would any­thing bad hap­pen if we made wasps ex­tinct?

A del­i­cate bal­ance de­pends on these pic­nic pests

How It Works - - SCIENCE -

Wasps might seem like good-for-noth­ing pests, but they aren’t all bad. In the UK alone there are more than 7,000 dif­fer­ent species, al­though we’re most fa­mil­iar with the ‘yel­low jack­ets’, Ve­spula vul­garis. These so­cial wasps live in colonies with a queen and hun­dreds of fe­male work­ers. The rea­son they come out in late sum­mer to at­tack our out­door meals has to do with the way they raise their young. Wasp lar­vae make a sweet juice for adult wasps to eat, but by Au­gust the young are all fully grown. So the adults, still crav­ing a su­gar fix, head out in search of fizzy drinks, jam and cake. Get­ting rid of them isn’t the an­swer; wasps play a crit­i­cal role in con­trol­ling in­sect num­bers. They catch and kill pest like green­fly and cater­pil­lars, keep­ing ecosys­tems in bal­ance and pro­tect­ing our gar­dens from de­struc­tion. If they went ex­tinct our pic­nics would just be over­run with other in­sects.

Jam-hun­gry yel­low jack­ets in­vade your bar­be­cue in search of a su­gar fix

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