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Do bug zappers work on yellow jackets?

Yellow jackets, like all other wasps, are not attracted to light sources. Their visual capabilities are weak, and thereby they see in low resolution.

February 28, 2022

3 min read time

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Yellow jackets


Welcome to today’s hot topic: Do bug zappers work on yellow jackets?

If you’re dealing with a yellow jacket infestation, you’re probably wondering what’s the most effective way to get rid of these buzzing annoyances.

Bug zappers are a popular choice for many, but are they the solution you’ve been looking for?

Let’s find out!

What are Yellow Jackets?

Yellow jackets are wasps that can be identified by their striking yellow and black body color.

They are common in many parts of the world and are known for their aggressive behavior, especially when provoked.


  • Medium size with sleek body
  • Live in colonies
  • Can sting multiple times

Why They Are a Nuisance?

Yellow jackets are notorious for their painful stings.

A single colony can contain thousands of wasps, making them a formidable nuisance, especially during outdoor activities like BBQs.

What are Bug Zappers?

Bug zappers are electrical devices designed to attract and kill flying insects through electrocution. They emit UV light that attracts the insects, luring them into an electrical grid where they are zapped.

How They Work

  • Emit UV light to attract insects
  • Electrocute them upon contact


Bug zappers are generally effective against flying insects like mosquitoes and flies.

But what about yellow jackets?

The Science Behind Bug Zappers and Yellow Jackets

To understand if bug zappers work on yellow jackets, we need to delve a little into the science behind these devices.

Attraction to UV Light

Studies suggest that yellow jackets are not particularly attracted to UV light, unlike other insects such as mosquitoes and moths. This already sounds like a bummer for bug zapper effectiveness.

Scientific Studies

There’s limited research that directly addresses the efficacy of bug zappers against yellow jackets, which brings us to an area of uncertainty.

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Common Misconceptions

  • Bug Zappers Kill All Insects: This is not true; bug zappers are not universally effective.
  • UV Light is Irresistible to All Insects: Again, not true, and this applies to yellow jackets as well.

Real-world Experiences

User testimonials suggest that bug zappers have limited success in attracting and killing yellow jackets. Some users report a slight reduction, while others observe no difference at all.

Environmental Concerns

It’s worth mentioning that bug zappers can also kill beneficial insects. This could disrupt the local ecosystem and is something to consider before setting up one in your yard.

Expert Opinions

Leading entomologists suggest using more targeted measures for dealing with yellow jackets, such as traps designed specifically for wasps and hornets.

Alternatives to Bug Zappers

  • Wasp traps
  • Chemical sprays
  • Professional extermination services


While bug zappers are a useful tool for controlling various flying insects, their effectiveness against yellow jackets remains questionable.

For a more targeted approach, consider using wasp-specific traps or professional services.

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