Paper wasps are also known as umbrella wasps are another excellent pollinator in the wasp’s family. They are mostly docile, but can be dangerous and aggressive if they feel threatened. Paper wasps’ lifecycle ends in winter, when most wasps in the colony die, except new queens. Then, in the spring, new queens emerge from overwintering shelters to start a new nest.
Paper wasps feed on fruits and damage wood from which they gather materials to make their nests. Paper wasps bite humans and animals and inject painful venom into their victims. Therefore, if you have a stinging insect allergy, you must avoid a paper wasp hive.
Since they are aggressive, you shouldn’t welcome them around your home. If at all, you sight a paper wasp nest, never try to get rid of a paper wasp nest on your own, as there’s a good chance you’ll be stung.
What next? Read this article for expert tips on how to identify paper wasps, habits and habitats of the insect, and how to get rid of a paper wasp nest.
What is Paper Wasp?
A paper wasp is a semi-social insect that lives in a group as a colony. Their nest is like paper built in trees, under eaves, vegetation, garages, and homes.
Paper wasp larvae feed on nectar, sap, caterpillars, flies, ants, termites, spiders, bees, and other wasps. The adult wasps forage on sweet food, including soda drinks, jam, alcohol, fruits, and juices.
What Does a Paper Wasp Look Like?
There are about 22 species of paper wasps in North America. Their color varies, but they mostly have slender bodies with yellow markings and brownish wings. This insect is called paper wasps because they use paper to build their nest.
Some species include common paper wasp (Polistes exclamans), Black paper wasp (Polistes fuscatus fuscatus), common brown paper wasp (Polistes metrics), golden paper wasp (Polistes fuscatus aurifer), and the red paper wasp (Polistes annularis)
Paper Wasps vs. Yellow Jacket
They look alike because they have a similar shape. However, the paper wasps have a slimmer body with a thin waist. They have 6 legs and a pair of antennae and measure between ¾” – 1″ inch long. Some paper wasp species even have red lines. Unlike the enclosed yellow jacket nest, the paper wasps’ nest is open.
Where Do Paper Wasps Live?
A Paper wasp nest is a paper-like structure made from chewed plant fiber and wood mixed with saliva. The nest contains hexagonal cells linking to each other like an umbrella. A matured paper wasp nest can have up to 200 cells.
Sighting the nest is an indication of paper wasp infestation. After overwintering, the paper wasp queen emerges to build a paper-like umbrella nest. The queens build nest in trees, shrubs, door frames, tree twigs, attic rafters, railings, soffits, and so on. Only the queen lays eggs in the nest for hatching. If the first-generation queen dies, a new female laying egg will replace her.
Do Paper Wasps Sting?
Paper wasps rarely sting but can be dangerous and aggressive if you disturb their nest. They sting to protect their nest and, in the process, release venom into their victims. They sting humans and other mammals like birds, wolves, dogs, cats, and more. For humans, a paper wasp sting can lead to allergic reactions, painful swellings on the skin, and even death in severe cases.
After being stung, it is advisable to wash the area with soap and water to remove the venom. If you aren’t relieved, you can use over-the-counter pain-relief drugs and hydrocortisone ointment to calm the bumps. If you have breathing difficulty or notice fatigue or severe symptoms after the sting, you should call for medical assistance.
Paper Wasps Life Cycle
Paper wasps are annual nesters. They start a new colony in spring. All the wasps in the colony die in late autumn except the queen. These are the major highlight in their lifecycle:
• In late autumn, the surviving queen looks for overwinter shelter to hibernate.
• The queen emerges in spring to make a new nest. The queen lays an egg in the cells of the nest.
• The queen looks for food and feeds the broods till they grow into workers.
• The workers take over the feeding duties and nesting from the queen. They feed the young brood, the queen, and expand the nest.
• The fertile female and male leave the nest to mate.
• The male wasps die shortly after mating, and the queens seek winter shelter.
• The cycle repeats itself and starts again.
How To Prevent Paper Wasps From Your House
• Keep sweet food and drinks appropriately.
• Cover trash and recycling bins tightly with a lid.
• Clean off spilled food and drink immediately because they are attractants for foraging wasps.
• Seal off all opening points like window vents or wall cracks before infestation.
• Keep your pet food well.
• Remove picnic scraps, cover compost, and never walk around the yard barefooted.
How To Get Rid of Paper Wasps
If you notice paper wasp infestation in your house, call Provincial Pest Control (PPC) immediately. Do-it-yourself measures like paper wasp trap, paper wasp repellent, or paper wasp spray are ineffective. Also, the chances of getting stung are very high if you use the DIY methods.
Our expert will identify the insect, name it correctly, and assess the potential risk in the area before we proceed with treatment. We take Identification seriously because paper wasp resembles many other bee species.
Provincial Pest Control (PPC) professionals use environmental-safe techniques for paper wasp nest removal. We have the expertise for removing nests in difficult places like paper wasp nests in walls.
Free Paper Wasps Inspection
For any issue with paper wasp in Canada, you can trust our experts. We know how to remove paper wasp nests by targeting the queen and adult wasps to ensure permanent elimination. Our services are affordable, and you can make a free inspection of a broad range of pest issues. Request inspection today at