Paper Wasps in NJ, NYC & Eastern PA

picture of a paper wasp

Paper Wasp Control in New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia, Connecticut, and Delaware

Facts

  • Residents frequently mistake paper wasps for yellow jackets.
  • The paper wasp nests in hidden, protected areas, including wall voids.
  • The pests often sting more than once and can be hostile towards people and pets.

Appearance

What Do Paper Wasps Look Like?

Size: About one inch in length

Color: Black or brown with yellow abdominal stripes

Characteristics: Narrow waist and long legs that dangle in flight

Food

What Do Paper Wasps Eat?

Paper wasps feed on both meat and plants. They eat several garden pests, such as army worms and horn worms, as well as other soft-bodied insects. In order to get sugar, they consume plant nectar and honeydew.

Biology

Queens overwinter inside walls, beneath siding, or in old nests. After mating and fertilization, they lay eggs that hatch in a few days. The queen feeds the larvae until they develop into workers. As the colony grows, paper wasp workers gather food and build as well as defend the colony.

Detection

  • Look for gray nests shaped like an upside-down umbrella that show visible cells.
  • Check the ground near fence posts and concrete slabs for underground colonies.
  • Watch for several paper wasps flying around the yard or house.
  • Listen for buzzing noises in wall voids to locate indoor infestations.

Problems Caused by Paper Wasps

The insects often nest in human structures, especially near eaves and window shutters. Paper wasps also create nests inside barbecue grills and playground equipment. These venomous pests
will aggressively defend their colonies, and paper wasp stings are painful. People sensitive to their venom can have severe allergic reactions.

Signs of Infestation

Faint buzzing sounds behind walls and frequent sightings of paper wasps indoors are strong indicators of a colony. Paper wasp activity around a hole in the ground is a definite sign of an underground nest.

Prevention Tips

Repairing holes in roofs and cracks in walls can help prevent nesting in homes. Installing screens also keeps paper wasps outside of houses. Avoid getting too close to the pests to lower the risk of stings.

Tips for Removal from Home

Removing a paper wasp infestation is difficult because the insects will attack those who come too close. Use of commercial pesticides can result in multiple stings if the product is ineffective. Contacting a professional is the best way to remove paper wasps quickly and safely.