paper wasp at rest

Paper Wasps

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What do paper wasps look like?

Paper wasps are stinging insects that have brownish bodies with yellow or red markings. They have six long legs, two pairs of wings, and antennae. They are about an inch in length.  

paper wasps in arizona

Pest Facts

Did you know?

  • Paper wasps are social insects that live in colonies. 
  • Paper wasps are capable of recognizing individual faces. This ability helps them distinguish between nest mates and potential threats.
  • Paper wasps are generally diurnal, meaning they are active during the day. 

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Where do paper wasps build nests?

Paper wasps build their nests in sheltered locations, such as eaves, roof overhangs, or tree branches. Their nests are usually umbrella-shaped and consist of a single comb of cells.

What is a paper wasp nest made of? 

Paper wasps mix chewed wood fibers with their saliva in order to create nesting material that forms a papery substance that hardens into the characteristic nest structure.

What do paper wasps eat?

Paper wasps are carnivores, meaning they will feed on a variety of insects, including caterpillars, flies, and spiders as well as pollen and sugars like nectar and aphid honeydew.  

Are paper wasps aggressive?

Generally less aggressive than yellow jackets and hornets, paper wasps may attack if their nest is threatened and are capable of delivering painful stings.

Are paper wasps beneficial or harmful?

Both! Paper wasps are considered beneficial because they are pollinators and also help control insect populations. However, they can be harmful if their nests are located in close proximity to human activity. Paper wasp stings are not usually dangerous to humans unless the person is allergic to their venom. In some cases, stings can produce life threatening symptoms. If you're stung by a wasp and start to experience concerning symptoms, seek medical attention right away. 

How do you get rid of paper wasps?

If you've found a paper wasp nest too close to your home or where your family spends time or you've noticed paper wasp activity in your yard, contact Greenway Pest Solutions. Our local pest control pros specialize in wasp control and have the tools, knowledge, and experience necessary to solve your paper wasp problem. 

How do you prevent paper wasps?

While it's difficult to prevent paper wasps from nesting on your property, our Phoenix pest control team recommends the following pest prevention tips:

  • Seal entry points to stop paper wasps from nesting inside your home.
  • Remove food sources.
  • Do not plant nectar-rich flowers right next to your house. 
  • Eliminate the insects that paper wasps feed on. 


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