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paper wasp on nest

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps received their name from the paper-like material that they create to make their umbrella-shaped nests with. Paper wasps are considered to be semi-social and live together in small colonies.

Paper Wasp Identification

Paper wasps look very similar to other species of wasps; they have a pinched waist and long thin legs that can be seen dangling below their body as they fly. Adult paper wasps grow to between ½ and 1 inch in length. Their bodies are black or brown in color and can have yellow markings, oranges markings, or markings that are a combination of both yellow and orange; their wings are grayish in color.

Habits and Life Cycle of Paper Wasps

The life-cycle of the paper wasp begins each spring when the overwintering fertilized females emerge to build a nest. To create their nests they chew on bark, plant stems, and leaves mixing them with their saliva to create a paper-like material. Paper wasps place their nests up off of the ground, hanging them from trees, shrubs, porches, roof soffits, decks, and doorframes. The colony builds in numbers all spring and summer long; in the late summer the existing queen starts producing fertile males and new queens. After mating the males will die off (along with the rest of the colony) and the newly fertilized queens will find a spot to overwinter in, usually behind the bark of trees, until the next spring when they will emerge to start the reproductive life cycle over again. Paper wasps are an environmentally beneficial species of insect; they feed on nectar and pollen and are responsible for pollinating a variety of crops and plants.  They also prey on a number of nuisance insects that they feed on the developing larvae in their colony.

Paper Wasp Damages

Paper wasps can cause damage to some plants as the strip off of their bark to form their paper nests. Paper wasps can also be considered to be damaging to people’s health; while not overly aggressive they will defend themselves and their nest with a painful sting. Their venom is strong enough to cause a severe allergic reaction in some people.

Paper Wasp Control

To remove a paper wasp nest that been built on, in or near your home and that has become dangerous for you and your family to be around, we highly suggest contacting a professional pest control technician. At American Pest Solutions our professionals are highly trained, experienced and have the ability to safely and completely get rid of paper wasp nests from your property. For more information on how American Pest Solutions can help you with bee and wasp removal, please contact us today.

Paper Wasp Prevention

Being able to completely stop paper wasps from choosing your property to nest on is impossible; but, there are some steps you can take around your property to make it less appealing to them and to stop them from entering into your home. Paper wasp prevention tips:

  • Trim back shrubs and trees away from the exterior of your home and limit the amount of flowering plants and gardens that are planted near the exterior of your home.
  • Place tight-fitting lids on all outdoor trashcans.
  • Place tight-fitting caps on all chimneys; fix loose roof shingles, repair holes along roof lines.
  • Make sure that all windows and doors have intact screens placed in them.
  • Caulk gaps found around windows and doors, and seal cracks found in the exterior walls and foundation of your home.  

Helpful Articles About Paper Wasps

What Homeowners Should Know About Paper Wasps

Are Bees And Wasps Dangerous To New England Homeowners And Pets?


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