Paper Wasps

How to identify and remove paper wasps.

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Paper Wasps
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Do They Cause Structural Damage?
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Only when found nesting in an attic. The warmth and moisture form a hive can cause the drywall to soften which can lead to bees being found inside a structure. This is not common. They are also venomous and can cause possible allergic reactions.

Signs to Look For

Are there small nests that are shaped like a plate or saucer? Likely paper wasps. Paper wasps are large (1-inch long), slender wasps with long legs and a distinct, slender waist. Background colors vary, but most western species tend to be golden brown, or darker, with large patches of yellow or red. Preferring to live in or near orchards or vineyards, they hang their paper nests in protected areas, such as under eaves, in attics, or under tree branches or vines. Each nest hangs like an open umbrella from a pedicel (stalk) and has open cells that can be seen from beneath the nest.

Where are they noticed?

Up high. On houses, they are mostly noticed under the eaves. The hives start small and grow larger as the warmer season goes on. They can also nest under and in cracks and crevices of shake, metal and tile roofers.


The nice thing is Paper Wasps prefer to stay away from people and are not as prone to sting as other wasp species.

If Untreated…

None, unless medical expenses result as a result from a bite.


Remove any debris stored unnecessarily in and around the structure. Perform an exterior spider treatment in the spring and fall of each year which can greatly reduce the normal spider population around any structure.

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