Paper wasps are a group of several species of vespid wasp. These stinging insects are semi-social creatures, as they typically live in small colonies but do not have a worker caste. There are about 22 known paper wasp species in North America, and hundreds in the world.
What Do Paper Wasps Look Like
Paper wasps generally have a similar body shape to yellowjackets, but somewhat slimmer with a thin “waist,” with six long legs and an almost triangular side view, as well as two wings and antennae. They are mostly brown with some yellow coloration. Each of the known paper wasp species share similar traits of brown and yellow coloring, but they also have different bands of colors and markings that separate them from one another. Some species of paper wasp may even have hints of bolder colors like red, or even brighter colored lines compared to others.
Signs of an Infestation
Paper wasps often build nests in residential yards, so one of the main signs of an infestation is the physical sighting of the nest itself and nearby wasps moving around the nest.
The best way to prevent a paper wasp infestation and the potential of getting stung is to make the home less attractive to the stinging insect. Before trimming shrubs or hedges, or picking fruit, check the plant for paper wasp nests to avoid contact with these stinging insects. Seal cracks and crevices in the home with a silicone-based caulk, repair any tears in screens, and try to keep doors closed to prevent paper wasps from entering the home.
Keeping food covered, especially when outdoors, will also help keep these insects at bay when they are in search of nourishment. When spending time outside, people should avoid wearing strong fragrances and opt for unscented hygienic products. Likewise, they should wear shoes that cover and protect their feet from rogue paper wasps.
Paper Wasp Removal
If you suspect you have a paper wasp infestation or find a wasp nest on your property, contact a licensed pest control professional to find out about wasp treatment. Do not attempt paper wasp nest removal on your own, as there is a high probability the paper wasps will protect their home by stinging you.