Why You Attract Wasps? 3 Hidden Reasons Revealed

There are three primary reasons wasps follow you –

  • The color of your clothing
  • The scent of your perfume
  • The smell of your sweat
Why you attract wasps

Things like what you ate and your proximity to wasps’ nests can also attract wasps to you.

These wasps that you attract can end up stinging you on your skin and even on your face.

So, what’s the solution? After researching a lot, I’ve found why we attract wasps.

I’ve also learned the hacks to keep wasps away from me.

And having tried them, I now can have a walk in the woods and go to hikes without worrying about wasps and bees.

Bright Color Attract Wasps and Hornets

Research has shown that bright blue, green, and violet attract wasps. Out of these three, blue attract wasps the most.

Wasps are attracted to bright colors

Red and yellow are least attractive for wasps.

So, if you’re out in the woods or meadows and wearing blue, violet, and green, then you will attract wasps.

If you want to get geeky about it, then you can check out the research work here.

Sweet Scents Attract Wasps

wasps are attracted to ripe fruits

Odors are critical elements for pollinators like wasps to reach their food sources.

Both solitary and social adult wasps feed on sugary substance. And sugar is present in flower nectar and honeydew. These sugary sweet substances have a fruity smell that draw wasps.

So, if you’re out there wearing a sweet smelling perfume or deodorant, then you’ll draw wasps.

Wasps also hunt insects to feed their larvae back in the nest. These dead insects emit a protein-like smell, much like in meats. Parasitic wasps also lay their eggs in dead insects.

So, if you’ve eaten meat and your breath smelling meaty, then you’ll also draw wasps.

Sweat Attract Wasps

Wasps, especially parasitoid wasps, are heavily dependent on amino acids. Wasps need amino acids to develop their venoms.

Insects like aphids, that parasitoid wasps hunt, contain amino acids.

But our sweat also contain amino acids like serine, histidine, ornithine, alanine, glycine and lysine.

Your sweat’s odor can make the wasps believe that you’re a potential food source. And so, they’ll follow you.

Proximity to Wasp Nests

Pollinators like wasps, hornets, and bees are fiercely protective about their nests.

And if you’re anywhere near the nests, then wasps will consider you as a potential threat. And they’ll follow you.

Many people face the brunt of wasp sting every year when they pass by a wasp nest.

Your Animated Body Movement

Intense gesture of hands, waving, brisk walking, and running draw wasp’s attention. They consider you as a threat.

So, they may follow you to defend themselves.

Pheromone Smell Left By Other Wasps

If a wasp landed on you, then it’ll leave it’s pheromone to let the other wasps know.

Wasps leave behind their pheromones on food sources so that other wasps can follow.

The presence of wasp pheromone on your skin will also attract wasps.

How to Keep Wasps Away From You

Keeping wasps away from you, or preventing them from following you, turned out to be easier than I thought.

Here’s what I did to keep wasps and other bugs away from me while I’m outdoors –

Wearing Light Colored Clothes

I always wore white, or light olive or yellow when I’m outdoors in the woods. These colors don’t attract the attention of wasps.

Being Aware of Wasps Nests and Bee Hives

Avoid Wasp Nests outdoors to prevent wasps from following you

Social wasps like the paper wasps will build their nests in the trees and shrubs. I’d always look up and be mindful about the possibility of wasps’ nest.

If you see any, don’t walk under the tree or pass by a bush with a wasp nest in them. Maintain a distance of at least 15-20 feet from the nesting site.

Wasps don’t go beyond a few hundred meters from their nests. In rare cases, they can go away up to half-a-mile away from their nest searching for food.

So, if you’re seeing wasps swarms, then be cautious. There’s a wasp nest nearby.

In human homes wasps build their nests in hard-to-reach areas.

Porch ceilings, window and door frames, roof edges, attic beams, wall voids, and under decks or railings are common areas where you can find wasp nests.

Don’t try to knock down a wasp nest. It’ll end in terrible stings.

Always hire a pest control to remove wasp and hornet nests and bee hives.

Don’t Wear Fruit-Smelling Perfumes

Fruity perfumes will draw the attention of wasps. You’ll also draw wasps if you’ve bathed in a body soap that smells sweet or fruity.

The presence of sweet-smelling soaps and shampoos in the bathroom attract wasps to your bathroom, too.

In my research I found that wasps hate smells of peppermint, citronella, and cloves. So, I chose to wear perfumes that mimic these smells.

Keep Wiping Your Sweat, Especially Your Face’s Sweat

Try to keep yourself as much un-sweaty as you can. And ensure that your face and neck have no sweat.

Keep your skin dry by wiping your forearms, neck, and face with a cotton cloth often.

I always use a scent-free talcum powder on my neck, face, armpit, and fore arm to keep them dry while I’m out in the woods.

Don’t forget your eyes. Wear a sunglass. And keep your eyes dry, too.

Eye fluids can also attract wasps. And the fluids also attract gnats and midges.

Control Bad Breath

Our breath stinks a bit after eating meat, chicken and other protein rich foods. And bad mouth odor draw wasps and gnats, too.

The solution to eat is wash your mouth. I always swish my mouth with Listerine after consuming my meals outdoors. It helps a lot.

What To Do If Wasps Follow You?

Why do wasps follow you

First, don’t panic and don’t swat the wasp.

Also, don’t wave your hands to keep the wasp away. It’ll only make it more aggressive and persistent.

Keep walking.

If you don’t have anything on you that can hold on to the wasps’ attention for long, then the wasp will go away.

If you’re near a wasp nest, then slowly walk away from the nest as far as you can.

Do Wasps Remember You?

Wasps don’t remember human faces, but other wasps’ faces. It’s because wasps follow a strict hierarchy in their nests. And remembering other wasps in the hierarchy helps them to perform their duties.

But if you’re noticing wasps coming back to you, then chances are there’s a wasp pheromone on your skin.

Taking a shower will remove the wasp pheromone.


You attract wasps, or wasps follow you, because of the attractants that we have on us.

This guide revealed what are those attractants and how to remove them from us. It immensely helps in keeping wasps away.

And not to mention, it also helps in preventing painful wasp stings.

But do you know that it’s not only you that attract wasps, but also your car? Find out here in my post.