Wasps are an incredibly interesting species that cover almost every part of the planet. They’re mainly predatorial, which is something that a lot of people don’t know, and they need to feed constantly. It can often happen that a wasp gets stuck in a place where it can’t get to food and water. For that reason, people often wonder: how long do wasps live without food or water?
Fertile females don’t die from hunger, as they’re always kept fed, while worker wasps only survive for 20 days with food and only 5 days without. Males can survive up to 30 days fed and also 5 days without supply. All wasps won’t survive for more than a day without water.
Wasps have limitations, just like humans do, and they can die quickly if they’re left without water. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the lives of these interesting insects, especially their limitations. In this article, we’ll be taking a more intense look at how enduring wasps are, and we’ll be answering questions like: how long can wasps live without food, water, and what other essentials do they need to survive?
Let’s get started!
How Long Do Wasps Live Without Food?
Wasps are constantly under the threat of starvation – this is because they live in a system that’s not made for winter. Therefore, they do not have a pantry, and only freshly collected food can be a source of energy.
Fertile females (queens) will live only one season and usually do not die of starvation. They are fed by the workers during the year as they are responsible for reproduction. Queens even don’t die of a lack of food during the winter as they hibernate and do have sufficient resources stored in their body.
Workers (which are always female) don’t last longer than 20 days in general. Without the supply of food, they will die within 3-5 days, depending on their state of starvation and individual resistance.
Males do have a life span of 30 days. The lack of food decreases this duration immensely to 3-5 days.
There are many factors affecting the survival time if a lack of food occurs. These include in particular the environmental conditions, the climate, and the condition of the entire colony. If this is weakened, the workers, in particular, are at risk
How Long Do Wasps Live Without Water?
Just like with humans, wasps can last longer without food than they can without water. They will usually die within 1 or 2 days if they’re dehydrated.
Water is essential to maintain vital functions. Metabolism and circulation fail after a few days and the wasps dry out.
When Do Wasps Starve?
However, wasps do find sufficient water and food during the season. Even if the availability of food can vary due to the weather, there still will be enough resources to survive a critical phase.
Wasps normally don’t starve during the season.
The supply of water is ensured in this period too because wasps do have a portfolio of sources and interleave them as soon as it is necessary. Only very long and dry periods can become a threat.
Nevertheless, if the winter approaches the whole colony is on the decline. The queen is in hibernation and the nest is gradually dying out. The remaining wasps are reaching their natural life span. In this phase, starvation occurs in the last days of each wasp as it hasn’t sufficient energy to gather food.
While there is usually enough food in nature, it looks different in a human environment. It often happens that a wasp will get stuck inside someone’s home and die quickly because it can’t find any water. The only possibilities are faucets, drains, toilets, and flowerpots.
See this article for more details: How Long Does It Take for a Wasp to Die in a House?
What Else Do Wasps Need to Survive?
The most important to a species’ survival, not just wasps’, is shelter. For humans, the rule follows: you can survive for three weeks without food, three days without water, three hours without shelter and three minutes without air.
Wasps are similar in this regard; shelter is incredibly important to them. They can’t withstand very low or high temperatures. Their bodies don’t have good protection (other animals have fur and thick skin, while wasps are relatively uncovered), and they can’t survive these temperatures.
Another thing that wasps need is air. However, they’re stronger in this area than humans. Firstly, it’s unlikely that a wasp will ever find itself underwater in nature. Even when a wasp ends up underwater, it doesn’t have to worry about air. It’s commonly known that they can last anything from half an hour to several hours, depending on the species of wasp. They can actually hold their breath for much longer than humans.
Another vital part of a wasp’s life is its colony. These insects belong to a group of some of the most sociable animals in the world. They absolutely despise being alone and they need to be with their colony if they want to survive. This colony works as a single unit, and they coordinate everything perfectly. There are worker wasps, which are all committed to a single goal; caring for the colony and especially caring for the fertile female. They protect themselves together and they attack together if they’re ever found under threat.
When a wasp is singled out and separated from its colony – it’s mostly defenseless. It can sting, yes, but that’s about it. A swarm of wasps is their primary weapon in both attack and defense, and if there’s no swarm – the wasp is not going to be able to defend itself against a predator.
Wasps are also sociable, which means that the wasp will become lethargic if it’s separated from its colony. They need to be in constant interaction to have a purpose in life, and as odd it may seem, a wasp seems depressed without its colony. Although this is still heavily debated amongst scientists and they still haven’t come upon a decision on whether insects feel emotion – a wasp that’s separated from its colony will often show symptoms of what we’d describe as depression.