Getting to Know Idaho Wasps: A Guide for Homeowners

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on April 28, 2023 · 3 mins read

As a homeowner, you’re probably used to seeing lots of insects around your property. But when it comes to wasps, it’s important to know which ones are harmless and which ones can be a nuisance or even dangerous. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the different types of wasps you might see in Idaho and teach you how to identify them.

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.

Common Types of Idaho Wasps

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are one of the most common types of wasps found in Idaho. They are typically brown or black with yellow or orange markings and can grow up to an inch long. These wasps build their nests out of paper-like materials and are often found under eaves, in attics, or in other sheltered areas. While paper wasps can sting, they are not usually aggressive unless their nest is disturbed.


Yellowjackets are another type of wasp commonly found in Idaho. They are smaller than paper wasps, measuring only about half an inch in length, and are typically black and yellow. Yellowjackets are more aggressive than paper wasps and are known for their painful stings. They build their nests in the ground, in trees or bushes, or in walls or other hidden spaces.

Bald-faced Hornets

Bald-faced hornets are actually a type of yellowjacket, but they have distinct black and white markings that make them easy to identify. They are larger than other yellowjackets, measuring up to three-quarters of an inch in length, and build large, football-shaped nests in trees or shrubs. Like other yellowjackets, bald-faced hornets can be aggressive and will sting if provoked.

Identifying Idaho Wasps

If you see a wasp in your backyard and want to identify it, there are a few things to look for. First, take note of its size, color, and any distinctive markings. Then, observe its behavior – does it seem aggressive or does it fly away when you approach? Finally, try to locate its nest or hiding place – paper wasps and yellowjackets both build nests that can be seen from a distance, while bald-faced hornets tend to build their nests in more hidden locations.

Dealing with Wasp Nests

If you discover a wasp nest on your property, it’s important to handle it carefully to avoid getting stung. In general, it’s best to leave the nest alone and call a professional pest control company to remove it safely. If you must remove the nest yourself, wear protective clothing and work at night when the wasps are less active.


Now that you know a bit more about the different types of wasps you might encounter in your Idaho backyard, you can keep an eye out for them and take steps to protect yourself and your family from stings. Remember to always be cautious around wasps and their nests, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you need it.