What Do Wasps Do for the Environment? The Benefits of Having These Pollinators in Your Backyard

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on January 25, 2023 · 2 mins read

If you’re like most homeowners, spotting a wasp in your backyard can cause alarm. But before you reach for the bug spray, it’s important to understand the role these creatures play in our environment.

DIY Wasp removal recommendations

For non aggressive wasps I've had great luck spraying the nests with this Spectracide wasp remover in the evening. For more aggressive wasps I also use this rediculous looking upper torso Beekeeping suit. It seems silly, but trust me, it's amazing.

What Are Wasps?

Wasps are a type of insect that belongs to the Hymenoptera order, which also includes bees and ants. There are over 30,000 species of wasps worldwide, and they come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. Unlike bees, which feed on nectar and pollen, wasps are carnivorous and feed on other insects, spiders, and even small animals like caterpillars.

Why Are Wasps Important?

Despite their reputation as aggressive and dangerous, wasps play an important role in our ecosystem. Here are just a few ways they benefit the environment:

Pest Control

One of the most significant benefits of having wasps in your backyard is pest control. Many species of wasps are natural predators of common garden pests like aphids, caterpillars, and beetles. By feeding on these pests, they help keep your garden healthy and reduce the need for chemical pesticides.


While wasps aren’t as well-known for pollination as bees, some species do play a role in this process. Specifically, fig wasps are essential for the pollination of fig trees, which produce one of the world’s most beloved fruits.


Some types of wasps are also important for decomposition. Carrion wasps, for example, feed on dead animals and help break down organic matter. This is an essential part of the ecosystem, as it helps return nutrients to the soil and prevent the spread of disease.

How Can You Attract Wasps to Your Yard?

If you want to support wasp populations in your yard, there are a few things you can do:

  • Plant native flowers and shrubs that provide food and habitat for wasps
  • Avoid using chemical pesticides, which can harm wasps as well as other beneficial insects
  • Provide a source of water, such as a shallow dish or bird bath


While wasps may not be the most popular backyard visitors, they play a vital role in our ecosystem. From controlling pests to pollinating plants, these creatures have a lot to offer. By understanding their importance and taking steps to support their populations, we can create a healthier, more sustainable environment for ourselves and our communities.