What Eats Wasps? Here's A List Of Their Top Natural Predators | Kidadl


What Eats Wasps? Here's A List Of Their Top Natural Predators

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Wasps belong to the order of Hymenoptera, a suborder of Apocrita.

They share their ancestral history with bees and ants. Neither a bee nor an ant, wasp, stands unique with its shape and nesting behavior.

Wasps are vastly classified insects with 30,000 identified species. The most distinct ones are bright in colors like yellow, metallic blue, and bright red, belonging to the group of Vespidae or the stinging wasp family. Wasps are divided into two subcategories such as social and solitary wasps. Social wasps, such as yellowjackets and hornets, live in a colony with their queen and 1000 of their kind. Solitary wasps, such as cicada killers, striking blue and orange tarantula hawks, do not live in a colony and live alone. Their diet extends from insects to nectar.

Wasps prey on most of the flies and insects in the garden to get it to the larvae stage, while adult wasp solitary or social feed only on wild sugar, nectar from flowers in the garden as their food. Adult wasps feed on food with high sugar. In summer, when they are inadequate of sugar, they feed on rotten fruits playing their part in decomposition. Yet, bald-faced hornets eat only fruits and nectar, and yellow jackets eat only human food or diet. The wasp constructs its own wasp nest.

Wasps make their nest from the tree barks and wood fiber by chewing their pulp to form paper cells as their wasp nest. Though wasps are quite a threat for their stings, they are also natural predators helpful to humans. Wasps help the ecosystem by preying on all the pests and insects to get to the larvae stage, supporting pest control, crop growth, and agriculture.

If you enjoy reading such exciting and fun facts, do check out what eats butterflies? And what eats frogs?

Common Wasps Predators

Wasps are pretty alarming in bright colors, armed with their poisonous stingers warding off their predator. With the fierce look and intense sting, they still fall as prey for many species. Many animals or species eat wasps, like insects, invertebrates, birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

Nevertheless, wasps prey on most insects to get to the larvae stage, and they also fall prey to some. Insects like dragonflies, centipedes, hoverflies, beetles, spiders, moths, praying mantis, robber flies eat wasps. Robber flies catch the insect as they fly in midair and sting them with venom to make them immobile before eating them.

Spiders use a different method to eat wasps. Spiders capture wasps in their webs and eat them slowly. Wasps, such as the paper wasp, will eat another wasp, similar to the praying mantis. Reptiles and amphibians like lizards, geckos, and frogs also eat wasps and hunt their nest to eat the larvae. Geckos are common predators of wasps. Asian geckos eat a distinct type of wasps called Polistes, which has a powerful sting. Amphibians, like a toad, salamanders also eat wasps. A wasp cannot even fly away from some frogs, toads, or geckos as they can capture them in midair.

Animals like black bears, mice, weasels, bats, and honey badgers also eat wasps and bees, but they feed more on larvae than the adults. Black bears and honey badgers smash the nest to reach the eggs and larvae in the wasp nests. Black bears also enjoy the honey in the nests. Bats have also been observed eating an adult wasp.

What birds eat wasps?

It's pretty fascinating to know, social wasp stings only in defense while stinging solitary wasp use their venom for hunting their prey.

Many birds eat wasps, like starlings, blackbirds, tanagers, magpies, bee-eaters, mocking birds, sparrows, nighthawks, orioles, wrens, bluebirds, woodpeckers, and warblers.

Birds search and hunt on solitary wasps rather than on social wasps, which will alert their nestmates, and the whole colony will swarm around attacking them. To avoid this threat of stingers, birds chose solitary wasps, which are incapable of the big fight. Some birds are specialists, and some are opportunists waiting for a fair chance at a meal.

Birds like bee-eaters use a unique technique to eat wasp, and they are moderate-sized birds with distinctive curved-sized beaks that help them catch their prey. Bee birds catch the wasp, crush them, and beat them on a hard surface to expel their venom and prey on them. The bee birds can also distinguish between a male and female wasp. They eat the male wasp once they catch them as only the females are stingers. Honey buzzards have thick facial feathers which protect them from the sting and confuse the prey when they let their heads into the wasp nests.

Other Dangers To Wasps

Spiders capture wasps in their webs

Wasps fall victim to dangers other than insects and animals, for example, carnivorous plants and pesticides. Wasps play an essential role as predators, decomposers, and pollinators in the ecosystem. So a wasp is not a threat.

Carnivores plants like sundews and pitcher plants use different technics to capture their prey. Sarracenia, a variety of pitcher plants, consumes only Asian hornets, not other wasps or bees.

Wasp control methods like baiting, traps, pest controls are a threat endangering the wasp species. Few methods that are used include:

Nest drenching: Drenching the wasp nest with an insecticide spray to control the wasp population and its nest.

Nest dusting: Sprinkling powder dust pesticide on the nest and its surrounding area to move them away.

Baiting and traps: People use such measures as baiting, homemade traps, and sprays to eliminate wasp species from their homes.

How do wasps protect themselves from predators? 

All animals search, chase, run, hunt, and prey on each other as natural predators for food. Each animal uses a technique to protect and defend itself from the attack of its enemy.

Wasp is well known for its ability to give a harsh sting as many stinging insects use their stingers to prey on their food and defend them from predators. Wasps use their stingers which expels venom to protect themselves from wasp enemies. Social wasp adults alert their nestmates of danger by sending a pheromone alarm to get ready to swarm around and attack the enemy. They also build their nest in places that are hard for predators to reach. The wasps build their nest high or underground, and many build nests out of hard mud to keep their larvae safe.

 Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for what eats wasps, then why not take a look at what eats skunks or wasp facts?

Written By
Deepthi Reddy

A content writer, travel enthusiast, and mother of two kids (12 and 7), Deepthi Reddy is an MBA graduate who has finally struck the right chord in writing. The joy of learning new things and the art of writing creative articles gave her immense happiness, which helped her write with more perfection. Articles about travel, movies, people, animals and birds, pet care, and parenting are a few of the topics written by her. Traveling, food, learning about new cultures, and movies have always interested her, but now her passion for writing is also added to the list.

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