Paper wasps get their name because of the paper-like structures they build their nests out of. They fly around, collecting various plant fibers by scraping them off with their mandibles, they then put these materials together with their saliva. This makes them easy to identify, their nests look like upside-down paper honeycombs, or umbrellas! Paper wasps belong to the Polistes sub-family and there are currently 22 species of paper wasp found in the U.S. today. Paper wasps are semi-social and live in tight knit colonies. They mainly feed on sweet nectar from nearby flowers or crops, or on other insects such as flies or caterpillars. They actually help to serve a vital role in our ecosystem by assisting in the pollinating of various flowers and fruits, though they are not as effective as bees in doing so. If you have a garden, they will likely help to control the caterpillar population, so they can feed their young.
Paper Wasp Identification
They vary in size from ½ inch to 1 ½ inches long and they sport reddish-brown, orange or dark red coloring with bright yellow or red stripes. Though many folks prefer not to get close enough to a paper wasp to identify specific attributes, unlike their bee neighbors, paper wasps tend to be hairless.
Where Do Paper Wasps Live?
Paper Wasps like sheltered areas to build their nests in. Their nests can be found tucked away on tree branches, on the open end of exposed pipes, abandoned clotheslines, door frames, porch ceilings, soffits, eaves, attic rafters, under decks or on deck railing, even on shrubbery.
Are Paper Wasps Aggressive
Unlike Hornets or Yellow Jackets, paper wasps are not necessarily known to be aggressive, but if their nests are disturbed or if they feel threatened they will aggressively defend their nests and themselves. Wasp stings are very painful and for people who have an allergy to insect stings there is a risk of potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction. If you see one of their nests around your home and you may possibly be allergic to them, stay away and call Stewart Termite and Pest Control to remove their nest from your home.
How to Avoid Being Stung By a Paper Wasp
Our homes just so happen to be the perfect place for these little guys to set up shop. If you have a lot of vegetation or fruit trees in your yard, you should perform a thorough inspection of the premises before you start trimming shrubs, hedges or trees to prevent accidently running into one of their nests. If you do notice one of their nests in a common area where traffic or children frequents, it would be best to have the hive safely removed by Stewart Termite and Pest Control to avoid any contact with them. Stay away from the area you found their hive in and warn others to stay away as well until we can arrive and assess the threat. Otherwise, if their hive is out of the way and not posing an immediate risk to anyone’s safety, you can choose to leave them be as well.
Wasp Control & Nest Removal
Stewart Termite and Pest Control serves all your pest control needs. If you’ve discovered a nest, or see their presence around your home, call Stewart Termite and Pest Control right away so we can come out and safely remove their nest and treat any areas they may try to move to.