The following are highlights and updates about samples and questions recently received in the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic. Visit the PIDC's Facebook page to ask questions and for updates and more pictures.
It continues to be a "good" year for wasps, and fall is when we receive calls about yellowjacket wasps.
Yellowjacket wasps are shiny, bright yellow with black markings, compared to honey bees that are fuzzy and golden brown. Both are about the same size and shape, and both form large colonies of individuals with the ability to painfully sting you if you get too close. See the comparison of honey bees and yellowjackets in the photo below.
Resources for answering questions about yellowjacket wasps:
- Clinic website
- Comparison of wasps and bees
- There are two common species of yellowjacket wasps in Iowa.
Yellowjacket wasps will die with freezing weather in the late fall. Nests are annual and not reused the following year. If you don't want to wait for the wasps to die of old age or freezing, you can eliminate the colony by inserting insecticide dust or foaming "wasp and hornet" aerosol spray into the nest opening at night. There is little risk of being stung at night, but proceed cautiously. Repeat treatment may be needed.