Paper Wasps


Paper Wasps are about an inch in length, but some may be a little bigger or a little smaller.  They are brown, in color, and have yellow stripes on them.

female and male individuals of european paper wasps in summer


Individual eggs are laid in cells, and the resulting legless grub-like larvae go through a series of stages called “instars” before emerging from their cellular cocoons as mature adults. When a larva matures into a pupa, the cell membranes close. During the nest-building, feeding, and protecting phases, sterile worker wasps play an integral role. There could be as many as 30 adult wasps in a fully developed nest of paper wasps.

By late summer, the queens have stopped laying eggs, signaling the beginning of the end for the colony. The queen’s fertile female offspring start looking for winter quarters in the fall. Unfortunately, the rest of the colony does not make it through the harsh winter.

Location and Behavior Patterns:

Paper Wasps are usually not very aggressive, but they will attack if they feel threatened.  Their sting can be very painful like Yellow Jacket and may cause an allergic reaction in some people, which may create a need for medical attention.  They tend to stay in groups of a few dozen; however, a big nest may contain up to 100, or so, worker wasps.  They are typically found in tree limbs, under eaves, in window sills, in outdoor air-conditioning units, under awnings, or in some other similar place where they are somewhat protected.

Signs of Infestation:

One of the most obvious symptoms of an infestation is the presence of a paper wasp nest in a yard and the presence of paper wasps flying around the nest.

Making a home less appealing to paper wasps is the greatest method to prevent an infestation and, hopefully, avoid getting stung. Check plants for paper wasp nests before pruning shrubs or hedges or gathering fruit to avoid being stung. To keep paper wasps out of the house, silicone caulk should be used to seal gaps and crevices, screens should be repaired if they are torn, and doors should be kept closed as much as possible.

Covering food, especially while eating outdoors, can also deter these pests from coming close to your food. People should avoid using scented deodorants and heavy perfumes when spending time outside. They should also protect their feet by wearing shoes that completely enclose them, in case any stray paper wasps decide to pay a visit.


The nest(s) of Paper Wasps may be treated directly by a pest-control professional, or for an area that has reoccurring Paper Wasps nests, a pest control product that has a residual effect may also be applied.  If you spot a nest near your home or business, it is best to contact a professional for assistance.

Paper Wasps FAQs

Are Paper Wasps Good To Have Around?

Paper wasps can be dangerous and aggressive, however, they usually only strike when threatened or when protecting their nests. The venom released by a paper wasp’s sting can be lethal to birds, wolves, cats, and dogs, among other mammals.

Why Do They Call Them Paper Wasps?

The paper-like material they use to construct their nests gives paper wasps their common name. Furthermore, because of the distinctive shape of their nests, paper wasps are sometimes known as umbrella wasps.

Should I Remove Paper Wasp Nest?

You may want to leave a paper wasp nest alone if you find one on your property away from frequented areas. When provoked, they will sting, but only if necessary. Paper wasps and humans can sometimes live without issue.

Can Paper Wasps Damage My House?

Wasps are not as damaging to homes as other insects like termites and carpenter ants. Their presence, though, can be unsettling to those living there. When a wasp nest is disturbed, the insects may become aggressive.

What kills wasp instantly?

Use soap and water to kill wasps. In a spray bottle filled with water, combine two tablespoons of dish soap and spray it on the nests. The mixture will instantly kill the wasps by clogging their breathing pores.

How Painful Is A Paper Wasp Sting?

The paper wasp sting ranks 3.0 on the Schmidt Pain Index. Paper wasp stings cause a scorching sensation that has been compared to the sensation of acid flowing into the skin. Additionally, a paper wasp sting might create a bitter taste in the mouth.

How Long Do Paper Wasp Nests Last?

Unlike bees, hornets, and yellow jackets, paper wasp colonies only exist for a single year. Each nest is constructed annually from scratch.

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