Paper Wasps

Another member of the wasp family, and another member named after the material used to build their nests! Paper wasps are so named because they, like some hornets, form nests out of a paper-like substance. This substance, similar in appearance to paper mache, is created with chewed up wood and plant fibers. The nest typically forms an umbrella shape, giving paper wasps an additional nickname of “umbrella wasp”. They feed predominantly on nectar and small garden pests such as caterpillars. Unlike their cousins the mud daubers, though, paper wasps are social wasps and they do form colonies.

Paper wasps are often confused with yellow jackets, as they are very similar in coloration and markings. Like yellow jackets, they have bright yellow and black stripes on their abdomen. However, they are typically larger and slimmer than yellow jackets, around one inch in length compared to yellow jacket’s half an inch.

Controlling Paper Wasps

They are often considered beneficial, as they are pollinators and the insects they feed on are considered pests. Unlike the yellow jackets they are so often confused with, paper wasps are typically non-aggressive. However, they will attack if they feel their nest is threatened. It is not always easy to avoid angering a paper wasp, as they tend to nest in well-concealed areas such as the ends of pipes or the eaves of your home. These wasps have a painful sting, which can cause severe allergic reactions in some individuals. If you do discover a paper wasp nest around your home, give Advanced Wildlife Control a call! Our technicians will eliminate the wasps and remove the nest from your home.


The brighter the color, the more painful the sting! Scientists believe brighter colored insects, like the paper wasp, are so colorful as a warning sign to any creature looking to harm the nest.