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Paper Wasps

Actual Size and Characteristics: There are over 300 species of paper wasps, and there is a wide range of coloration and sizes. Generally, the species that are found in North America are golden brown, with red or yellow stripes. They are more identifiable by the umbrella-shaped nests they build.

Behavior:

  • A generally docile species, they only attack when provoked or disturbed.
  • The nests are generally small, found high in trees or under roofs, and have fifteen to fifty cells each.
  • Paper wasps are long-legged with thin waists.
  • These wasps help control harmful garden insects, and are considered by many gardeners to be beneficial.
Category:

Pest Description

Paper Wasp Behavior

Paper wasps are generally a docile species. These wasps are long-legged and have slender-waists. Paper wasps are typically golden brown, or darker brown, with large red or yellow patches. Paper wasps help control fruit-destroying insects and flies. They build umbrella-shaped nests which usually contain anywhere from fifteen to fifty cells. They prefer to nest in trees or shrubs. Paper wasps create paper nests, made out of their saliva and chewed material, and these nests are generally oval shaped. By the time most nests are discovered, they are the size of a basketball, with an entry/exit hole at the bottom of the structure. Many times nests are high in trees, completely out of reach. Paper wasps are rarely aggressive, unless their nest is disturbed.

Problems Caused by Paper Wasps

Although they are considered beneficial insects because they pollinate and predate on other harmful insects, paper wasps can still become a serious problem for humans and animals. They become a problem specifically when they build their umbrella-shaped nests over doorways or around other high-traffic areas. The stings are very painful, and people who are allergic to the bee, wasp, and hornet stings need to take special precautions to avoid being stung. If you are allergic or sensitive to stings in general, it’s always best to call a professional when a nest of paper wasps is discovered.

Preventing, Controlling, and Eliminating Paper Wasps

Routine inspection of outdoor areas can be vital in preventing a paper wasp infestation. Garbage areas should be properly controlled, with all containers tightly sealed. Elimination of any fruit juice, rotting food, or other acceptable food sources for these hornets should be completed as well.

If there is an existing nest near a human-inhabited area, do not attempt to remove it. Paper wasps will attack any perceived threat to their hive. Because they can sting repeatedly, they pose much more of a danger than a simple honey bee. Calling a pest control professional is critical, as they have the necessary training to remove the nest safely. At Pest Control Inc., our comprehensive stinging insect service always includes inspection, treatment, and followup, and we will work with you to ensure the paper wasp infestation is permanently resolved.