What does a wasp eat? We’ll be looking at the feeding and nutritional requirements of these insects.
If you’ve noticed a surge in wasp presence around your home, you will naturally ask several questions. This includes what attracts them, what they eat, and so on. This article will be focused mainly on discussing the nutritional needs of wasps.
In other words, what do wasps eat?
This is an exciting question because a lot has been said about what wasps eat or do not eat.
There are lots of rumors as well as factual statements regarding their choice of diet. You’re possibly reading this because you seek to find out the truth.
Here, you’ll get all the facts you seek about the food eaten by wasps.
What Wasps Eat
These stinging insects have a fairly varied selection of dietary preferences. These range from plants, nectar, small insects, fruits, honey, and leftover food from humans.
Other things eaten by wasps include wood and spiders.
Let’s briefly discuss each of these, shall we?
Nectar provides wasps with energy. Although this food source is loved by honeybees and wasps alike, only honey bees effectively convert such nectar to honey.
For wasps, they feast on nectar which supplies them with sufficient nutrients and energy.
One of the ways to keep wasps out of your property is by identifying nectar sources. Flowers are primary sources of nectar. You may notice wasps heading for your flowers to have a quick meal.
Planting such flowers elsewhere is the most effective way to keep wasps at bay.
Nectar is the primary source of food for adult wasps. When they feed, they get the energy to get food for their young, consisting of insects. This isn’t to say adult wasps don’t eat insects too. They do!
However, this is done occasionally.
Wasps can be said to be carnivorous in a sense.
Prevalent species like yellowjackets and bald-faced hornets, these wasps will readily feed on small insects. Typical targets include grasshoppers, caterpillars, spiders, flies, and beetles.
These are targeted by wasps and fed on.
Also, adult wasps hunt for prey using their stingers which help disable their target. These are then taken to their larvae and fed to them by chopping such prey into bits.
Fruits such as apples, oranges, and bananas serve as a ready source of food for wasps.
These insects love just about any fruit with a sufficient sugar dose. However, such fruits only become attractive, thus drawing the attention of wasps when they begin to decompose.
Broken-down sugar contained in decomposing fruit serves as a ready meal for wasps. It doesn’t matter whether these are untouched fruits or discarded scraps. Wasps will always scavenge for such and gorge themselves on it.
If you feel too many wasps swarming around your home, you can eliminate them by adequately clearing out your fruit scraps. This also saves you the discomfort of other pests such as flies etc.
Wasps do not make honey. Do they?
This is an important question that needs clarification as honey bees are mostly known to make honey. Without a doubt, wasps do eat honey but do not make them.
However, a species of wasps (the Mexican honey wasps) do indeed make honey for their consumption.
Apart from this species, other wasps will feed on honey and nectar. However, wasps are generally not efficient in pollination and honey creation.
Food consumed by humans is also attractive to wasps.
They also eat a wide range of food categories. The most common include meat or steak, soda or pop, decomposing garbage, fruit juice, and whole fruits.
Spilling your drinks or dropping food crumbs around attracts wasps to a feast.
This is more common outdoors eating, such as during picnics and similar social functions. The sugar in drinks tastes identical to nectar, attracting not only wasps but also bees and flies.
How does decomposing garbage come into the picture of foods eaten by wasps? As waste rots or decomposes, complex proteins and sugars get broken down into simpler substances that wasps find inviting.
Now, you must know that your garbage contains various food sources such as spilled drinks and fruits. You’ll need to have your trash or trashcan emptied frequently enough.
Also, washing your dirty garbage can helps eliminate sugars or foods that keep bees around your property.
You shouldn’t be surprised that wasps do feed on wood. This is true; however, particular species of wasps (the paper wasps) are known to feed on wood.
Wasps chew wood pulp for a purpose. It helps them get materials for building their hexagonal wooden structures around your property.
Spiders are among the prey or targets for wasps.
A particular wasp species known as the mud dauber is notorious for targeting spiders as a meal. However, such wasps won’t feed on such spiders themselves.
Instead, they kill it and place the corpses in mud cells found in wasp nests.
Such preserved food is meant for wasp larvae who feast on it. This same process applies to a variety of other insects.
Importance Of Wasp Diet To Dealing With An Infestation
Knowing what wasps eat is central to understanding how to handle an infestation.
When wasps are seen around your home, it’s most likely that one or more favorable conditions are present. You must eliminate all food sources.
In doing this, you’ll need to ensure that drink spills are appropriately cleaned and that food is adequately covered. You’ll also need to shut or install window and door screens to prevent wasps.
What more? Remember what we said about your garbage bins?
These must be well covered with tight lids. Also, empty and wash them as frequently as possible.
Removing wasp nests from your home is quite risky. We recommend calling a pest management service to handle this job.
The information covered here has been centered on the nutritional needs of wasps. We’ve seen the various foods eaten by wasps. These point to the possible causes of wasp presence in your home.
Now that you know, you should know better what to do.