Do Dryer Sheets Repel Bees?

Written by George Climer

Dealing with bees and wasps can be incredibly frustrating, especially when they start getting a bit too close. There are countless methods for repelling them across the internet, some of which sound outlandish. One simple way of keeping bees away is using dryer sheets.

Do dryer sheets repel bees? Yes, they can repel bees because of their strong scent. Most dryer sheets are usually very scented, and this is why bees won’t fly anywhere near them. Rub a dryer sheet on your clothes, hang them on a clothesline, or place them on the back of the outdoor seating to keep bees away.

Throughout this article, we will be diving into the details and see how effective dryer sheets are in repelling bees. If you are scared of bees or you simply don’t want to get randomly bitten by one, keep reading!

Why Do Dryer Sheets Repel Bees?

Dryer sheets are designed to have a strong scent that washes off on your clothing. However, it’s incredibly concentrated, which is why bees, wasps, and hornets don’t like to go around them.

Here are other reasons why dryer sheets work:

1. Dryer Sheets Are a Foreign Odor to Bees

Bees have never smelled it before in a natural environment, so it can be a bit confusing for them. Contrary to popular belief, bees aren’t attracted to everything that’s sweet. Even if you have a floral-scented dryer sheet, the bees will stay away.

2. The Smell of Dryer Sheets

Bees hate the smell of dryer sheets. Aside from the fact that they have an unknown scent, dryer sheets are far too strong for bees and wasps. They end up flying away because it is just too intense for them.

3. The Texture of Most Dryer Sheets Is a Bit Oily

Bees don’t like oily surfaces, which is why the moist feeling of a dryer sheet is challenging for them. When bees try to land on one of them (if they get close enough), they often have a hard time staying still.

4. Harmful Chemicals for Bees

The chemicals used in dryer sheets can be harmful to a bee’s sensitive outer layer. It makes them itch, which causes them to steer clear of the area. By keeping plenty of dryer sheets around the yard or campsite, you’ll be able to prevent bees from gathering around you and your food.

How to Use Dryer Sheets to Keep Bees Away: Instructions

How to Use Dryer Sheets to Keep Bees Away Instructions

Using dryer sheets to repel bees is quite easy. You can get everything set up in a matter of minutes, and keep the bees away for several hours or days in a row. If you want to use them to repel bees, then follow the steps below:

Step 1: Test the Dryer Sheet on Your Skin

Start by rubbing a dryer sheet on a small part of your body, such as your hand or forearm. Wait for a few minutes to see if it flares up and if nothing happens, this means you’re not particularly sensitive towards dryer sheets so you’re good to go.

Step 2: Apply the Dryer Sheet All Over Your Clothes

Next, rub the dryer sheet all over your clothes. Try to cover as much as possible, your goal is to make them smell exactly like the dryer sheet. Keep in mind that the biggest reason that bees don’t like dryer sheets is the scent. Use this information to your advantage!

Step 3: Setting up a Barrier

Hang dryer sheets around the yard with a string. Use a hole puncher or scissors to cut holes in the sheets to make it easier for you to hang them. You can also use clothespins. Space them about 10 feet apart from one another for the best results.

Place dryer sheets around the area, including on seats, windows, and near the swimming pool. Anywhere that bees like to gather is a good place for you to start placing the dryer sheets.

Note: Don’t put any dryer sheets near pollinating bees. They need to pollinate in order to survive.

Step 4: Wash Your Clothes With Dryer Sheets as You Normally Would

Even the slightest scent coming from your clothes can be enough to repel bees. You only need to use one dryer sheet per a load of clothes since too many sheets can lead to a waxy feeling.

Common Questions About Dryer Sheets and Bees

Using dryer sheets to repel bees might seem a bit weird, but it works! If you have any questions about it, you’re in the right place. Below, we’ll break down the answers to some of the most common questions about this topic.

Will Any Type of Dryer Sheet Repel Bees?

Dryer sheets use strong chemicals that are supposed to give freshness and softness to a whole load of clothes. That much concentration, regardless of the scent, is too strong for bees and wasps to handle. You’ll be left smelling wonderful while also being safe and sound from bee stings.

How Often Should You Replace the Sheets?

Dryer sheets take a very long time to lose their scent. They hold onto it better when they’re packaged, but you can still expect about one to two weeks of effectiveness per sheet.

How Many Dryer Sheets Do You Need to Keep the Bees Away?

While there’s no scientific measurement, it’s safe to say that you should space out the dryer sheets based on their scent. Place one dryer sheet on the line, walk back until you can’t smell it anymore, then place another. Remember that a light breeze will carry the scent a long way.

Do Dryer Sheets Repel Other Insects?

Yes, dryer sheets have also been known to repel gnats. Other studies done by homeowners have had success when using dryer sheets to ward off bees, mosquitos, wasps, hornets, and more.

Related: Bald-Faced Hornets and How to Get Rid of Them? | Identification and Control Guide

Can You Apply Dryer Sheets Directly to Your Skin?

While dryer sheets are great to use on your clothes, not everyone can use them directly on their skin. They can cause redness and irritation, which is why you should do a spot treatment before rubbing the sheet on your arms, head, legs, and so on. However, it usually doesn’t cause any issues at all.

Related: How to Get Rid of Ground Bees? | Digger Bee Control

List of Sources

G. D. Glynne Jones. (1952). The Responses of the Honey-Bee to Repellent Chemicals.
Hellmich, R. (1996). Use of Insect Repellents for Dispersing Defending Honey Bees (Hyntenoptera: Apidae).
Sellers, E. (n.d.). Possible Effects of Dryer Sheets on Pollinator Activity on Butterfly Bush.