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Do Wasps Fly In The Rain? Factors To Determine Wasps’ Flight

Have you ever seen Wasps fly in the rain? Do you think their little wings will beat against the heavy and stressful raindrops?

No, Wasps cannot fly in the rain, or they rarely do so only to escape from predators or to collect food. Also, the intensity of the rain, as well as temperature and wind direction, affects the flight of the Wasps. 

If you want to learn more about Wasps and flying behavior during rain, follow the article!

What Are Wasps? 

Wasps (Paper Wasps, Hornets, Yellow Jackets, etc.) are groups of six-legged flying stinging insects closely related to Bees.

Approximately there are 103,000 species of Wasps, of which around 1,000 species are social, while the rest are parasites or solitary.

Social Wasps live in colonies inside large nests made from paper mache-like material prepared by chewing woody plant tissues around human residences.

However, Solitary Wasps live inside caverns in the soil or muddy dome-like structure to protect themselves from rain or predators. 

Image illustrates Wasp nesting behavior
While making their nests, Wasps mix the chewed woody plant tissues with their waterproof saliva.

Furthermore, Wasps are omnivores that feed on plant and animal-based diets, but their diet depends on their social or solitary behavior.

Hence, they have two sets of transparent to translucent aerodynamic wings on their back, enabling them to fly and hover.

Usually, all Wasps have a stinger pointing out from their abdomen, helping them to deter threats by stinging multiple times. 

Normally, Wasps are active insects that come out from their home only when they hunt for food or when they are threatened.

Can Wasps Fly In The Rain If Their Wings Are Wet?

Wasps weigh anywhere between 1 milligram (Fairy Wasps) and 500 milligrams (Giant Hornets).

However, their lightweight body and strong sets of wings enable them to fly from threats or assist them in migration.

The wings in Wasps with streamlined bodies are pointy, giving them better mid-air maneuverability.

Likewise, Wasps with stouter bodies have round wings that offer better flight power and speed. 

But Wasps rarely fly when it rains heavily as the raindrops make them topheavy and incapable of beating their wings if they are drenched.

Image illustrates nest of a Wasp
Wasp nests are open from only one side, with a water-proof coating, and in a secured place.

Although Wasps can fly in light or drizzled rain, the water ultimately makes their wings wet.

It is also evident in the rainy season when Wasps hide in caverns, beneath debris, and in other areas where they are safe from rain.

And they again become active during summer when the chances of food collection become high.

Factors That Affect Wasps’ Flight In The Rain

The flight of a Wasp in the rain depends on a number of factors.

  • As cold-blooded insects, Wasps cannot fly during rainy, cold weather. Also, the ideal temperature for them to fly must be around 70°F.
  • Heavy rain creates a problem for Wasps as the large raindrops will weigh them down. Hence, the rain intensity must be low for Wasps to fly.
  • High wind speeds will also affect the flight of the Wasps as the winds will knock them from their course and affect their steer.
  • If the Wasp or the colony is hungry, Wasps don’t hate to go out in the rain.
  • Also, if predators attack the colony or Wasp, it can fly in the rain until the threat subsides. 

From Editorial Team

Beware of the Wasps during the rain!

Wasps also get more aggressive during the rainy season, probably as they may feel irritated due to high moisture.

Hence, check the weather before taking out your Wasp net from your home or messing with them around!