What is the yellow jacket's diet?


Quick Answer

The yellow jacket's diet changes depending upon the time of year. During the summer, yellow jackets eat insects, primarily spiders, caterpillars and flies, and feed their babies liquefied versions of these insects. In late summer, they begin looking for sugary food sources, such as flower nectar, to feed next summer's queens.

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Full Answer

Yellow jackets are members of the wasp family. They typically have yellow-and-black stripes, although some are black and white, and are thinner than honeybees. Instead of buzzing around flowers in early summer, they tend to search through foliage to find the insects they need for food. According to Mother Earth News, they may remove an estimated 2 pounds of insects from a 2,000 square foot garden. Thus, they provide a valuable service to gardeners.

In early summer, they tend to their young. As summer progresses and their babies leave the nest, yellow jackets start swarming around human food sources, such as picnic fare or open trash containers. These wasps build nests in soil cavities, trees, shrubs and other enclosure and become highly aggressive when their nests are threatened. Although they sting repeatedly, their venom is typically only harmful to those who are allergic to it or who have been stung many times.

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