Wasps have a bad name. It’s not uncommon to see people running from these large insects. They are not pretty. Wasps are actually pretty intimidating to look at. Their bright colors warn larger animals to stay away because they can sting. But those same bright colors create fear in people. But these insects have a lot of redeeming qualities. So, why are wasps good? Wasps are an important part of our ecosystem. They are active predators, keeping other insect populations in check. They also are important as pollinators of our fruit and flowering plants and trees.
Wasps have gotten a bad name mostly from their ability to sting. Their stingers are not barbed, so they can sting multiple times if necessary. These insects use their stinger to hunt and kill their prey. But if cornered, it is true that a wasp will use their stinger to protect themselves. But this is a last resort. They are very fast flyers and normally will just fly away if they feel threatened.
WASPS AS PREDATORS
Wasps are voracious predators. They hunt spiders, flies, caterpillar, larvae and many other insects. Adult wasps don’t hunt these other insects for themselves, but for their young. Adult wasps feed on nectar, the larvae of the wasp feeds on other insects. Its believed that wasps hunt and kill up to 30 million pounds of insects a year. They will immobilize their prey by stinging it, and then place it in the nest and lay an egg on it. The paralyzed insect will then become living food for the wasp larvae once it hatches.
The insects that the wasp larvae feed upon are pests that would ravage our food crops if left unchecked. Without wasps, the populations of many parasitic insects would balloon by millions of individuals. This would be a huge problem. Wasps are definitely our friends. But if they become a nuisance, contact your Oklahoma exterminator.
WASPS AS POLINATORS
As we stated previously, wasps are omnivores. That means that they eat both plant and animal. In their larvae stage, they need protein to develop. In their adult stage, they need more carbohydrates. They get this from nectar. Nectar is full of sugar, which gives them the ability to work tirelessly building nests, laying eggs and hunting for their young. These wasps are busy as a bee!
Because of their dependance upon nectar, they must travel from flower to flower to get the food that they need to survive. This also means that the wasps are carrying pollen and cross pollinating flowers and plants. Without this, many flowering crops that feed us would not be able to reproduce. Fruits and vegetables would be no more.
THE ECOSYSTEM IN YOUR YARD
Most people do not look at their yard as an ecosystem. But the truth is that your yard is not only its own ecosystem, it is part of the larger ecosystem that surrounds it. This may be your neighborhood, a forest that borders your property, or your city. Plants, animals and insects all interact creating a system that allows all of them to survive. Each organism requiring something from the next. Insects are food for birds and small animals, small animals are food for larger animals, and dead insects and animals fertilize the ground for plants. Plants become food for animals and the cycle continues.
This also means that we can upset the ecosystem. If we reduce the wasp populations in your yard too much, the insects that they prey upon become over populated. Now caterpillars populations swell, and they start overeating trees and shrubs. These trees and shrubs get sick and start dying. Without wasps, there are fewer pollinators, so now flowers can’t reproduce. This is why we need some wasps to be a part of the ecosystem of our yards.
WHY WASPS BECOME AGGRESSIVE
Often, a wasp will dive-bomb people who get close to their young. They are protective of their nests. This process is not really a danger to us, but it can be intimidating. Wasps can sting, but will seldom attack with their stinger. We are much larger than they are and if they sting, it’s likely that they will not survive the attack. So, stinging is really a last resort for them. If you are having an issue, feel free to contact your Tulsa pest control company.
Because of their size and bright colors, dive bombing is usually enough to scare away people or large animals near their nests. It is an intimidating move, but nothing more. If you do stay, they will be able to fight another day.
THEN SHOULD WE EXTERMINATE THEM?
Unfortunately, sometimes wasps find their way into places where they are not welcome. Eaves on your home or porch, inside air ducting or other places that are a nuisance to us. In these cases, they should be removed by an Oklahoma pest control company. If you see wasps around your yard, this may be ok. But too many or in places that are a nuisance will need to be removed. Contact your local Tulsa exterminator for help. Here at TemMax Pest Control, we can provide you with a free estimate. We are here to help!