Wasps Fact Sheet: English, Spanish.
Paper wasp on nest (Alvesgaspar, Wikimedia Commons)
Paper wasp nest (Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org)
Paper wasp (Johnny N. Dell, Bugwood.org)
- 5/8 - 3/4 inch long
- black with yellowish-white face; no hairs
- long legs that hang in flight
- abdomen at anterior end gradually slopes
- appearing longer and more slender than yellowjackets
- colony dies off every fall; fertilized queens overwinter
- nest on building eaves, play equipment, benches, any hollow pipe, etc., or in plants/trees
- nest is open, umbrella shaped, with all wasps exposed
- queens start new every spring; colonies grow throughout the summer months
- nests pose a health risk to humans
- not as aggressive as yellowjackets or hornets
- Monitor for nests from early summer - fall.
- Purchase and use a bee veil, suit and gloves.
- Minimize nesting habitat around property.
- Install tight-fitting screens in windows.
- Nest removal: wear protective bee veil, suit and gloves; early in the morning, crush
nest and remove it, then clean nest area with soap and water to remove pheromones.
IPM for Stinging Bees and Wasps: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments
(University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)