General Info
  • Paper wasps are found throughout the U.S. but seem to be more common in the Southern states
  • Their active season is usually April through September
  • Some people call these “umbrella wasps” because the nest comb (visible from below) resembles an open umbrella
Where They Nest
  • Paper wasp nests are commonly found hanging from awnings, soffits, window ledges, porch roofs, and railings
  • Less noticed nests may occur in garage and shed rafters, or behind shutters and siding
What They Want From You
  • In the spring, queen wasps search areas around homes to build a new nest (once the nest is established they raise their young at this nest site)
  • In fall, all of the wasps in the nest die except for the newly emerged queens who search for a secluded spot to hide for the winter – the following spring the cycle begins again
Why They’re A Problem
  • Paper wasps don’t go out of their way to bother humans, but when disturbed, they will sting as an attempt to defend their nest
  • Some people can have severe allergic reactions to wasp stings – these people should get immediate medical attention if stung
Tips & Tricks
  • Spray wasp nests only at dusk or after dark when nearly all members of the colony are in the nest, as they are less likely to leave the nest to sting you
  • Restrict wasp access to the home by closing doors and windows
  • Inspect screens for holes and loose edges that may allow wasps to enter
  • Cover or store food in sealed containers when picnicking or camping
  • Inspect eaves, overhangs, and roofs for new nests and spray them as soon as they are found

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