Paper Wasps

What Do Paper Wasps Look Like?

paper wasp image
The most common paper wasp in New England is the European paper wasp. These pests are black with yellow stripes. They are about the size of a penny with smooth bodies, slender waists, and thin wings. The male paper wasp also has a square, all-yellow face and hooked antennae.

How Can I Tell if I Have a Paper Wasp Problem?

Paper wasps live outdoors in places like backyards, gardens, and parks where there is adequate shelter from the elements. If they move near your home or business, you may notice signs like:

  • Nests – This pest builds umbrella-shaped paper nests. Each hexagonal cell has an open bottom into which a queen lays her eggs. You might spot them hanging under eaves, around ceilings, or on the branches of trees.
  • Noise – Paper wasps sometimes move into wall voids where you may be able to hear them buzzing around.
  • Swarms – If you see several of these insects flying around together in the same area, they might be living nearby.

How Do Paper Wasps Get Inside Homes and Businesses?

These pests can enter through open doors or windows with damaged screens. Females may come into attics through holes near rooflines during cold weather. Paper wasps will also build nests in seldom-used items like grills or birdhouses and make it into garages when homeowners move them inside.

Cracks in foundations and gaps around utility connections make easy routes for paper wasps to get into office buildings. Hospitals and restaurants might have them sneak in around vents and move into the spaces between walls. The loading bays at warehouses and manufacturing plants also present opportunities for a paper wasp to make its way indoors.

Are Paper Wasps Dangerous?

Paper wasps are mostly beneficial since they feed on other insects and help pollinate plants. Although they are less aggressive than other types, they will attack if something comes too near their nest. Only females sting, which they can do multiple times. Paper wasp stings can cause local pain and swelling, but they may be dangerous to those with an allergy.

Pests hiding in light fixtures or behind shutters may injure maintenance crews at apartment buildings or hotels. Active paper wasps near the entrance of stores or daycare centers could also deter customers from coming indoors, resulting in a loss of business.

How Can I Prevent Paper Wasp Infestations?

To avoid paper wasp issues, be sure to use screens to cover vents and seal any cracks or small holes around windows. Paper wasps find it difficult to attach nests to slick surfaces, so painting eaves and railings can discourage them. Call Waltham Pest Services to get help when dealing with a persistent paper wasp problem.

Author: Waltham Pest Services