In this article we’ll explore and answer the question, can you keep wasps as pets. This might sound like an odd thing to ask, but it turns out there are some advantages to keeping wasps as pets.
Even though this sounds odd, there are people who keep wasps as pets. So you can keep wasps as pets but you need to be careful because these insects can sting! If you are going to keep wasps as pets, here are a few things you should know.
That being said, there’s way more to this than a simple answer paragraph. So let’s get into it…
Why Would You Want to Keep Wasps?
If you keep these insects safe and healthy, they come with lots of benefits.
These insects can help to facilitate pollination in crops and flowers. This helps to enhance agricultural productivity by improving fertilization.
In addition to that, wasps also prey on other insects, especially those that we consider pests. These insects feast on ticks and feed on houseflies and caterpillars.
It’s clear that wasps are beneficial insects that help to naturally reduce the number of pests. But it’s their thirst for sweet things that usually lead to the transfer of pollen grains as they visit different plants to drink nectar.
Can You Successfully Tame Wasps?
You can tame wasp and that’s why some people keep them in small colonies as pets.
If you don’t cause them any harm, a wasp colony can easily recognize you’re as their keeper. This is because they are able to recognize individual human beings.
Even though they are known to have painful stings, wasps are capable of learning. That’s why they can tell a keeper, threats, and non-threats.
When managing a colony as a keeper, these insects can often identify fingers and associate them with food. That’s why they can feed on sugar solutions on human fingers without stinging them.
Can Wasps Learn?
These are some of the smartest insects and that’s where it’s possible to keep them as pets. They can learn and understand a few programs. You can teach your pet wasps new things.
For instance, wasps found in wilderness view human fingers as threats. However, those that are tamed may view it as a source of food.
We can’t rule out the possibility of being stung by these insects, however, it’s important to understand that they pick up certain character traits if you effectively train them.
How Can I Establish a Wasp Colony?
Well, you need to ensure that you have a foundress queen. You can collect the queen during early summer that’s when wasp nests are small as most of them migrate to form new colonies. There are, therefore, very few defenders.
When collecting the foundress queen as well as other members of the colony, you can always chill them i.e. eliminate their ability to fly. Once you have found the right type of aquarium, then you can transfer them.
Note: wasps can live in a wide range of climates. However, they thrive in warmer temperatures and that’s why they are very populous in tropical regions. These insects can’t thrive in cooler temperatures and during winter, colonies usually experience high mortality rates.
What’s the Best Species of Wasp to Keep?
There are two main species of wasps, the Yellow Jackets and Paper Wasp. If you want good pests, then you should consider the latter. Yellow Jackets are very aggressive and they usually sting their victims repeatedly.
A simple disturbance of their nest could quickly result in an aggressive attack.
On the other hand, Paper Wasps have a mild temperament. So, you might actually have them around your property. These wasps usually have a brownish color with reddish or yellow markings.
They derive their name from the paper-like material which they use to construct their nests.
You can find their nests in shrubs, trees, and porch ceilings. However, if you want to keep them as pets, you can place the nest in an aquarium.
To some people having a nest inside the house can be a huge inconvenience, because not all people are comfortable with having wasps around them. Besides that, the insects might scare your kids, other family members, and friends.
Note: if you are going to keep the paper wasp species, you have to protect the nest. Besides that, be prepared to get new members of the colony almost annually. This is because the queen paper wasp is the only lone member that can survive through the harsh winter.
How Can I Take Care of My Pet Paper Wasps?
If you are going to keep wasps as pets, here are a few things you need to know:
The Nesting Site
It should be a safe and warm habitat where they will thrive. To ensure that they are safe, first, get a container with a good closing lid. This helps to ensure that both you and the wasps are protected.
Secondly, you need to provide them with cellulose. Remember that these insets usually build paper-like nests. Cellulose helps to ensure that they collect enough paper-like material for the creation of the nests.
Besides that, these insects love to feet on cellulose due to its sweet nature. So, your pets will also have an adequate food supply, especially for the larvae.
These insects are predatory in nature and so once you introduce them to your property, you might notice that other insects such as flies will seize existing.
Wasps kept as pets should be provided with the right type of food. As predatory insects, you need to feed them other small living things.
This means that their diet plan is quite diverse and so you have a wide range of options to choose from.
First, you can get the houseflies and caterpillars. Besides that, you can feed them ticks and mosquitoes.
These carnivorous insects also love to eat sugary stuff. They are sugar junkies that need to consume sweet solutions at least every day.
Understanding the Feeding Behavior of Paper Wasps?
If you are keeping these insects in an enclosure, then you have to introduce them to programmed feeding.
Wasps can be trained to eat at certain periods and that’s why when they find a certain food source, they will keep going back and ignore other food sources.
This behavior is triggered by their genetic composition. Naturally, wasps use lots of energy to consume food. Besides that, they need more energy to survive than they expend.
Going to feed on the same food source enhances efficiency. If you can, make sure that you identify one food location where they will constantly feed from.
Paper wasps are carnivores and they will hunt down other animals. They will root and hide behind certain insects before completely devouring them.
In case they are dealing with flying insects such as flies and mosquitos, they will simply hunt on sight by chasing the prey.
Why are Paper Wasps Known as Sugar Junkies?
The anatomy and the life cycle of paper wasps has a direct impact on how wasps consume energy. First, these insects don’t have jaws but very large mandibles.
It’s easy to confuse the mandibles with jaws since they are powerful and appear like crab claws.
This unique structural development that’s located on the wasps’ head means one thing – that the adults will mainly have to feed on liquids. We understand that wasps fly a lot and this translates to high energy consumption.
So, they need to constantly feed on sweet liquid stuff that can provide them with almost instant energy supply.
They can get this from nectar if they outdoors and if they are indoors, then you need to supply them with sugary drinks and food.
How Can I Treat Wasp Stings?
As a pet parent to wasps, you are going to get a few stings here and there. However, not all wasp stings are signs of allergic reactions. So, after a sting, you might experience:
- Skin itchiness
- Warmth and skin redness
- Pain and swelling
Here’s how you can treat a wasp sting at home
- Wash the affected area with water and mild soap
- Pat it dry before applying an ice cube to the area to reduce the pain and swelling. You can leave the ice for a couple of minutes but make sure that you reapply again.
- In case you can raise the body part where the sting has occurred, do so in order to reduce swelling.
- If you experience itching or swelling, then you can use Tylenol for pain relief or any other relevant antihistamine.
Alternatively, you can apply a baking powder paste. This helps to neutralize the venom. If you don’t have this ingredient, a wet tea bag can also come in handy.
Tea contains anti-inflammatory properties hence it can help to treat inflammation and reduce the chances of swelling.
Note: If you are not sure if the sting has caused an allergic reaction, you should consider the ABCs i.e. Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- Trouble breathing
- Feeling dizzy
- Tightness or a tickling throat or chest
Overall, wasps play an important environmental role. Social wasps are popular predators that help to balance the ecology by controlling the number of pests such as caterpillars, houseflies, ticks, and mosquitos.
If you want to learn more about various insects, then checkout our site categories, we have a bunch of articles there that are totally worth reading:
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All the best
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