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Wasps are carnivores and prey on small insects and bugs including spiders, grasshoppers, bees and most pest insects. The wasps sting the prey to paralyze it before consuming or carrying it off to the nest to be fed to the offspring. Despite being vicious carnivores, wasps are part of the food chain and do have a number of natural predators including;
Insects: wasps aren’t the only predatory or carnivorous insects. Larger wasps will feed on smaller species of wasps. Furthermore, robber flies, praying mantis, beetles, hoverflies, centipedes and moths also prey on wasps. Spiders also occasionally trap wasps in their web and eat them.
Birds: many birds such as sparrows, bluebirds, wrens, warblers, orioles, wrens and nighthawks will eat wasps given the opportunity. Other species of birds seem to enjoy eating wasps and purposely hunt them. These include blackbirds, starlings and magpies. Many species of bats are also insectivores and will create a colony on your property if there is a wasp nest present.
Amphibians and Reptiles: reptiles and amphibians, most of which are insectivores, seem to be opportunistic predators rather than making wasps a part of their natural diet. Geckos are especially notorious for eating the entire nest including larvae which they seem to enjoy. Lizards, frogs, salamanders and toads will eat wasps given the chance.
Larger Vertebrates: vertebrates such as mice, skunks, rats, weasels, raccoons, wolverines, badgers and even bears seem to enjoy wasp larvae and will withstand a full-on defence attack to destroy the nest to get to the larvae. Hedgehogs are also common wasp predators and are less impervious to stings owing to their thick body cover.
How to Keep Wasps Away From Your Yard
Wasp populations and activity peaks in the summer just when you want to make the most use of your outdoors. Having a wasp nest in your backyard is a serious risk especially to children and pets. Most species are social insects and send distress calls to each other if they are disturbed. A large number of strings can lead to serious health problems and can be fatal especially if the victim is allergic. There are a few things you can do to keep wasps away from your backyard during the summer.
- Inspect your yard in late spring and early summer which is the time the insects begin to nest. Pay attention to under railings, eaves, play equipment, overhangs, awnings and other undisturbed areas. You may destroy small nests but leave larger nests to the professionals. Wear protective gear this inspection including a head net, gloves and a bodysuit.
- Consider leaving the nests intact if you don’t think the wasps will be a serious safety issue. Wasps rarely attack unless provoked. They also eat unwanted aphids, grubs and pests that are a nuisance outdoors. Make sure that you don’t have any curious pets or children who would interfere with an otherwise out-of-the-way nest.
- Clear your yard of still water and food remnants such as garbage, overripe fruit and cover trash cans.
DIY wasp nest removal almost always ends in disaster especially if you do not have the proper protective gear. This goes doubly if you are allergic to stings or don’t know for sure that you are not allergic. Unlike bees, wasps can sting multiple times. These insects are also very vicious if disturbed.
Hire a professional wasp exterminator in Toronto to get rid of the wasp nest for you. The technician may also advise whether you can simply leave the nest intact if it doesn’t pose a risk. The wasps will certainly die come winter except maybe for the queen who survives the winter to begin a new colony. Aside from our wasp nest removal services we offer a section of wasp control products.