Why do hornets love my bike?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by revrandy, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. revrandy

    revrandy The Riding Rev.

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
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    Strathroy, ON
    For some reason hornets seem to love my bike. When I come back to it, they are buzzing around. Doesn't matter if it is sitting for 3 minutes or 3 hours. Lately even stopping at traffic lights is enough to bring the little "darlings" out and have them buzz around.

    Is it because it is red? Or because remnants of their kinfolk are mashed into the windshield, headlight's etc.?

    More importantly what can I do to make the bike less attractive?

    Signed,
    Allergic to them bastards.
    #1
  2. bungie4

    bungie4 Frostback

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    It's the kinfolk. You'll see them buzzing around the front of bug splatter cars/trucks as well.
    #2
  3. DudeClone

    DudeClone Long timer

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    they think its a Honda and are trying to take it back!! :bite
    #3
  4. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    I have this problem too. My bike is also bright red. And they buzz around it even when it is spotless, right after a wash, so I'm not so sure it's the other smashed bugs.
    #4
  5. gofast1320

    gofast1320 Been here awhile

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    From an observation vs scientific position I'm thinking the smashed bug thing has something to do with it. Even washing a bike might not get all of the bug scent particles off of it.
    I made the mistake of swatting a wasp with one of my favorite caps I wore when mowing and can't wear it now without wasps hanging around it. My guess would be that the dying wasp released some kind of bug juice that others respond to. Moral of story is, use your buddies cap to swat wasps!
    #5
  6. BadKarma

    BadKarma Long timer

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    They like the smell of smashed bugs, blood and fresh meat too. Butchering elk/deer this time of year can try your patience..
    #6
  7. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    They like my blue bike also.:wink: But the one they liked the most was the bright red one. Big year for hornets in the Yukon/Alaska in 91, leaving the bike for just a few minutes and had to suit up before I even got close to it again.:evil

    Spray with wasp/hornet blaster???? Does have residual effects. That's how I keep them away from the patio, hang a rag in the center and spray it with blaster. Lots of them in BC this year.:eek1
    #7
  8. revrandy

    revrandy The Riding Rev.

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    Despite you having the same problem with a washed bike, I don't think it is the red colour. This morning I wiped off the windshield, headlight, back of mirrors/handguards etc. of bug guts and then headed out. No wasps. I will be out all afternoon on it, will see if the no wasps thing holds out.

    I washed the bike in 2012, does this mean I have to do it more often to keep the nasty buggers at bay? Who knew!
    #8
  9. echo15

    echo15 Been here awhile

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    Down here in Florida it's Love Bug season. In addition to the joy of their little bodies writhing in death throes on your visor (or is it death throes?... those little buggars are still joined, if you know what I mean), they seem to cover a parked bike. My girlfriend's CB500F seems to just draw them like a magnet. Coming out of a convenience store last weekend, her white bike almost looked black; I had to swat them off of it so she could remount and we could get on our way.
    #9
  10. Isorg

    Isorg Been here awhile

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    these buggers are drawn to the color white! few years back, while scuba diving, we set up a white canopy for some shade, we were covered with lovebugs!

    from the wikipedia on them.
    #10
  11. UrsaMobili

    UrsaMobili Canoodian Expat

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    Back on the left coast, on island with no ferry
    I had the same experience. Bike has yellow beak and tank, and seemed like magnet for wasps and bees. Then I noticed the same with my helmet, which is not yellow. Went through the wash exercise and as non-scientific observation can state the following:
    -bug guts and matter - magnet,
    -water rinse the bike - same as above,
    -bike wash or wiping the bug remains - little improvement. Varying, from no effect with the scented spray-ons to moderate, with heavy washing with car-wash detergent. You still can't get everything out.
    -best results, so far - wash the bike, spray with mixture vinegar/water, leave for few minutes, rinse throughout.
    NOTE: For the curious - I use 50/50 solution, red wine vinegar, that's what I have handy.
    Disclaimer: Don't know the effect on paint, rubber or wires - works for me, so far. Don't know the efficiency of other type or brand vinegars. Don't know if the mixture is optimal.
    :*sip*:*sip*

    PS. Another anecdotal observation.
    After a ride in heavy rain or some backcountry exploration with good mud splash it seems the wasps don't like it anymore, for awhile. :cry
    (maybe it's the "sandblast effect") :scratch
    #11
  12. Seth650

    Seth650 Been here awhile

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    Wasps are attracted to the warmth. Wax that uses tree resin or perfumes may also attract.
    #12
  13. Spaggy

    Spaggy Long timer

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    This time of year the flowers and nectar die off and the wasps and hornets turn carnivorous. Makes them more aggressive too.
    #13
  14. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer

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    Wasps show an attractant response to color http://www.rescue.com/visilure but it is the smell of dead bugs that bring them to your motorcycle. They eat meat. You don't get all the little bits of dead insects removed after washing. There is plenty left to bring them on.
    #14
  15. Frostback

    Frostback Frostback

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    Riders, riders, think about it . . .they mob your steak, hamburgers and ribs this time of year too. Try cleaning ducks grouse or deer in warmish weather. They are looking for protein meals to stock up their young to overwinter. They definately seek out other insects or meat as forage. That stinger is not just to irritate us but to kill or stun prey. they are very important natural pest control agents. They go after mashed bugs on bumpers and face shields of all color bikes but maybe some colors more than others.

    Lee
    #15
  16. erkmania

    erkmania Still Adventuring

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    Your bike is very attractive. Are you using Honda bike polish? :deal
    #16
  17. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    Wash the bike?! Isn't that what rain is for? I think you're overdoing it. :evil

    :D
    #17
  18. bwalsh

    bwalsh UUU, UUU!!!

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    Up here its stink bug season. I had a direct hit to the right lens of my sunglasses. It then splattered all over the inside edge of the helmet. I had the visor up. :puke1 They smell lovely, and they're everywhere right now trying to find a place to hibernate.
    #18
  19. O.C.F.RIDER

    O.C.F.RIDER Loose nut behind h/bars

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    I painted the inside of my work shed KTM orange and the end result is that I can't keep the door open because the stinging insects seem drawn to the color. They seem to REALLY like bright colors.
    And in a nod to my extreme stupidity, I just painted the floor and half way up the walls of my garage in the house orange.
    "Wasp Killer" cans will be at hand!

    Chris
    #19
  20. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

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    We have the Yellow Jackets bad here in Western North Carolina. Little bastards will sting and sting you. They seem to be attracted to hi-viz when I am riding.
    Run over their ground next on your mower and they get you over and over.
    I've been sting over twenty times this summer. Some times on the bikes but mostly mowing or cleaning up my logging roads.
    #20