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What do Paper Wasps Eat?

What do Paper Wasps Eat
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    When you find a nest hanging from a porch or from the eaves of your house, you may be dealing with paper wasps if the nest looks like it’s constructed from thin sheets of paper. They are very protective of their nest, and they’re known to sting if they feel their home is threatened. However, they can be very beneficial for the surrounding area.

    While your first reaction may be to get rid of the nest, you might want to hold off before killing off the colony. If you’re not sure of the differences between paper wasps, bees, hornets, and yellowjackets, it’s wise to spend some time learning what to look for to distinguish between them. This allows you to make an educated decision regarding getting rid of the nest. 

     What do Paper Wasps Eat?

    Paper wasps are known for spending their nights sleeping, and paper wasps will look for their meals during the day. They will spend the daytime feeding the larvae back in the nest as well. Their most commonly sought-after prey includes caterpillars, beetles, beetle larvae, bees, and flies. The parts of these bugs that they obtain will be chewed up and taken back to the nest for the larvae to consume. The paper wasps will generally consume nectar for their own meals. 

    How do Paper Wasps Catch Their Prey?

     When paper wasps need to find prey for food and to feed to their larvae, they will often fly around bushes, shrubs, and weeded areas. They patrol until they find something to attack. They take their time watching the insect until they have the perfect opportunity to strike and sting. Their sting will paralyze the insect that they’re attacking, providing them the opportunity to kill and feed. 

    Are Paper Wasps Beneficial Insects?

     Paper wasps can actually be quite beneficial in your yard and garden. If their nest is in an area that is frequently traveled, you may not feel safe leaving it where it is. If the nest is out of the way of humans and you don’t feel like you’ll be threatening to the paper wasp nest, you may want to leave the nest where it is.

    Because paper wasps prey on other insects that can be harmful to our landscaping and garden, this makes us question, are paper wasps good for the garden? We may want to encourage them to hunt for insects on our property.

    Insects like caterpillars, beetles, and grubs can quickly destroy a particular plant that we are fond of by eating the leaves or bark until there isn’t anything left to thrive. If you are opposed to using harmful chemicals on your plants that would repel the insects, let the paper wasps do their job. 

     Should You Kill Paper Wasps?

     Paper wasps can be extremely beneficial on your property, but their nests are frequently found in high-traffic areas. This could put you and others at risk of being stung. If you find a nest that is commonly passed by over the course of a day, it’s important to take care of the problem to minimize the risk of stings.

    Your average paper wasp that is being left alone will usually leave humans alone. If they feel people are getting too close to their nest or are a threat, they can quickly become very aggressive. Even if you have pets or other animals in the area, the sting of a paper wasp can be harmful. 

     If you decide to kill a colony of paper wasps because of safety concerns, make sure that you’re taking the recommended steps for dealing with the problem. Before you do anything, wear protective clothing that will prevent the wasps from stinging you if they become agitated that you’re trying to remove their nest.

    Suppose you’re using a store-bought product that you can spray on the nest, look for one that can be sprayed from many feet away. This keeps you at a safer distance. 

     A new nest must be constructed by the queen of the paper wasp colony each year, and the queen will begin to feed again as soon as spring arrives. Reconstruction of the nest is done by chewing wood fibers and forming them into a pulp that will be used to design the nest. Her first generation of paper wasps will go on to be the main colony of workers.

    They will reproduce as needed, and the nest will grow as more wasps are living there. The nest can grow as big as eight inches wide. When the temperatures start to drop, the queen will leave the nest and find somewhere to safely hibernate. The rest of the colony will die because of the cold. The nest will likely be destroyed in the winter weather.

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