Pest Facts: Paper Wasps
Paper wasps get their common name from the paper-like material of which they construct their nests. They are sometimes called umbrella wasps based on the shape of their nests.
- Color: Predominantly brown with yellow markings
- Legs: Six
- Shape: Elongated; wasp shape
- Size: 5/8 to ¾ inch
- Antennae: Yes
- Flying: Yes
- Region: All 50 states
Paper wasps are semi-social, living in small colonies without a worker caste. They are beneficial insects, helping to control many insect pests. Paper wasps are not usually aggressive and stinging rarely occurs.
Paper wasp nests consists of a single layer of paper-like comb with the cells opening downward. They are suspended from a branch, twig, or any horizontal surface by a single, long pedicel. Nests are not typically reused the following season.
Paper wasps do sting, but are not typically aggressive. The sting can be painful. If the nest is located near human activity, control is warranted.
The continual removal of nests from a structure over the summer will greatly reduce the likelihood of paper wasps being around in the fall or winter. Be sure to check plants before trimming shrubs or hedges.