasps away from you.

Does DEET repel bees and wasps?

Deet can deter bees and wasps. In fact, it’s quite effective against any biting insects. Deet repels bees and wasps by puzzling their receptors on the antenna so they can’t detect the human body. Deet when used in a good amount in bee and wasp repellent can provide longer protection.

Deet or diethyltoluamide, in brief, is one of the most powerful bug repellent ingredients. It’s an active ingredient that can be applied over human skin when used in a certain percentage in bug repellent products.

When applied externally it can provide long time protection from annoying and injurious bugs and insects.

Deet is used to deter many insects for example mosquitoes, flies, ticks, etc. let’s know now if this popular insect repellent works against bees and wasps too!


The trouble of bees cross the limits when the winter comes to an end. But if you use a repellent containing the active ingredients DEET, you’ll be safe for hours from the painful presence of bees. 

DEET can help to deter bees just like it does with mosquitoes. When applied to the skin, DEET targets the receptors placed on the bees’ antenna.

It blocks their power to detect the human body by smelling and top over confuses them about the locations of their prey.

Thus bees can’t land on human skin and harm them with their stings. 

However, the duration of the protection that DEET can give depends on how much of this ingredient is used and how many times the repellent has been reused externally.  


Wasps are not less harmful than bees. It too can sting as it bites and injures the skin. Along with many other ingredients such as wasp repellent, DEET works impressively against these.

Bugs with stings. DEET protects human skin from getting located by wasps when applied externally. It repels wasps as the chemical is able to interfere with the receptors of the insect and mislead it. So that wasps can’t sit on human skin. 

Deet can repel wasps for hours depending on the quantity of it in the repellent and reapplication after a certain period.

Does DEET protect against bees and wasps?

DEET, chemically known as N-Diethyl-meta- toluamide is a common name when it comes to insect repellent. It’s a strong and active ingredient to deter pests and give protection for a time being.

DEET is found in mosquito repellent most of the time but it can protect against bees and wasps as well.

DEET as a pest repellent targets the receptors of a bee or wasps’ antenna. This part is connected with the olfactory nerves of the pests. DEET affects their nerves interfering with the receptor and confuses the bees and wasps about their prey.

As a result, bees and wasps can’t detect the human skin to sit and sting. DEET this way can protect humans for hours depending on how much of this chemical is present in the repellent.

When reapplied sincerely DEET remains active on its duty from 6 to 8 hours or more. 

Two reasons why DEET repels bees and wasps

Though there are many insect repellents available on the market, not all of them are effective against bees or wasps. DEET is one of those repellents that works equally strongly against mosquitoes, flies, and d=bees and wasps as well.

Now let’s know the two reasons why DEET repels bees and wasps:

DEET blocks the insects’ smelling sense:

DEET when applied on skin or clothes directly affect the bees’ and wasps’ neuron that are related to their olfactory nerve.  They take over the control of the nerve that helps those insects to smell and blocks their smell sensor.

Thus they cannot detect their prey or bite them by their body smell.

DEET misleads insects:

Since DEET jams the smelling power of insects such as bees and wasps, they cannot detect whatever they are able to smell. DEET interferes with the receptors of bees and wasps and makes them leave the place around the human body.

That’s how DEET when applied keeps bees and wasps away.

How to use DEET to repel bees and wasps?

To get the best result from a DEET-based insect repellent you should know how to use it correctly.

Here is a step-by-step guide showing how to use DEET to deter bees and wasps:

Clean your skin:

It’s a good habit to clean your skin before applying any ointment or repellent. It’s to ensure there is no hint of any other product, dust, or sweat on the skin.

So the first step is to clean your exposed areas for better application of DEET bee and wasp repellent.

Choose correct percentage:

Repellent that contains more than 30% or at least 30% of DEET is considered a good product to fight against bees or wasps.

Except you are choosing a DEET repellent for a kid below 2 months, you should go for something that has a minimum of 30% of DEET.

Apply as instructed:

DEET products come in various forms such as lotion and spray. Whatever you choose, apply the product following its label. Use it on exposed areas evenly. 

Avoid sensitive areas:

Don’t inhale the fume if you’re using a DEET spray. Make sure you’re not using it near your eyes or mouth. Avoid broken skin, cuts, or wounds.

Use over clothes:

DEET as repellent can be applied on clothes too. Usually, the spray or the liquid form of DEET repellent is suitable for using over clothes. It needs to be sprayed all over clothes before you wear them. 

What can I put on my skin to repel wasps?

Wasp when stings can make you face reaction for days. Even it can result in severe allergic reactions along with rash and swelling. You may get some relief after the right treatment but it’s always better to prevent than cure. 

Essential oils are much praised for deterring wasps. Especially peppermint oil is very powerful to deter wasps. Peppermint oil can be used raw or with soap water as wasp repellent. 

Geranium flower and its oil, both have been used for years as a good repellent for wasps. Besides, the mixture of three strong essential oil that is geranium, clove, and lemongrass works strongly against wasps when sprayed on the skin.

Soap water is another effective solution that can be sprayed around and on the skin to prevent wasps from landing on your body. You can use white vinegar too as the smell of it annoys wasps.

What keeps wasps and bees away?

Wasps and bees are in nature for a reason but you cannot ignore the threats coming from these insects.

Though they are more or less always roaming around but in summer it gets really tough to enjoy outdoor hangouts even a breeze near the window because of these dangerous bugs.

Wasp or bee string can harm you causing much allergic reactions, so it’s wise to apply strong methods so that the insects maintain a distance between you and your house.

Here is a list of some effective things that can deter wasps and bees:

  • Essential oils such as peppermint, clove, lemongrass
  • Soap and water mixture
  • Garlic
  • Aluminum foil 
  • Dryer sheets
  • White Vinegar and water solution
  • geranium flowers and oil
  • Thyme, Basil, Citronella, etc. plant herbs
  • Sliced cucumber
  • White vinegar
  • Tea tree oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Mint
  • Brown paper bag trap
  • Mothballs
  • Catnip Essential Oil
  • DEET

Final Thoughts

DEET is one of the most effective insect repellents that can repel bees and wasps too. This active ingredient deters insects by interfering with their receptors and blocking their sense of smelling the human body. DEET can successfully keep bees and wasps away when used correctly and reapplied.