Why Do Wasps Like Side Mirrors And How Do You Get Rid Of Them?

"Wasps attracted to side mirrors of a car"
why do wasps like side mirrors

Wasps are intriguing creatures, and their complex behaviors often puzzle us. One peculiar puzzling phenomenon about wasps is their fascination with vehicle side mirrors. We often see these buzzing insects finding their interest in the reflective surfaces of car mirrors. But why do wasps like side mirrors? Also, how do you eliminate wasps in side mirrors and cars?

Wasps are generally attracted to side mirrors and cars because of the heat generated by the car engine. On top of it, the odor and uncleaned condition of the car will often attract wasps to it. Also, parking the car in well-light conditions may sometimes attract wasps and other similar insects.

To eliminate wasps, you must keep your car interior, exterior, and especially side mirrors clean. You also need to park your car in a well-ventilated and low-lit area. As the last solution, you may use pests, insect deterrents, and insecticides to eliminate wasps.

Why Do Wasps Like Side Mirrors: Top 5 Reasons

Wasps may look small, but their stinging ability is powerful. If a wasp stings you, it can be excruciating and disturbing. Hence, you must keep them away from your car and side mirrors to avoid their bites and the pain.

The Heat Draws the Wasps

One of the main reasons why wasps are attracted to side mirrors is the heat your car emits. Also, side mirrors are often made of reflective materials such as high-quality Plexiglas. The reflective material will absorb and retain heat.

It happens especially when the side mirror is exposed to sunlight for a long time. So, the side mirror and its surroundings become warmer. Wasps, like many insects, are ectothermic. Ectothermic insects rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature. Since the surface of side mirrors feels warmer, it becomes an ideal spot for wasps.

They find it an appealing spot to bask and warm themselves. Naturally, wasps will sit on the side mirror or your car exterior whenever possible.

The Odor of Your Car

You may believe it or not, the scent of your car can also attract wasps. Often, your car carries residual odors from food, beverages, or other substances. Hence, the car interior and exterior can become an enticing target for these insects with that smell.

Like most insects, wasps are opportunistic feeders. So, they always look for their potential food sources. The odor emanating from your car might signal the wasps that a food source is nearby. So, wasps will explore the reflective surfaces in search of a meal.

Car Parking Location

The location where you park your car can significantly impact the likelihood of wasp presence. Do you frequently park your vehicle near areas with abundant flowers, vegetation, or trash bins? If so, it increases the chances of encountering wasps.

These locations provide potential food sources, shelter, and nesting sites for wasps. As wasps always live near vegetation and trash bins for food, they will be more likely to investigate your car, including its side mirrors.

Also, a few wasps will fly over your car when you park your car near the trash bins and flowers. So, you will find them on the side mirror and car exterior often.

Cars with Bright Colored Exterior

The color of your car’s exterior attracts the wasps as well. Bright and vibrant colors are known to attract insects, including wasps. These colors resemble the flowers and fruits that many insects feed on.

So, when wasps see a reflective, colorful surface on your car, they might mistake it for a potential food source. As a result, the insect will investigate the side mirror further and fly over it. Also, they will sit on the mirror panel and car, which can cause serious problems. At one point, the wasps may fly out of nowhere when you drive your car and distract you.

Also, when you open your car door, wasps can get inside and sting the passengers. So, you must be careful about the wasps.

Dead Insects on the Car or in its Tires

Did you not clean your car exterior and interior for a long time? If so, your car may have accumulated a collection of dead insects on its surface or in its tires. It is natural since your car tire goes over all sorts of environments, and dead flies and insects may get over it gradually.

These dead might signal to other wasps that this area is suitable foraging. Wasps are scavengers and will live on the dead insects, too. Also, they can detect the presence of other insects with their scent even from miles away.

They might be enticed to explore the area when encountering a car with dead insects. It includes both the side mirrors and the car exterior. Also, wasps will fly over the car tire and mirror to find the dead insects so they can eat them.

"Wasps attracted to side mirrors of a car"
why do wasps like mirrors

How Do You Get Rid of Wasps in Your Car?

Encountering wasps in the car can be a frustrating experience. Thankfully, you can eliminate the wasps in your car as you keep your car clean. Also, you may use insecticide and pest deterrents to kill or keep the wasps away from your car side mirror.

Keep Your Car Clean:

You must clean your car’s exterior and interior regularly to keep insects away. Also, it is essential to minimize potential attractions for wasps and any unwanted pests. It would be best if you also cleaned the interior and exterior of your car.

First, you must wash your car’s exterior to remove dirt, dust, and dead insects. Often, inspectors might enter the side panel and exterior of the surface. As you clean the exterior and mirror panel, it removes food particles, dust, and odor from it. So, wasps will be less likely to get attracted to the mirror.

Besides the exterior, you must also focus on interior cleaning. You should vacuum your car’s interior to remove crumbs, food particles, and debris. You may wipe down the surfaces and car seat with a mild cleaner to ensure no lingering food scents.

Park in Less-Lit Areas:

You must also choose well-lit parking areas for your car. It can discourage wasp activity, as they are less active at night. Also, for the nighttime parking, park your car in areas that could be better-lit during the night. Wasps tend to be less active in darkness.

Hence, when you park the car in low-light conditions, it can distract the car from wasps. You may cover your car with a black cover to protect it from external elements and wasps.

Use Wasp Repellents:

You can use natural or commercial wasps and insect repellent to deter wasps from your car. Natural repellents can deter wasps from approaching your car and the side mirror. For instance, peppermint oil and Citronella-based items can be effective.  

  • You can mix a few drops of peppermint oil with water. Then, spray it around your car’s mirrors, tires, and entrances. Wasps dislike the strong scent of peppermint.
  • Also, you may spray Citronella-based products, like candles or sprays. They can also be effective at keeping wasps away.
  • If the infestation is too much, you can install commercial insect deterrents with UV light or ultrasonic sound. It will discourage the wasps from coming near your car.

Hang Wasp Traps

If you don’t like wasp repellents, you can use traps designed to capture and remove wasps. It will help you manage their presence. There are many commercial wasp traps available in the market. You can purchase these wasp traps and hang them near your car’s parking area. These traps use attractants to lure wasps in and prevent them from escaping.

You can keep the jam and vinegar mixture in a jar with a funnel-like shape. The sugary jam will attract the wasps, and the funnel will block them from coming out of the jar.

Seal Openings:

You can prevent wasps from entering your car as you seal the openings. You should inspect your car for any openings, gaps, or cracks where wasps could enter. These places can be vents, gaps in windows, and damaged seals.

Once you find the openings, seal them with weather stripping, caulk, or adhesive materials. However, it won’t work for the car exterior and side mirror panel.

Final Thoughts

Wasps are like side mirrors for warmer surfaces, smelly situations, and debris accumulating over them. So, you must keep your car clean, especially the side mirrors and exterior, to keep the wasps away.

If you find it hard to keep wasps away even after cleaning the mirror panel, keep peppermint or cloves in the mirror panel, and it will distract the wasps naturally. Also, for larger infestations, you should apply insect deterrents.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are wasps afraid of light?

No, wasps aren’t afraid of light. They will, in fact, naturally get attracted to light. So, we recommend you keep your car in low-light condition to distract wasps.

  • What color scares wasps?

Wasps and most insects can see UV light. So, they dislike green and blue hues as they disturb their natural lifecycle. You can, thus, use UV rays to distract the wasp.

  • What smells make wasps angry?

Smells of peppermint, thyme, basil, spearmint, cloves, citronella, and lemongrass are natural deterrents to wasps. These spices and leaves have a strong odor that wasps dislike so they will keep their distance from them.

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