This website is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission.

What Do Wasps Do In The Presence of Light?

Last Updated: 14.07.24


If you are looking for reviews on the best yellow jacket trap, you might want to also consider the way these fascinating insects live, breed, and behave. Since they have a limited lifespan and thus a limited life cycle, they are mostly an annoyance during the summertime, when they are most active. Let’s take a closer look at these interesting creatures.

Wasps are medium-sized insects that belong to the Vespidae family and since most of the species around the world live in colonies, wasps are called eusocial insects. Wasps live in most areas worldwide except for polar areas. Depending on the species they belong to, wasps can be solitary or live in colonies or nests.

Solitary wasps are not organized in nests and will lay eggs themselves. They are considered by scientists to be parasitoidal insects because they lay their eggs in the nests of other insects. The two most commonly known species of wasps are the hornets and yellow jackets. Both of these two species are among those that live in colonies and build nests.

Wasps play an important part in our natural balance of the environment since they mostly eat nectar and fruits that have fallen from trees, but they also eat other small insects, such as aphids. Thanks to their carnivorous eating habits wasps help to keep plants healthy and free from pests, and also help flowers bloom properly.


Are wasps attracted to light?

As a matter of fact, yes they are attracted to light, just like many other insects. Since wasps fly out of their nests later in the evening, they will often be seen flying around light sources. During the hot summer evenings, it is not uncommon to hear wasps buzzing around porch lights, just as we may see them feeding on fruit on our table during the day if we are not careful.

How do wasps get so close to our homes? Well, they are known to build a nest in any suitable place, such as woodlands, farms, our garden sheds or our attics. Because wasps build their nests close to our homes, wasp-human interactions are quite inevitable, but it is important to keep in mind that they are mostly harmless to humans, as long as you do not bother them.

Observing how many wasps fly around a light source at any given time of the evening may also give the homeowner a better idea of how many of these insects he or she is actually sharing the garden with. If many wasps are spotted at once around a light bulb, then one can safely state that there must a nest built nearby, and, as a result, should keep their eyes open for the exact location of the nest.

Another helpful fact about wasps being attracted to light is that it makes it a lot easier to notice if a wasp has entered your home. Since many people watch T.V. in the evening, or like reading a good book before going to sleep, all of these types of light sources may attract any unwanted guests. Seeing more than one wasp in your home may indicate that a nest has been built inside your home.

What makes wasps be attracted to light?

There are two main reasons for wasps to be attracted to light sources. The first one would be their eyes. Wasps, just like many other insects, have different eyes than we do. Basically, what looks like one eye is actually made from a multitude of small eyes, thus being called compound eyes. Besides the large compound eyes, wasps also have a number of small, simple eyes.

The way their eyes are designed makes them have a very different view of the surrounding world from ours. For this main reason wasps, like many other insects, tend to be attracted to light sources since they perceive them in a very different way than we do. However, getting too close to the light source can be very harmful to them, as you may already know.

Another reason wasps are attracted to light is the heat that comes from the light bulbs. They sense temperatures in a different way than humans do, and therefore get a bit confused as to how close to a light bulb is close enough. Usually, all types of fermentation processes will release a small amount of heat.

Since they know heat means a possible food source, wasps will investigate light bulbs too. However, getting too close to a light bulb, to the point of actually touching it may result in serious injury to these insects. The temperature they rise to gets to be so high, that a small insect, such as a wasp, will get burned for sure.


What other things are wasps attracted to?

As you may have already noticed in your daily life, wasps are a constant part of our lives, all summer long. You can see them around your garden and house both during the day and also in the evening. The reason for this is that through our way of life, we unknowingly provide plenty of food and places for them to call home. For instance, garden sheds make excellent hibernation places for queen wasps.

Wasps are attracted to a large number of foods and flowers around us that we care for on a daily basis, without realizing we are actually providing an unlimited food source for them. For example, we are very proud of the fruit trees we care for in our orchard, but any fallen fruit will make an excellent food source for wasps, and not only for them since other insects benefit from them too.

Another good example of wasp food sources in our gardens is flowers. Who would not be happy with having as many wonderful flowers in their garden as possible? The thing we are not aware of is that wasps benefit twice from our flowers. On the one hand, they will eat the nectar the flowers provide. On the other hand, the plants that flowers bloom from will get aphids in the summertime. Wasps will voraciously eat aphids, making it a win-win situation.

Wasps will also feast on any sort of raw meat available. So, if you leave your barbeque meat unattended for, while preparing the perfect barbeque grill, you might have a big surprise when you turn your attention toward the raw meat. Being carnivores enables wasps to find many varied food sources both in gardens and in wild environments.

Given their feeding habits, wasps make excellent environment cleaners, having an important positive impact on their surrounding areas. However, having them very close to your home may become a nuisance, especially if they have built their nest close to your home, and they invade your space in large numbers. The good part about sharing your outdoor space with wasps is that they will not bother you as long as you do not bother them either.

Are wasps attracted to a particular type of light?

Wasps are typically attracted to most light sources, such as light bulbs, porch lights, garden lights, and others. They will, however, stay away from fire, even though it radiates light. They naturally stay away from intense heat sources, such as barbeques and campfire. As the technology evolved and new types of light bulbs were developed, wasps proved to be attracted to light regardless of the used light bulb type.

Sometimes, people confuse wasps with bees, especially if they are flying around a light source. However, bees will never be out of the hive when it is dark outside. So, if you hear a specific buzzing noise around a light source near your home, it will most likely be wasps, rather than bees. Bees do not usually get the chance to get attracted to artificial light sources because they seldom go out of the hive at night time.  




Leave a comment

0 Comments Protection Status