Paper Wasp

Actual Size: 0.75 to 1.25”

Characteristics: Black abdomen, mahogany body with a distinct yellow ring, black wings

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Build umbrella-shaped, paper-like nests in residential yards. Nests often hang from twigs and branches, porch ceilings, and more.

Habits:

  • Not as aggressive as the yellowjacket
  • Eat nectar and other insects, including flies and caterpillars
  • Female wasps will help each other build nests but only one queen will lay eggs

Paper Wasps in Bristol

There are over 22 species of paper wasps in the nation, and most of them are a brownish color with yellow markings. These wasps are often confused for yellowjackets and are often called umbrella wasps due to the shape of their nests. Paper wasp nests often look like an upside-down paper cone and typically hang from a horizontal surface in a shaded, protected location. Like other types of wasps, paper wasps feed on insects, spiders, and the like. They are especially prominent here in Tennessee in the late summer and early fall months, which is when they can become more aggressive.

Paper Wasp Habitat

Paper wasp nests are known to look like upside-down umbrellas and have a papier-mȃché feel to them. Unlike yellow jackets, paper wasp nests are somewhat open and not completely covered. Nests can most often be found either on tree branches or under eaves, attic rafters, and porch ceilings. Because nests can be built directly on a home, these wasps have been known to make their way indoors through holes in attic vent screens or underneath shingles.

Paper Wasp Behavior & Dangers

Paper wasps are considered to be beneficial to the environment for keeping the insect population under control. They also assist in pollination by feeding on nectar. However, they can be dangerous, too. Paper wasps are considered aggressive and have been known to sting repeatedly when threatened. For this reason, it’s important to never disturb their nest. Stings can be extremely painful, which is why you should leave it up to a professional wasp control company to control paper wasp infestations in or near your home.