Paper Wasps

Polistes spp


Paper wasps are reddish-orange to dark brown or black in color. They have yellowish markings on the abdomen. Paper wasps are long and slender with a narrow waist






Workers 3/4 to 1 inch




Paper wasps are social insects, living in colonies containing workers, queens, and males. Queens emerge during April or May, select a nest site, and build a small paper nest in which the eggs are laid. Adults feed on nectar or other sugary solutions, and bits of caterpillars or flies that are caught and partially chewed to be fed to their young.


A Paper wasp nest is a round, upside-down paper comb that is attached by a single stalk to a horizontal surface. This paper nest resembles an umbrella, hence this wasp’s nickname: "umbrella wasp".

Paper wasps will build their nests under awnings, beneath decks, under porches, in the corners of windows, and beneath soffits. They will also sometimes nest in attics, gas grills, hose reels, and electric outlet boxes.


Paper wasps pose significant health threats to humans as they may sting repeatedly and can cause allergic reactions. Stinging insects send over 500,000 people to the emergency room each year.


Remain vigilant and call a pest professional if you suspect wasp activity. Control requires specialized equipment and safety precautions. Do not leave sweet drinks or meats in accessible areas. For example, clean up and remove food and trash after picnics and outdoor events.

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