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Do Bug Zappers Attract Wasps?

Wasps have positive phototaxis and will be attracted to the UV light in bug zappers. Unfortunately, they get electrocuted once they are drawn to the UV lights.

October 8, 2023

3 min read time

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Ah, the great outdoors—a place for barbecues, playtime, and… wasps?

There’s nothing quite like the arrival of uninvited winged guests to ruin an outdoor gathering. Many people turn to bug zappers as a solution, but there’s a question that lingers: do bug zappers attract wasps?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore this buzzing question and arm you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s discuss what bug zappers are.

A bug zapper is an electronic device designed to attract and kill flying insects.

They often use ultraviolet light to lure bugs in and then zap them with an electrical grid.

These devices are popular for controlling various types of flying pests like mosquitoes and flies.

But what about wasps?

Common Myths About Bug Zappers and Wasps

You might’ve heard that bug zappers are a surefire way to send wasps packing—or conversely, that they act like wasp magnets.

The truth, as it often does, lies somewhere in the middle.

Myth 1: Bug zappers kill all types of flying insects indiscriminately.

Myth 2: Wasps aren’t attracted to bug zappers.

Myth 3: Bug zappers are the most effective way to control wasps.

The Science Behind Bug Zappers and Wasps

Recent studies show that while bug zappers do kill a variety of insects, they’re not particularly effective against wasps.

Unlike other insects, wasps aren’t strongly attracted to ultraviolet light.

However, they might be drawn to the zapper if other insects that they prey upon are being zapped.

Other Factors That May Attract Wasps

While the bug zapper itself may not be a significant wasp magnet, other factors can make your backyard a hotspot for these stingers:

Food Sources: Open food and sugary drinks can attract wasps.

Garbage: Make sure your trash cans are well-sealed.

Garden Flowers: Some flowers attract wasps more than others.

Standing Water: Even a small amount can be a water source for wasps.

Making an Informed Decision

So, should you toss your bug zapper in the garbage if you have a wasp problem?

Not necessarily. While it may not be the most effective tool for combating wasps, it can still control other annoying insects like mosquitoes and flies.

The key is to combine methods for a more comprehensive pest control strategy.


Wasps can put a damper on outdoor activities, and while bug zappers may not be the ultimate solution, they can be a part of a broader pest control plan.

Equip yourself with knowledge and the right tools to make your living space a no-fly zone for unwanted insects.

Latest Comments

  1. Can bug zappers be used to control wasp populations?

  2. While bug zappers may kill some wasps, they are generally not the most effective means of controlling wasp populations. Wasps are more attracted to proteins and sweets rather than light, so bait traps might be more effective.

  3. Are there any risks associated with using bug zappers to attract wasps?

  4. Using bug zappers could potentially attract more wasps to the area, which could increase the risk of stings. Additionally, the indiscriminate nature of bug zappers means they can also kill beneficial insects.

  5. Removing a wasp nest can be dangerous and is often best left to professionals. However, if you choose to do it yourself, it’s essential to wear protective clothing, plan an escape route, and, if possible, remove the nest at night when wasps are less active.

  6. What are some alternative methods to bug zappers for dealing with wasps?

  7. Alternatives include using wasp-specific traps, applying essential oils that repel wasps, setting up decoy nests, or using natural predators to control wasp populations.

  8. What maintenance does a bug zapper require?

  9. Periodic cleaning of the dead insects from the electric grid and tray is necessary for optimal performance. Additionally, the bulbs may need to be replaced periodically according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

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