CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Have you noticed a lot of wasps buzzing around your house this year? Experts say there are more in Eastern Iowa this year.
Entomologist's at Iowa State University say the mild winter and warm spring were good for wasps. More females likely survived winter hibernation and were able to start new colonies, which will grow through the summer.
"We received numerous inquiries through May about individual wasps and bumble bees around residences and in gardens," said Donald Lewis, a professor of entomology at ISU. "These were the overwintered queens that were looking for locations to start this year’s colonies."
In Cedar Rapids, wasp killer has been in high demand. Some have reported having a tough time finding the spray at area stores.
Wasps are important to the ecosystem as predators that kill other insects. Lewis said if you do see some buzzing around, try to leave them alone.
"Stinging in the springtime by the foundress female wasps and bees is highly unlikely," said Lewis. "Later in the summer when colony populations are at their peak the threat of stinging increases for those people who work near the nest and annoy the worker wasps and bees. In the meantime, and in cases where the nest location can be avoided, there is little justification to trying to kill wasps and bees."
Lewis also said bumble bees have benefited from the warmer weather. So you'll likely see more of them this year, as well.