Pest Information Why Do Hornets Hover? Everyday Things that Actually Attract Hornets

Why Do Hornets Hover? Everyday Things that Actually Attract Hornets

Looking for the reason that hornets just won’t leave you alone? There can be a variety of reasons they’ve decided to hover around you or your yard. In this article, we look at four different possibilities.

Have you ever experienced relaxing on a quiet Sunday picnic when suddenly, a large hornet starts to hover over you? Why do hornets hover? Do you have something in particular that they’re interested in?

You’d be surprised to find out that something as simple as clothing may impact why a hornet won’t leave you alone. Sometimes, hornets just hover over things because they’re attracted to them, even if it’s something as simple as the way you smell.

In the article below, we explain several reasons why hornets might just be suddenly into you, which, sadly, might be a reason why they eventually go on to attack.

Let’s jump in!

You Have an Attractive Scent

Sweet Smelling Perfume
If a hornet’s hovering around you, there’s a chance you may just smell good.

You might want to dial down on that Eau de Toilette. Hornets are sensitive to their environment, especially when odors are involved. Detecting specific kinds of smells is essentially a survival skill. They can’t eat if they can’t find food through its smell. Fallen fruits and nectar, for example, are traced through their aromas.

Unfortunately, we humans have a habit of masking our natural odor with sweet or floral smelling perfumes, body sprays, detergents, lotions, colognes and soaps. That’s why hornets react to our scents and get confused. They hover over us and try to make sense of the scent they’re picking up.

You’re Wearing The Wrong Clothing

Women Outside Wearing Bright Clothes
Wearing bright clothing can attract hornets and other insects.

Wearing the right color can mean the difference between being ignored or being attacked by wasps and bees.

Hornets are in the same order as these bugs, so they’re also be affected by the clothes that you wear. Their eyes are designed to hunt for food. This includes bright colored flowers that have nectar on them. So it’s only logical to think that vivid colors like yellow and neon pink might cause them to hover over you.

But what about dark colors like black? Well, wearing black and even red can lead these bugs to think that you’re associated with predators like skunks and bears. So they might try to attack you.

Also, there’s actually no color that can repel these insects. But if you’re looking to be on the safe side, wear white. The lack of color causes these insects to ignore you. After all, there’s a reason why bee keepers wear white suits.

You’re Near a Water Source

Water Source Attracting Bugs
A water source can often be a culprit when it comes to attracting bugs.

Hornets love water. Not only do they need it to survive, they need it to build their nests. So hornets are often seen near water features like bird baths and fountains. They’re even seen beside swimming pools and clotheslines that still have wet garments on them, hovering over them to collect water with their mandibles.

You’re Near a Light Source

Bugs Flying Near Light
Bugs and Hornets will often be attracted to a form of artificial light.

Lastly, if a hornet is uncomfortably close to you, it could have something to do with a man-made light near you. Unnatural light confuses hornets, especially when it’s dark out.

These insects have adapted to using the moon and the stars to navigate their way through an area. But when a lightbulb, porch light or cellphone is turned on somewhere near, they mistake that light for the moon or stars, and they follow it instead.

So when you’re out on the porch with your mobile device, a hornet may hover close to you because of its light.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. Why do hornets hover? Because you have something that they’re interested in. It could be light, water, smell or color. All these things are considered attractants when it comes to this stinging predator. Of course, you could always just be pretty near a nest, which can be removed DIY, but we recommend calling a professional.

Managing Editor & CEO Jack has been writing as a contractor and for businesses for over 10 years. He owns his own home, and has been doing his own pest control since he bought his first house.

1 thought on “Why Do Hornets Hover? Everyday Things that Actually Attract Hornets”

  1. Ugly things 😠 they should just all go away i had one today kept hovering then darting

    Vicious horrible things they are not meant to attack people they’re supposed to attack those attacking their nests so like just 🤷 go back there 🤬


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