Whenever we think about animals that we adore, wasps don’t usually come to mind. In fact, most people are terrified of wasps because of their painful sting. However, wasps are essential for ecosystems, which might make us wonder what wasps like to eat most.
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Wasp Habits and Biology
Nature is filled with predators that might be small but fierce. Wasps are one of these predators. We might think that this predatory instinct makes wasps the enemy, but the opposite is true. Wasps offer a valuable purpose to use as they feast and hunt on almost all insects that would harm crops if they were left unharmed.
They love to hunt and eat flies, aphids, grasshoppers, and even other species of bees. They don’t only feast on prey, and they enjoy fruit, nectar, tree sap, and even our food at times.
Although most wasps are found to live in a colony, some wasps don’t. Understandably, they will be diverse if you consider that there are about 30,000 different wasp species. However, these other wasp species can be divided into two groups, namely solitary and social wasps. Social wasps will prefer to live in a colony, while solitary wasps prefer to be alone.
When it comes to making nests, most wasps will make their nests using wood and bark. They do this by chewing the wood or bark pulp until it begins to form paper cells. Some wasps use mud to make their nests.
Contrary to bees, wasps can sting you multiple times. This is because bees have stingers that come off, whereas wasps have stingers that are not barbed.
New wasp queens are born every summer. These queens will survive the winter while all the ordinary wasps die. Then when spring comes, she will start a new colony that can be up to 50,000 wasps.
Unfortunately, people misunderstand wasps, and they are often seen as pests. However, wasps are only pests if they have invaded your home or yard. If wasps have invaded your home or yard, it is best not to deal with them yourself. Instead, call pest services to deal with them.
What Do Wasps Like to Eat Most?
Wasps have great flexibility when it comes to their diets, and they tend to be omnivorous. Being omnivorous is an excellent benefit in the wild because wasps can hunt prey, or if the season isn’t ideal, they can feast on plants. That is why they can survive in ecosystems. There are eleven foods that wasps enjoy eating. Here are the eleven kinds of food that wasps enjoy most:
- Pollen – By eating pollen, the wasp can enjoy great health benefits while helping with the pollination process in nature.
- Nectar – Wasps love having nectar which is excellent since nectar is usually not hard to find and easily accessible.
- Insects – Wasps like eating a great variety of insects, including grasshoppers, flies, caterpillars, beetles, crickets, aphids, whiteflies, sugar cane borers, cicadas, ants, and bees. Since wasps are fast hunters, they usually have no problem catching insects to eat.
- Carrion – Wasps will enjoy eating decayed meat of animals or even humans.
- Fruit – Since fruit has a sweet taste, it isn’t surprising that wasps enjoy eating fruit. The most consumed fruit by wasps are bananas, oranges, apples, and blackberries. Wasps love fruit that is fermented since the fermentation process boosts the sugar content.
- Honey – Like bees, wasps enjoy honey, and if you leave honey outside for long enough, don’t be surprised if you find wasps flying around.
- Tree sap – Wasps enjoy tree sap, specifically honeydew. It is the sap that insects make after consuming the liquid from plants. Wasps love honeydew since it can fill them up while keeping them hydrated.
- Liquid from fermented fruit – As fruit ferments, it will produce a very appealing liquid to wasps. Wasps can quickly locate the liquid of fermented fruit, and it isn’t uncommon to find wasps around when fruit has started fermenting.
- Caterpillars – Wasps love to eat most insects, but caterpillars are their favorite insects to consume. People are often upset when wasps eat caterpillars or butterflies that they have spotted in their garden, but that is a natural process for a wasp.
- Spiders – Wasps enjoy eating spiders. It is common for wasps to sting the spider first, thereby paralyzing the spider and then eating the spider.
- Trophallaxis – It is a substance that wasp larvae release. It is high in nutrients, so wasps consume it eagerly.
With so many different kinds of favorite foods, it is not a surprise that wasps can live practically anywhere in the world.
Foods That Wasps Should Avoid
Although there isn’t any food that wasps can’t consume, they hate it because of its scent. Certain foods have a smell that is irritating for wasps, and these smells will deter wasps from coming into your home or yard. These are the foods that wasps hate because of their scents:
- Peppermint – Wasps hate peppermint because the solid minty scent is irritating. Therefore, people who struggle with frequent wasps infestations are often recommended to spray the area with peppermint oil.
- Clove – Wasps are put off by the strong scent and flavor of clove, and if you have clove growing in your garden, chances are you won’t see any wasps around.
- Geranium – Although geranium has a delightful and sweet scent, wasps are irritated by the smell and will never enjoy these flowers.
- Lemongrass – Wasps dislike the flavor and smell of lemongrass. In fact, people who have lots of wasps in their yards or gardens are often advised to make a mixture of clove, geranium, and lemongrass since the combination of these scents will put wasps from coming back to the area again.
- Certain herbs – There are some herbs in the garden that wasps dislike. By growing these herbs, you won’t only enjoy the herbs and their benefits, but they will naturally deter wasps from coming into your yard or home. The herbs that wasps really dislike are basil, thyme, citronella, mint, eucalyptus, and wormwood. These herbs have intense flavors and scents, so it makes sense that they would deter insects, including wasps.
- Vinegar – Wasps don’t like vinegar’s intense sour flavor and scent since it can be very overpowering. That is why people who want to repel wasps naturally often use vinegar as a repellent. However, when it comes to wasps’ dislike of vinegar, it only applies to white vinegar. Wasps really love apple cider vinegar because of its intense fruity flavor, especially since apples are their favorite fruits.
How to get rid of wasps
Nature is filled with incredible plants and animals. Wasps are one of these amazing animals since they are great at surviving in harsh conditions, and they offer remarkable advantages for the ecosystem. We don’t need to be frightened of wasps as they aren’t naturally aggressive. Instead, we should respect them and appreciate their value in our world. So next time you see a wasp, you can think about the eleven kinds of food that wasps like to eat.