Wasps On Ripe Figs

Wasp Hornets

Q: We have a fig tree and I’ve noticed we have many wasps on the ripe figs. Is this to be expected? Are they laying eggs? Pollinating? 

A: The wasps are neither laying eggs nor pollinating the fruit. They are just enjoying a meal of figs. Because food is so available, they don’t defend it: They simply move to the next fig when disturbed. I disturb them by tapping fig-bearing limbs with a short stick I carry for this purpose. I move slowly and steadily as I pick and we all coexist amiably. I never pick without shoes because I’m sure their good mood would change if I stepped on a wasp enjoying a delicious meal. You may not be as comfortable as I am around the insects at fig-picking time, but I encourage you to add a stick to your equipment and try my technique sometime.

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