Paper Wasps

Paper Wasp Control: Protect Your Home or Business

Facts

  • Many people confuse paper wasps for yellow jackets due to their many similarities.
  • These pests can detect small movements from up to 20 feet away.
  • This wasp’s nest has an upside-down umbrella shape with exposed combs.

Appearance

An adult paper wasp’s body is about an inch long. The wasps have narrow waists and long legs that trail behind them in flight, differentiating them from yellow jackets. They range in color from black to brown and may have a reddish tint or yellow patterns. Cream-colored and worm-like, the larvae remain in the nest until they reach adulthood.

How Do Paper Wasps Get Inside Buildings?

Paper wasps find the cool Mid-Atlantic fall perfect for breeding. On sunny days, they swarm to the tops of high structures to mate. The fertilized female then searches for a place to overwinter. She will look for shelters such as attics, sheds, and enclosed porches. Cracked window frames, torn screens, or crevices along the sides of homes are easy entry points.

This pest builds its nest in protected areas such as under eaves, park benches, or inside light fixtures and outdoor furniture. A restaurant with balcony dining, cities with recreational parks, or businesses with unused rooms are typical places where paper wasps might live.

Signs of A Paper Wasp Infestation

  • Queen – A paper wasp crawling out in the open and moving slowly could be a queen looking for shelter.
  • Swarms – When temperatures drop and these pests don’t have nests or larvae to guard, they may cluster around the top floors of buildings.
  • Empty Nests – A queen might reuse last year’s breeding grounds. An abandoned nest can be a sign that you’ll have an infestation in the spring.
  • Sighting – Paper wasps are social insects, so if you see one, odds are that there are many more nearby.

Problems Caused by Paper Wasps

While they generally avoid people, paper wasps are quick to defend their homes. If you change a light bulb or rest your hand on a door frame near a nest, it could result in an unpleasant surprise. Wasps can sting more than once, which can cause redness, swelling, and tenderness. Those who are allergic may have a more severe reaction, requiring medication attention.

A paper wasp infestation is bad for any business. The threat of injury may deter customers, and the risk to employees increases liability for proprietors. The potential loss of profits and the possible increase in costs for the company can be detrimental.

Prevention Tips

You should limit possible nesting sites to keep paper wasps away. Make necessary repairs by replacing broken screens and check that siding and roofing are in good condition. If you think you have a paper wasp problem, call the professionals at Western Pest Services to remove them and keep your home or business safe.

Author: Western Pest Services