Wasps are carnivorous insects but they too have predators including larger insects, amphibians, reptiles and birds. There are a number of birds that will eat wasps given the chance while other species appear to have an affinity for wasp or wasp larvae will specifically seek out nests to feed.
Examples of birds that eat wasps include chipping sparrows, gray catbirds, warblers, orioles, bluebirds, chickadees, blackbirds, starlings, wrens and nighthawks. Most birds are insect eaters so this is not an exhaustive list.
Given that birds prey on wasps, one may wonder whether the birds don’t get stung or aren’t affected by wasp venom. Like most other creatures, birds aren’t necessarily impervious to stings and employ interesting measures to feed on wasps.
Most birds go after solitary wasps such as the mud dauber. Solitary wasps tend to be more docile and rarely sting. These types also rarely defend their nests so birds have free reign to enjoy wasp larvae. The birds are also less likely to be stung by a swarm of wasps which is likely the case when attacking social wasp nest.
Others birds such as the tanager graze the wasp against a tree bark which breaks the insect’s stinger. Honey buzzards love grubs found in the nest and stick their head into the nest with no apparent problem. These birds have defences against wasp stings including dense facial feathers and a sedative chemical that they secrete from the feathers to disorient the wasps and turn them docile.
Some birds are simply willing to withstand multiple stings to get to the wasp larvae or to feed on the insects.
Can You Attract Birds to Your Yard to Get Rid of Wasps?
Attracting insect-eating birds such as chickadees to tame the wasp problem seems like a logical solution for some homeowners. You can attract birds to your yard by putting out drinking and bathing water in a bird birth or outdoor fountain. Food such as birdseed in a bird feeder and nesting sites in your landscaping helps to attract birds.
This strategy is a long-shot since the birds may prefer other insects that don’t sting such as caterpillars, weevils, flies, beetles and moths. Most birds are opportunistic and will prefer other insects over wasps given the choice.
There is also the risk of attracting the wrong kind of bird such as fruit-eaters who may damage your garden, woodpeckers that make holes in untreated wood (think siding, plywood, roofing and window frames) or nesting birds that take residence in your gutter, vents or garage among other unforeseen problems.
How to Get Rid of Wasps
The best recourse for wasp problem in Toronto is to hire a professional wasp removal Toronto company. The technician will treat the nest with professional-grade and potent chemicals that you can’t purchase at the local hardware store.
Not all wasp nests need to be removed if there it is not an immediate danger to your family and pets. Remember that wasps are carnivorous and are feeding on nuisance pests such as spiders in your yard. They also play an important role in pollination. Wasps typically don’t return to the same nesting location. Once winter comes the nest dies and your wasp problems are probably over for good. Leaving the nest intact is, of course, subject to expert assessment and recommendation.
Wasps are extremely aggressive and sting with little provocation so handling the nest yourself is almost always a bad idea. A professional can handle the problem safely, effectively and permanently. Hire a professional exterminator with a warranty.