What Do Yellow Jackets Eat and Drink?

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Updated on March 8, 2023

Nobody likes wasps. They sting and can create havoc if they have a nest nearby.

Out of all the wasp types, yellow jackets are notoriously famous for their aggressiveness, painful stings, and quick invasions.

The fact that you are here, reading this signifies you know what I’m talking about.

But have you ever stopped and wondered: “What do yellow jackets eat and drink in order to stay alive?”

In this article, I’ll give you information about the eating habits of yellow jackets so that you can understand know how they survive in the world and how you can be sure their food sources aren’t in the same vicinity as your outdoor entertaining areas.

But before getting into that, let’s find out what yellow jackets are…

What Are Yellow Jackets?

what a yellow jacket looks like

A yellow jacket is the common name of predatory social wasp that is commonly found in North America. They are the members of a larger group of insects referred to as “wasps”.

You can easily identify yellow jackets because they have alternating yellow and black body segments. While most species of yellow jackets are yellow and black in color, you can also find some that are white and black.

These insects are are 10 to 16 mm (or about 1/2″)  in length, and their wings are as long as their body. The waist of yellow jackets is thinner than the rest of their body.

Yellow jackets are considered social hunters and they live in colonies that contain workers, males, and queens.

Sometimes people mistakenly consider them as bees, but they’re not. They look somewhat similar to bees because of their similar size and sting, but actually, they are wasps. Because they are aggressive and can sting multiple times, yellow jackets are a far bigger nuisance than bees.

See Also: What Do Baby Wasps Look Like?

What Do Yellow Jackets Eat and Drink?

yellow jacket drinking

Because they are also pollinators, yellow jackets drink carbohydrates from fruits, plant nectar, and sap.

While collecting food when they visit different plants, they help in the process of pollination.

In addition, adult yellow jackets feed on various kinds of pests like flies, beetle grubs, etc.

They eat harmful pests, but they also eat meat, sugary substances, and fish. Therefore, you may find them near trash cans and picnic areas. Yellow jackets would love to take a drink from your glass of lemonade or open can of soda because of the sugar within.

So as much as we’d like to classify yellow jackets as not being good for anything (like mosquitoes), the are actually ecologically important organisms. We just don’t want them hanging out near us.

Related: What Doe Wasps Eat?

Eliminate Yellow Jackets Through Pest Control

yellow jackets nest

Yellow Jackets can create quite a nuisance, especially if there are a good number of them infesting your property.

While eliminating just a couple of them is relatively easy, in the case of a serious infestation, it is advisable to hire a professional exterminator to get rid of them. Not only will it be more effective than DIY methods like peppermint oil, soapy water, and foggers or bombs, you won’t have to worry about being attacked and stung by a swarm of angry yellow jackets.

Click the link below to receive multiple free quotes from various local pest control companies in your area to deal with your yellow jacket problem.

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Final Words

To sum it up, yellow jackets consume different plant’s nectar as well as eat pests like spiders, flies, and gnats to survive in the wild. They also like human-provided food in the form of sugary treats, meat, and fish.

Now that you know the favorite food sources of wasps, you can do your best to get them no reason to invade your personal property whether it be your patio or camping site.