|What killed this yellow jacket wasp?|
We have a low number of yellow jackets in the yard, but when you see them at a protein food source, like a hawk cast, it appears they are numerous. Video. When we first moved to this house 18 years ago, we couldn't eat on our patio without being harassed by 10-20 yellow jackets. We put out traps for them.
The problem was that we didn't have a balanced ecosystem. The previous owners sprayed for insects, baited for snails and planted mostly non-native plants. Gradually we have restored a more natural flora, which in turn attracts native animals–from insects to raccoons.
The Cooper's hawks are feeding their youngsters in the backyard. The young hawks are dropping bits of meat, this feeds the yellow jackets. But the yellow jackets are also eating the caterpillars that show up on my tomatoes. And the yellow jackets have a predator too.
|Green lynx spider feeding on a beetle|
This lovely green lynx spider prowls the vegetable garden leaving behind the dried exoskeletons of yellow jackets and other insects. Egg sac. We do less and the natural balance of biodiversity does more.
More on California spiders:
red jumping spider