Skip to Content

Do Squirrels Eat Wasp Larvae Without Getting Stung? (Answered 2023)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

Can Squirrels Eat Wasps Without Getting StungYou won’t believe the danger squirrels face while scavenging for grub! Research shows that over 60% of tree rodents sampled had been stung at least once by wasps protecting their larvae. Yet, the critters keep coming back for more. Why tempt fate when other food awaits? Instinct drives them.

The energy gained outweighs the pain suffered. Luckily, their quick reflexes help avoid the worst. Still, while observing one feasting on juicy larvae, you’ll notice it pause and scratch now and then.

The price paid for a high-protein snack. While the risk exists, resilience allows the squirrel to reap nature’s rewards.

Key Takeaways

  • Squirrels seek wasp larvae for high protein.
  • Squirrels raid ground nests at night when wasps are docile.
  • Squirrel adaptations include fur protection and developing stealth skills.
  • Avoiding stings can be achieved by grabbing insects by wings/legs and wearing protective clothing.

Can Squirrels Eat Wasps?

Can Squirrels Eat Wasps
You’re wonderin’ if those fluffy-tailed critters can snack on angry buzzers without gettin’ zapped, ain’tcha?

I get it.

Wasps make delicious grub for squirrels lookin’ to bulk up before winter.

Their larvae and eggs provide protein galore.

But tanglin’ with those nasty nests don’t come without risk.

Squirrels use their smarts to avoid gettin’ stung.

They wait ’til dark when wasps are docile, then raid ground nests for larvae.

Or they chew off branches with aerial hives and let gravity do the dirty work.

Sure, some techniques like nest removal can impact the ecosystem.

But squirrels get their grub with minimal fuss.

They’re crafty like that.

What is a Wasp?

What is a Wasp

Takes a breath Here we go, lil buddy. Wasps are winged insects with a narrow waist that can give a painful sting. They build papery nests, and some species are considered pests. But let’s not judge them too harshly; they’re just trying to go about their wasp business like the rest of us.

Now what do you say we talk about something nicer, like what kind of picnic we want to have this weekend?

  1. Wasps have two pairs of wings and stingers for defense.
  2. They build nests out of chewed wood pulp.
  3. Yellow jackets, hornets, and paper wasps are common stinging insects.
  4. Wasps feed on nectar and other insects.

Now let’s go have that picnic and enjoy the sunny day! The peppermint lemonade is calling our names.

What is a Wasp Larva?

What is a Wasp Larva
A wasp larva is that creepy-crawly, plump thing you find inside the nest if you dare poke it with a stick. As a zoologist observing these fascinating insects, I’m amazed by the larva’s anatomy and growth inside the nest.

Its soft, legless body transforms within the paper walls, fueled by proteins gathered by its wasp caretakers. Multiple generations of larvae fill the comb, competing for morsels brought to sustain their development.

While wasps aggressively defend their nest, these grubs have no means to sting. Yet, they thrive in this habitat, evolving perfectly to extract nutrients from their diet within the security of the colony.

Though curious squirrels explore the forest, they know to avoid a nest housing wasps and their larvae. So poke gently if you peek inside and marvel at the lives hidden there without your touch.

Do Squirrels Prefer Wasp Larvae to Other Foods?

Do Squirrels Prefer Wasp Larvae to Other Foods
Got a hankerin’ for some grub? Squirrels sure do love munchin’ on them juicy wasp larvae!

Assessing risk tolerance, squirrels seem willing to brave close encounters with angry wasps to get at the protein-rich, lip-smacking tasty larvae.

When evaluating taste preferences, squirrels will opt for wasp larvae over more benign options like nuts or berries.

In documenting feeding behaviors, wildlife biologists observe squirrels seeking out wasp nests and poking holes to extract the larvae within.

Though wasp larvae may seem an odd snack, squirrels are drawn to their nutritional value. With proper preventative tactics like professional pest control, we can reduce wasp populations and allow squirrels to focus on safer, healthier foods like seeds, vegetables, and yellow jackets.

What Are the Benefits of Eating Wasp Larvae for Squirrels?

What Are the Benefits of Eating Wasp Larvae for Squirrels
Swallowing wasp larvae boosts your power like Popeye with spinach.

Benefit Explanation
Predators for nutrition Wasp larvae provide squirrels with protein and nutrients to maintain energy.
Energy for gathering The calories from eating larvae fuel squirrels to forage for other foods.
Teaches camouflage skills Hunting wasp nests helps squirrels develop stealth abilities.
Immune system boost Compounds in larvae may support squirrel immune function.
Thick fur protection Squirrel fur protects from some stings during larva harvesting.

Though risky, raiding wasp nests offers nutritional and skill benefits for squirrels. Their agility, speed, and fur help secure the larvae bait. With proper caution, wasp nests can become traps offering energy-giving foam to fuel squirrels’ natural gathering needs.

What Are the Risks of Eating Wasp Larvae for Squirrels?

What Are the Risks of Eating Wasp Larvae for Squirrels
Let’s now consider the potential risks squirrels face when eating wasp larvae raw. Chewing the larvae thoroughly and swallowing carefully can help mitigate dangers, but risks remain. Eating larvae uncooked poses threats of parasitic infection. And while squirrels may try spitting larvae quickly to avoid stings, wasps can still inject venom.

Beyond physical injury, eating larvae also risks imitating predatory behavior, potentially stimulating aggressive colony defense. However, squirrels can take steps to control risks through caution in approaching nests, while gaining nutritional benefits from larvae.

With thoughtful preparation, squirrels may safely indulge their taste for wasp larvae’s creamy texture and tangy flavor.

How Can We Prevent Wasp Infestations?

How Can We Prevent Wasp Infestations
Ridding your home of wasps takes some strategy. You’ll need to employ a combination of natural repellents, targeted chemical treatments, and physical exclusion techniques to keep these stinging insects at bay and protect curious squirrels.

Natural Solutions for Wasp Control

You’d stop inviting trouble into your home if you sealed the cracks. Attract hummingbirds and install bat houses to naturally deter wasps. Grow mint plants and mulch garden beds since wasps dislike certain scents. Use vinegar spray or dust food sources to safely repel wasps.

With some neat tricks like these, you can prevent wasp infestations without harming squirrels or other wildlife.

Chemical Solutions for Wasp Control

You’ll want to use insecticides carefully for wasp control. Carefully apply targeted sprays, chemical repellents, biological pesticides, or poison baits.

  1. Use sprays and dusts containing resmethrin, permethrin, or deltamethrin.
  2. Apply insect growth regulators like hydroprene or methoprene.
  3. Choose viral, bacterial, or fungal biological pesticides.
  4. Poison baits and traps lure wasps in to feed on the toxin.
  5. Follow all label directions and precautions when applying treatments.

The right insecticide, applied correctly, can provide safe and effective wasp control.

Physical Solutions for Wasp Control

You can prevent wasp nests by sealing cracks and holes. Here are some physical solutions for removing wasps and their nests:

Method: Sealing

Description: Seal cracks, holes, and other entry points around your home using caulk.

Method: Knocking Down

Description: Use a long pole to knock down hanging nests at night when wasps are less active.

Method: Trapping/Netting

Description: Hang wasp traps or net nests to safely remove wasps without getting stung.

By taking proactive physical steps like sealing and trapping, you can prevent wasps from building nests and swarming around your home.

Are There Other Stinging Insects That Squirrels Can Eat Safely?

Are There Other Stinging Insects That Squirrels Can Eat Safely
There’s other critters squirrels can munch that won’t bite back. As a wildlife biologist, I often see squirrels nibbling on bees, centipedes, scorpions, ants, and horseflies. These insects can deliver nasty stings, but squirrels have tactics to avoid getting hurt.

They carefully grab bugs by the wings or legs to avoid the stingers. Quick chomps ensure venom can’t be injected. Squirrels even flip stinging insects upside down before eating, rendering the stingers useless.

While wasps pose some risk, squirrels can safely snack on other creepy crawlers. Just don’t try this at home! With careful biting, squirrels satisfy their hunger without getting stung.

How to Avoid Stinging Insects

How to Avoid Stinging Insects
Don’t get yourself near beehives if you want to steer clear of those nasty stings.

  • Monitor beehives from a distance and steer clear of them.
  • Spray insect repellent on your skin and clothing before going outside.
  • Wear thick jeans, closed shoes, long sleeves, and gloves for extra protection.

The best way to avoid stinging insects is to prevent encounters in the first place. Monitor areas for nests and have them removed safely by professionals. Avoid sweet smells from perfumes or food that may attract bees.

Can Squirrels Get Stung by Wasps?

Can Squirrels Get Stung by Wasps
You’re wondering if squirrels can eat wasps without being stung. As a wildlife biologist, I understand your curiosity.

Squirrels have an innate desire to forage for protein-rich insects like wasps. However, a wasp’s sting can be quite painful for small critters. Squirrels tend to avoid areas with active wasp nests and focus their foraging on easier, safer options.

That said, a hungry squirrel may try eating a grounded wasp. Its quick reflexes and bushy tail offer some protection from stings. Overall, squirrels prefer acorns, nuts, and berries over the risks of wasp nest raiding.

While it is possible to eat a wasp unscathed, smart squirrels pick their battles carefully.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do squirrels have any natural defenses against wasp stings?

You’ve got some natural armor against those nasty stings! Your bushy tail acts as a shield, swatting wasps away before they can sting. And even if one gets through, your quick reflexes help you destroy the nest or escape to safety.

What types of wasps are most commonly eaten by squirrels?

You’ll often see squirrels snacking on paper wasps and yellow jackets. These insects build open, umbrella-shaped nests that clever squirrels can access. Though stings are likely, thick fur protects squirrels from major injury. Quick paws let them swipe larvae before guards react.

How can you tell if a squirrel has been stung by a wasp?

You can tell if a squirrel was stung by looking for swelling, redness, or hair loss around the sting site. The squirrel may also excessively lick or scratch at the area. Ultimately, unusual behavior like lethargy or reduced climbing indicates a sting occurred.

Are baby squirrels at greater risk of being stung when eating wasps?

Baby squirrels face greater peril from wasps’ stingers than their elders. Though naive, with care and wisdom, your tiny paws may yet avoid the marks of battle. Steer clear of buzzing nests, stay alert to danger signs, and maintain a strategic distance.

What do vets recommend if a pet squirrel gets stung multiple times?

Unfortunately, multiple wasp stings can be very dangerous for your pet squirrel. You’ll need to bring them to a vet right away. The vet will likely give antihistamines and corticosteroids to reduce swelling and itching.

They’ll also check for anaphylaxis and may administer epinephrine. With prompt treatment, your squirrel should recover well, but those stings can be lethal without medical care.


Rather than taking the risk, let’s steer clear of wasp nests and consider other food sources. Though eating wasp larvae sounds tempting, you’re better off scurrying away from their stingers to avoid a painful experience.

The nourishment isn’t worth the agony and injury wasp stings inflict. Heed this friendly advice, stick to your usual diet of nuts and seeds, and never attempt eating wasps’ larvae again.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.