What Attracts Wasps: Understanding the Behavior of These Backyard Inhabitants

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on January 28, 2023 · 3 mins read

As homeowners, we love spending time in our backyards, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. However, sometimes we encounter uninvited guests – wasps. These stinging insects can be a real nuisance, but understanding their behavior and what attracts them can help you keep them at bay. In this article, we’ll explore what attracts wasps and how to prevent them from becoming an infestation.

DIY Wasp removal recommendations

For non aggressive wasps I've had great luck spraying the nests with this Spectracide wasp remover in the evening. For more aggressive wasps I also use this rediculous looking upper torso Beekeeping suit. It seems silly, but trust me, it's amazing.

What are Wasps?

Before we dive into what attracts wasps, it’s essential to know a bit about these backyard inhabitants. Wasps are flying insects that come in many different shapes and sizes. They have slender bodies, narrow waists, and two pairs of wings. Unlike bees, wasps are typically hairless and have smooth bodies, making them appear shiny.

Wasps are known for their powerful stingers, which they use for defense and hunting. Some species of wasps are social and live in nests, while others are solitary and do not form colonies. Social wasps, such as yellow jackets and paper wasps, can be particularly aggressive when defending their nests.

What Attracts Wasps?

Wasps are attracted to several things in our backyards, including:


Like us, wasps need food to survive, and they are not picky eaters. Wasps are attracted to sweet foods, such as ripe fruit, soda, and juice. They are also drawn to protein-rich foods like meat, fish, and pet food. To prevent wasps from being attracted to your food, cover your drinks and food containers, and clean up spills immediately.


Social wasps build nests in protected areas, such as under eaves, in tree branches, and in wall cavities. If you have a wasp nest in your backyard, it will attract more wasps, making it essential to remove it promptly. Never attempt to remove a wasp nest yourself; instead, call a pest control professional.

Bright Colors

Bright colors can attract wasps, especially yellow and white. Avoid wearing brightly colored clothing or floral patterns when spending time outside. Instead, opt for neutral colors.

How to Prevent Wasp Infestations

Prevention is key to avoiding wasp infestations in your backyard. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Keep food and drinks covered
  • Clean up spills promptly
  • Store garbage in sealed containers
  • Trim bushes and trees regularly
  • Seal cracks and gaps in walls and foundations
  • Cover vents and chimneys with mesh screens
  • Remove standing water sources

Bees vs. Wasps

Bees and wasps are often confused, but they are very different types of insects. Bees are vegetarians and feed on nectar and pollen, while wasps are mostly predators and scavengers. Bees are also fuzzy and have flat legs, while wasps have smooth and shiny bodies. Bees play a vital role in pollination, making them essential for our ecosystem.


Understanding what attracts wasps can help you avoid infestations and enjoy your backyard without any unwanted visitors. By following these simple prevention tips, you can keep your yard free of pesky wasps and other pests. Remember, if you do have a wasp problem, always seek the help of a pest control professional.