Skip to Content

How to Get Rid of Meat Bees While Camping — Wow!

How to Get Rid of Meat Bees While Camping — Wow!

The last thing you want when making a delicious outdoor meal is for meat bees to show up threatening your safety.

Instead of just running away in sheer terror, there are actually a few things I’ve learned you can do to ward off the pesky insects.

Here’s how you can stay safe from yellow jackets while camping.


How to Get Rid of Meat Bees While Camping

To get rid of meat bees while camping, you can use store-bought repellents and traps or homemade repellents. Neem oil, essential oils, and smoke from a fire will all repel meat bees from your campsite. Traps will not repel the meat bees but they will trap them permanently.



Buy a Meat Bee Trap

To keep meat bees away while camping through using a store-bought trap is one of the most effective methods available.

The traps use a special chemical that attracts the bees, making them unable to resist entering. Once they do, they are unable to escape, ensuring that all of them die within a couple of days or less.

You don’t need to add any kind of additional chemicals to the trap unless you want to continue using it.

There are usually refill packets you can purchase to keep the same trap and just refill the chemical inside.

Using meat inside the trap is another way to attract the meat bees too. You don’t need to buy more special chemicals.

However, you’ll encounter a few problems with this method.

One, it just kills the yellow jackets without repelling them away. If there is a large hive with lots of wasps, it’s unlikely a trap would help much.

Two, it’s not the most ethical way of dealing with meat bees. There are other options that will help to actually repel the yellow jackets instead of killing them immediately.


Mix Neem Oil With Other Products

Neem oil has been used for generations for a variety of applications, like gardening. It keeps insects away from crops and you can mix it in with some other products to keep meat bees away.

One method is to take the neem oil and add it to a water bottle with a spray. Start covering your picnic table with the mixture and it should repel the meat bees.

Adding more neem is always an option if it isn’t quite working.

Another method is to get some unscented lotion and add the neem oil to that. Rub it over your skin and it should keep any yellow jackets from stinging you.

If all else fails just put some neem oil in a couple of bowls and put it around where you’re sitting.

The strong scent will be strong enough to repel the meat bees but it might smell pretty strong too.


Spray Peppermint Essential Oils

The peppermint essential oil is a lot like neem oil. Yellowjackets don’t like the smell so they tend to stay away.

If you have a battery-powered diffuser it will work better to run continuously while you can rest easy.

Be careful when storing your diffuser overnight at your site. The smell could attract some unwanted attention from larger animals who smell the aroma.

Just like the neem oil, use the peppermint oil in your unscented lotion. Run it on your skin and it will repel any meat bees from stinging you.

Increase the amount of peppermint oil if you aren’t feeling enough distance from the stingers.


Use a Meat Bee Repellent

Instead of creating your own mixture of repellent repellents, you can head to the store and buy a premixed one.

The repellent is a better choice than buying a trap because you don’t have to harm the yellow jackets.

The repellent can come in different forms but you want to stick with the kind that hangs easily using a clip.

These are more portable so you can take them with you around the campsite as you move around.

They are much easier to manage too because you do not have to spray a surface or rub lotion on your skin. Just hang up the repellent and sit back.

Some of them even offer a resealable pouch allowing you to store the repellent away while not in use.

If you’re looking for an efficient way to keep meat bees away where you don’t have to get your hands dirty, this is your go-to option.


Start a Fire

Meat bees don’t like smoke so if you’re in a pinch and need some protection from yellow jackets, try to get a fire started.

The smoke will cause the meat bees to release a hormone that kicks their system into survival mode. Instead of sticking around your food, they’ll end up fleeing to fight for another day.

The obvious problem with smoke is wind direction. If the wind is blowing in a specific direction, you won’t be able to get all of the meat bees.

You’ll need to position your chairs near the smoke or purchase a small fan to direct the smoke.

A fire is going to be a longer process than the options laid out on the list. Setting up the wood, getting it started, and letting it burn out all take a significant amount of time.

Make sure if you smoke out meat bees that you’ve thought ahead of time about what it will take.


Use Cucumbers and Aluminum

Slicing up some fresh cucumbers is a great way to keep meat bees off your site.

All you need to do is get several aluminum pie dishes and put a single layer of sliced cucumbers on the bottom.

Place these around your site where you want to ward off yellow jackets.

When the cucumbers mix with the aluminum foil it gives off a specific chemical that humans can’t detect.

Meat bees hate the chemical and stay away once they smell it. The more you set around your site the better off you’ll be.


Frequently Asked Questions about How to Get Rid of Meat Bees While Camping


What Attracts Meat Bees?

Meat bees are attracted to both proteins and sugars. That’s why they gather around sweets or sugary drinks and meats.


What Smells Keep Yellow Jackets Away?

Mints and some other fresh herbs are common ways of deterring meat bees. Thyme, eucalyptus, spearmint, and peppermint all repel yellow jackets.


Getting Rid of Meat Bees

You can keep meat bees away from your campsite with home remedies or store-bought materials.

Keeping these pesky insects away from your site will give you some peace while eating.

About Me

Hi, this is Kent Walker. I am an outdoor enthusiast. I love fishing, hiking as well as kayaking. I write about my adventures in the wide open and what I learned about it.