All ABOUT WASPS

Wasp is an insect belonging to the order Hymenoptera, suborder Apocrita, at least some of which are stinging. Wasps are distinguishable from ants and bees in Apocrita by a variety of behavioral and morphological traits, most notably their thin, smooth body and lack of hair on the legs. Additionally, wasps are predatory or parasitic in nature and have stingers with few barbs that are readily removed from their prey. Wasps, like other species of the genus Apocrita, have a short petiole, or “waist,” that connects the abdomen to the thorax.

What do they eat?

Wasps, feed on honey, nectar, fruits, plants, and insects. Adult wasps do not ingest the insects directly, but rather paralyze them and give them to their larvae. Another fascinating truth about wasps is that after paralyzing their victim, they put their eggs inside it; the prey then becomes a host for the eggs. The host would survive until the parasitic larvae mature into adult wasps [1].

Wasps prey on crickets, spiders, aphids, caterpillars, and beetles. Certain wasp species are also used to control agricultural pests.  In South America, parasitic wasps are used by farmers to decrease the proliferation of sugarcane borers. They are also used in greenhouses (glass structures that allow sunlight to enter and are used to grow plants that require controlled conditions) to combat whiteflies that attack cucumbers and tomatoes.

As previously stated, yellowjacket wasps eat the same foods as humans. As a result, they are frequently observed searching for food in waste bins. Additionally, paper wasps eat wood. Moreover, the wood they chew assists them in creating paper-like nests.

The life cycle of wasps

The majority of wasps have a lifespan of less than a year. While worker wasps typically live for a few months, queen wasps can live for years. Wasps are not migratory insects. When temperatures drop, the majority of wasps enter a dormant state until the weather improves [2].
Additionally social wasps (a type of wasp) can survive longer than solitary wasps. When social wasps are in danger, they produce a pheromone that attracts other colony members. As a result, thousands or hundreds of wasps may launch stinging attacks. Wasps, unlike bees, may sting continuously. While social wasps use their stingers to defend themselves, solitary wasps use them to seek food and feed their young.

Reproduction

The majority of male and female wasp species mate just once a year. Female wasps hibernate on the ground or in an enclosed place following mating. Males die. A fertilized female wasp begins her colony in the spring by laying eggs in cell-shaped pods. The eggs hatch and the larvae are fed by the female. Ten days later, adult workers emerge to care for the extra eggs. Certain female worker wasps are infertile and exist only to feed the young wasps and aid the queen. More workers, larvae, and eggs are generated as the spring progresses. Male wasps emerge from unfertilized eggs at the end of summer. The insect’s mate, and the cycle repeats[3].

Prevention

  • Wasps scavenge through trash cans for food. Cover trash cans and garbage cans to prevent them from obtaining food. Leave no edible stuff outside.
  • Prevent wearing sweet-smelling or flowery perfumes to avoid being stung by wasps. Wasps are drawn to sweets due to their fragrance. They may approach you and explore if they smell you wearing this.
  • Fill up little holes throughout your yard. These areas have the potential to become yellowjacket wasp habitats.
  • Avoid bringing opened soft drink cans with you.You may find one inside the soda can very quickly, due to wasps’ attraction to sweet foods
  • You may use traps. Commercial wasp traps can be purchased through home improvement stores.
  • Your home’s entrance points should be sealed. You may soon discover one in your kitchen, searching for food [4].

References

  1. https://www.westernexterminator.com/wasps/what-do-wasps-eat/
  2. https://www.wasp-removal.com/wasp-lifecycle.php
  3. https://bestbeebrothers.com/blogs/blog/how-do-wasps-reproduce
  4. https://learn.eartheasy.com/guides/natural-wasp-control/

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