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Are Wasps Attracted to Light? (All You Need to Know)

Wasps are important insects that help to maintain the balance of our ecosystem. They perform an important role in pollination and seed dispersal.

Wasps control the numbers of crop-damaging arthropods such as aphids and caterpillars. Let’s talk about wasps’ various behavioral characteristics and how they react to light stimuli.

Are wasps attracted to light?

Yes, Wasps are attracted to light. They are attracted to light bulbs with vibrant colors because their compound eyes were built to recognize bright colors. Wasps flying around different light sources with a buzzing sound are common during the summer. Wasps are attracted to indoor lights as well.

Distinct wasp species have different habitats. Aside from that, they differ in terms of color, shape, and size. Let us discuss some examples of wasp species and their light-related behavior:

Baby paper wasp:

Baby paper wasps are most commonly seen on house corners, tree branches, and open pipes. Because of the darkness, they are inactive at night. They are attracted to light in general.

Black wasp:

Black wasps can be found all over North America. They are mostly found on the ground over soft soil. They see darkness as a threat to their survival. As a result, they are drawn to light and other light hues.

Red wasp:

Red wasps are native to Southern America and can be found primarily in Texas and Florida. They built nests on rooftops, trees, and soffits.

They can pose a serious health threat. Furthermore, they are drawn to bright colors such as red, yellow, and light blue. They, too, are attracted to light.

Cicada wasp:

Cicada wasps can be found throughout Eastern America. They dwell beneath the ground if they are not disturbed by external stimuli. Despite their huge size, they pose little threat to humans. They are attracted to the light.

What lights are wasps attracted to most at night?

At night, wasps are mostly attracted to brightly colored lights. Many wasps are nocturnal and have compound eyes, which enable them to see color spectrums in the same way that humans do. Let’s find out about what type of light wasps are attracted to at night:

Ultraviolet light:

At night, wasps are attracted to ultraviolet light. It is a fact that has been scientifically confirmed and established. As a result, UV light is used in many insect-repeling devices to catch wasps.

Infrared light:

UV light is what attracts wasps the most. Some wasp species at night, however, are drawn to infrared light with a wavelength of 740nm. Wasps are also attracted to infrared light, as it’s a type of light that emits heat.


The traffic lights that are normally red, yellow, and green are referred to as stoplights. Although wasps are unable to see red light, they are enticed to yellow and green light.

Fluorescent light:

Wasps appear to be fascinated by fluorescent lights. In fact, they are attracted to fluorescent light and tend to flutter around it making a buzzing sound.

Light bulbs:

Wasps are drawn to light sources of all kinds. There are no exceptions when it comes to light bulbs. Even from a long distance, the bright and shining light bulbs usually attract wasps.

Blue light:

For some night-flying wasp species, blue is a very vivid color. As a result, if you use blue light, it may attract wasps to your home.

Bug light:

Scientists frequently use bug lights to capture various sorts of insects for research purposes. Bug light attracts wasps in the same way it attracts other insects.


If wasps discover a nice nesting spot surrounding your house’s porch, they will appear to be particularly drawn to it. As wasps are naturally drawn to light, they will be drawn to your porch light as well.

Why are wasps attracted to light?

Till date, almost 30,000 species of wasp have been discovered. Some species are attracted to light, whereas others are not.

Let us investigate the reasons for wasps’ attraction to light:

To get a good view using compound eyes:

Wasps have a large number of small eyes, despite the fact that they appear to have just one pair. Wasps are attracted to light because of their compound eyes, which have a multitude of eyes that allows them to see things differently than we do.

Their eyes are designed in such a way that they see the world in an entirely new dimension. One of the reasons wasps seem to be attracted to light is that their compound eyes allow them to see things from different perspectives.

For getting heat:

Wasps enjoy the warmth produced by light bulbs or any other type of light source. They have an entirely different perception of heat and temperature than humans. So, that’s another reason why they are attracted to light.

In search of food:

They are well aware that heat can be used as a source of food because they can detect heat from various light sources. Many little insects could be burned if they come into contact with the light bulbs directly.

As a result, wasps tend to seek food near light sources, which is another reason for their attraction to light.

For locating their nests in the dark:

In the dark, wasps have poor vision. Therefore, they use light sources as landmarks at night to locate their nests. They memorize the light sources around their nest, making it easier for them to find them in the dark.

What do wasps do in the presence of light?

In the presence of light, wasps usually fly around the light source with a buzzing sound. In the warm evenings, wasps will fly around your porch lights, balcony lights, or light bulbs.

Wasps don’t normally leave their nest after the sun goes down. However, if they discover a bright source of light, they will undoubtedly leave their nest.

During the day, wasps may be found buzzing around your dining table’s fruit basket. It’s not unusual because wasps prefer to make their nests near people.

Furthermore, when the sun is shining, worker wasps collect nectar from flowers.

How to keep wasps away from your home?

Wasps are harmless insects that will not harm you in any way if you avoid bothering them. However, if they manage to build a nest near your house, their buzzing sound can be very annoying in the summer evenings.

So, here are some suggestions for keeping wasps away from your home:

Remove all sources of food around your house:

Wasps are attracted to sweet foods. So, make sure that any food that has been lingering around your residence is removed.

If you have any fruit trees or flower plants in your yard, inspect them frequently and clean them appropriately. Take out any ripe or rotting fruits from the garden. If you have a pet, ensure there is no pet food outside your home.

Close all doors and windows:

Porch, doors, and windows frequently have cracks or small holes. To keep wasps out of your home, use caulk to seal them shut. As soon as the sun sets, close your doors and windows tightly. This will keep wasps from being attracted to light sources inside your home.

Plant wasp-repelling plants around your home:

Planting wasp-repelling plants around your home is one of the most effective ways to keep wasps away from your home. It’s a natural way to protect yourself from wasps.

Wasp-repelling plants such as wormwood, marigold, mint, basil, pennyroyal, and geranium can be grown to keep wasps away from your home.

Seal garbage cans and composts:

Wasps find garbage cans and compost bins to be desirable food sources, thus they should be sealed. Ensure that your trash bags are tightly packed and that your trash container is always closed. 

If you’re going to compost, keep it covered so it doesn’t attract too much attention.

Are wasps attracted to light colors?

No, wasps are certainly not attracted to light colors. Wasps’ main function is to collect nectar from beautiful flowers, thus their compound is built to spot vivid and bright colors.

Avoid wearing bright colors and stay alert near farmland or fields if you don’t want to attract wasps. Otherwise, the wasps can mistake you for a flower.

What will repel wasps?

Wasps, like many other insects, are attracted to light. They are, nevertheless, highly sensitive to certain things. The things that would repel wasps are as follows:

  • Peppermint Oil
  • White vinegar
  • Diesel fuel
  • Decoy nests
  • Plants, such as spearmint, thyme, citronella, eucalyptus, and wormwood 
  • Essential oil blends like lemongrass, clove, and geranium

Final Thoughts

Wasps, like bees and moths, are strongly attracted to light. They like bright colors, but they can’t see red. They get out in the dark if they see any bright light source because they are attracted to light. In the summer, their buzzing sounds surrounding porch lights are highly common.