Wasps | Des Moines, IA
Wasps can not only be a nuisance, but a threat to your health if disturbed. Wasps are social insects that spend the entire spring and summer building their colonies. Sometimes the nests are built on or in a home. When this occurs, prompt action is required to remove them before a problem occurs.
The Most Commonly Found Wasps in Iowa are:
Yellow Jacket Wasps
Yellow jackets can be identified by their bright yellow and black markings on their body. Yellow jacket Wasps are social insects that live in large colonies organized by a queen wasp. All worker Yellow jackets are daughters of the queen. Colonies and nests usually start in the spring, grow through the summer and then die off in the fall. Colonies are most dangerous in late summer and early fall when colonies are at their peak size. Yellow jacket Wasps make large, papery nests either below ground or above ground.
Paper wasps commonly build their nest on the underneath sides of overhangs, soffits, and other protected areas. The nest is an "open face" design which leaves the individual cells exposed. Paper wasps build their nests by chewing up dead leaves and pasting these pieces together to form a nest.
Paper wasps are docile insects unless disturbed.
Mud Daubers Wasps:
Mud Dauber wasps can be identified by their instinct to build tube-like structures made out of mud on the sides of exterior walls. These are solitary wasp species, with nests constructed and provisioned by individual mated females. Eggs of mud daubers are laid singly on hosts in cells in mud nests provisioned with food, sealed and abandoned. Larvae grow up to 1 inch long and are cream-colored, legless and maggot-like. They pupate in cocoons within the cells and overwinter in nests. There can be several generations annually.
Mud Dauber Wasps generally are not aggressive.
Cicada Killer Wasps
Cicada Killer Wasps are known for the large mounds of dirt they excavate in the process of digging their nests. They are also the largest wasp found in Iowa, reaching a length of two inches. They are black with yellow markings on the thorax and abdomen. The cicada killer wasp and other digger wasps are solitary wasps; that is, they live independently rather than in colonies and do not depend on other members of a colony to share in the raising of young or the maintaining of a nest. Other solitary wasps include the mud daubers and potter wasps. Solitary wasps put paralyzed insects or spiders inside the nest as food for their offspring.
Female cicada killer wasps capture annual cicadas in July and August and place them in cells located at the ends of tunnels they have dug in the ground. Each tunnel is about the size of a quarter and extends 24 inches or more into the ground. One or two paralyzed cicadas are placed in each cell, and a single egg deposited before the cell is closed by the female, who flies away, never to return. The wasp grubs feed on the cicadas and develop into wasps that emerge the following summer.
The cicada killer, like other solitary wasps, has the capability to sting, but won't unless handled or threatened. Only female wasps have the ability to sting. Stings inflicted by solitary wasps are usually not severe but reaction varies with each individual.
Des Moines Wasp Removal
Does your home or business have a wasp nest problem? Preferred Pest Control can help! As the leading Des Moines exterminator our technicians will take care of your problem safely and efficiently. Schedule an appointment online or call us at (515) 276-7277 today!
Learn about wasp removal with our Groundforce Service Plan.