How To Identify Paper Wasp Nest And Get Rid Of It?

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There are many pests that can invade your home, and one of the most common is the paper wasp. These pests can be a real nuisance, as they will build nests in any available area and can cause a lot of damage. If you want to get rid of the paper wasp colony, you’ll need to identify the nest and take proper action.

How can you identify paper wasps?

Paper wasps

Before we get to identifying a paper wasp nest, it’s necessary that you’re equipped with the knowledge to identify paper wasps themselves!

Paper wasps are black or brown and have wings with red or yellow markings. They are easily identifiable by their narrow waist and long legs. They build their nests out of paper, which is how they got their name.

Moreover, paper wasps can be identified by their thin waist and long legs. They are also different from other wasp species because their wings are not folded lengthwise when they are resting.

This particular wasp species can grow to 1 inch in length, but some individuals can grow as large as 1.5 inches.

Only the female paper wasps have a stinger which they can use multiple times before dying. Moreover, their nests are easily identifiable as they are made of chewed-up wood fibers. If you are dealing with a paper wasp nest, it is best to call an exterminator to get rid of them safely.

How to identify a paper wasp nest?

Paper wasp nest

Paper wasp nests typically look like upside-down umbrellas. These nests are often open and can get quite large in size.

These wasp nests are typically held in place by a single stalk and consist of a paper-like material.

The nests are often aerial and can get quite large. They’re made up of a paper-like material that is waterproof, which helps the wasps to survive the cold winters.

Where are you likely to find a paper wasp nest?

Paper wasps are most commonly found outdoors and around trees and shrubs. They can also build nests indoors, especially if there are high ceilings. This makes them difficult to get rid of because they can be hiding in hard-to-reach places.

How are paper wasp nests built or constructed?

Paper wasp nests are constructed by the queen wasp each spring. She needs to find a new nesting site each year, so she builds a wasp nest out of self-made paper. Once the eggs have hatched, the workers take over and expand the nest.

The process of building a paper wasp nest is quite fascinating. A wasp queen begins the process by selecting a suitable site for a nest and then searching for sources of wood fiber using her strong jaws.

With a mouthful of wood fibers, she uses the saliva in her mouth to break down the wood fibers until they form soft paper pulp, which she flies to her chosen building site to begin construction of the nest with help from worker wasps.

The queen wasp starts building the nest by creating a small paper tube. She will then enlarge the tube by adding layers of chewed-up wood pulp. The queen wasp will also use saliva and other materials to waterproof the nest.

The nests of paper wasps are typically small and umbrella-shaped. They are often built under eaves and overhangs, where they are sheltered from the elements.

Wasps get the paper they use to build their nests from a variety of sources. They can find it in trees, logs, fences, and even cardboard. This allows them to build their nests nearly anywhere they please.

Interestingly, paper wasp nests are built anew every spring. The workers will start by constructing a small foundation using chewed-up wood fibers. Then, they will gradually add layers of the paper they produce until the nest is completed.

If you find a wasp nest on your property, it is important to remove it as soon as possible to avoid any potential stings.

Does a paper wasp nest randomly appear out of nowhere?

Paper wasp nests are constructed in the spring.

No, a paper wasp nest does not randomly appear out of nowhere. It’s just that paper wasp nests are often built in the spring when temperatures warm, and the queen is able to start building.

The queen’s powerful mandibles grind up plant fibers and mix them with saliva to extrude water-resistant paper used to construct their nests. Often, wasps will build their nests in sheltered areas, like under eaves or decks.

Moreover, they start building their nests during the spring and summer, and it’s only by mid-to-late August that they become large enough to be noticed or not; sometimes, painfully so.

Paper wasps often build their nests in sheltered areas like under the eaves of a house, in a tree, or in an attic. If you’re seeing wasps flying around your home during the colder months, it’s likely that you have a nest on your property.

While it is possible for a queen wasp to start a new nest on her own, more often than not, she will look for an existing site to build her nest. Once she finds an appropriate spot, she will start laying eggs, and the process of building the nest will begin.

How to get rid of a paper wasp nest after you have identified it?

There are a few key things to remember when trying to get rid of a paper wasp nest. First, you must identify the nest correctly- these wasps can be confused with other types of wasps. 

Once you have identified it, you can choose one of two courses of action. You could use a store-bought wasp killer to try and take care of the problem. If there is still activity in the nest, simply spray it again with the killer.

Alternatively, you could actually get rid of the paper wasp nest by physically dislocating it!. You can do this by approaching the nest in the evening hours when all the wasps inside it are likely to be dead. 

Then, use a garbage bag to cover the nest and gently pull it from the tree or wall it’s attached to. Seal the bag around it and throw it away in an outdoor trash can with a tight-fitting lid.


The fact is that paper wasps are not known to be particularly aggressive. But, if you have a paper wasp nest in your vicinity, one of you is going to be intruding on the other species’ territory. Therefore, it is best to properly identify and get rid of paper wasp nests from your property as soon as you suspect an infestation!

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.