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, several questions will naturally be asked. This includes what attracts them, what do 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 a very interesting question because a lot has been said about what wasps eat or do not eat.
There are lots of rumors as well as true 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 honey-bees and wasps alike, only honey bees are effective in converting such nectar to honey.
For wasps, they feast on nectar which in turn supplies them with sufficient nutrients as well as 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. The most effective way to keep wasps at bay is by planting such flowers elsewhere.
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. These wasps, especially common species like yellowjackets and bald-faced hornets will readily feed on small insects. Common targets include grasshoppers, caterpillars, spiders, flies, and beetles.
These are targeted by wasps and fed on.
Also, adult wasps are known to hunt for prey using their stingers which helps disable their prey. 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 having a sufficient dose of simple sugar. 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 you’re having too many wasps swarming around your home, you can get rid of them by clearing out your fruit scraps properly. 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 as well as on nectar. However, wasps are generally not efficient in pollination and honey creation.
Food consumed by humans is also attractive to wasps.
A wide range of food categories is also eaten by them. The most common include meat or steak, soda or pop, decomposing garbage, fruit juice, as well as whole fruits among others.
Spilling your drinks or dropping food crumbs around attracts wasps to a feast. This is more common when eating outdoors such as in picnics and similar social functions. The sugar contained in drinks tastes similar to nectar which attracts not only wasps but also bees and flies.
How does decomposing garbage come into the picture of foods eaten by wasps? Well, as garbage rots or decomposes, complex proteins and sugars get broken down into simpler substances which wasps find inviting.
Now, you must know that your garbage contains a wide variety of food sources such as spilled drinks and fruits among other things. You’ll need to have your garbage or trashcan emptied frequently enough.
Also, washing your dirty garbage can helps eliminate any 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.
Wood pulp is chewed by wasps 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. Rather, 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. All food sources must be eliminated.
In doing this, you’ll need to ensure that drink spills are properly cleaned, and also food is kept properly covered. You’ll also need to shut your windows or install window and door screens to keep wasps out.
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 have a better idea of what to do.