Iowa Wasps: A Guide to Identifying and Dealing With Wasp Infestations

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on May 01, 2023 · 3 mins read

If you’re a homeowner in Iowa, chances are you’ve encountered a wasp or two buzzing around your backyard. While these insects play an important role in pollination, they can also be a nuisance and even dangerous if they decide to make their home on your property.

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.

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of wasps you might encounter in Iowa and provide tips on how to identify and deal with a wasp infestation.

Common Types of Wasps in Iowa

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are one of the most common types of wasps found in Iowa. They are easily recognizable by their yellow and black striped bodies and aggressive behavior. These wasps are attracted to sweet foods and are commonly found near outdoor eating areas.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are another type of wasp you might encounter in Iowa. They have long, slender bodies and are typically brown or black with yellow markings. These wasps are known for building small, umbrella-shaped nests under eaves, porches, or in trees.

Bald-Faced Hornets

Bald-faced hornets are a type of wasp that are often mistaken for bees due to their black and white coloring. However, they have a much more slender body than a bee and a distinct hourglass shape. These wasps are known for building large, paper-like nests in trees or shrubs.

Identifying a Wasp Infestation

While it’s normal to see a few wasps buzzing around your backyard, a large number of wasps or a nest on your property could indicate a wasp infestation. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Increased wasp activity
  • Visible nests on your property
  • Large numbers of dead wasps

If you suspect a wasp infestation on your property, it’s important to take action before the problem gets worse.

Dealing with a Wasp Infestation

If you’ve identified a wasp infestation on your property, there are steps you can take to safely remove them:

  1. Wear protective clothing - including gloves, long sleeves, and pants - to avoid getting stung.
  2. Wait until evening when the wasps are less active to approach the nest.
  3. Use a commercial wasp spray to kill the wasps and destroy the nest.

It’s always best to contact a professional pest control service to deal with a wasp infestation, especially if the nest is large or difficult to reach.

Preventing Future Wasp Infestations

To prevent future wasp infestations, consider taking these preventative measures:

  • Keep your garbage cans tightly sealed.
  • Cover food and drinks when eating outdoors.
  • Seal any cracks or openings in your home’s exterior.
  • Trim back overgrown bushes or trees near your home.

By taking these steps, you can help keep wasps at bay and enjoy your backyard without fear of getting stung.


While wasps can be a nuisance, they don’t have to ruin your outdoor fun. By learning how to identify and deal with a wasp infestation, you can enjoy your backyard without fear of getting stung. Remember to take preventative measures to keep wasps from returning and always contact a professional pest control service if you need help dealing with a wasp infestation.