Paper wasps are reddish brown and occasionally yellow and black with two wings. Two legs hang down from its body which makes them easier to identify them when flying. Paper wasps make unique nests that have a honeycomb pattern, made of a mixture of scraped up wood and their saliva. Most nests are usually light gray, but they can vary because the color is dictated by the available wood in the area. Residents of Dallas, TX and the surrounding area start seeing paper wasp activity in the spring and through the summer while the wasps build their nest and grow their colony. If the nest is disturbed, prepare yourself for a nasty swarm of paper wasps ready to sting multiple times.

What does a paper wasp nest look like?

The paper wasp is a social wasp that build nests which can get very large if untreated. The nest generally looks like an upside down umbrella with as many as 200 exposed cells. They will collect wood from wooden play sets, deck railings, fences or barks of trees to help construct their nests. Paper wasps are also called “umbrella wasps” because of the shape of their nests. Nests may be built virtually anywhere and are commonly found inside window frames, overhands, in attic vents, under outdoor furniture, on play equipment or anywhere that the wasp can attach the nest.

Why are paper wasps nesting on my house?

As paper wasps they emerge, they will begin to build their nests on various structures, including homes, decks, swing sets, storage sheds and much more. Ideal nesting areas are places where they feel safer and out of the way of human and animal activity. There are not many unique factors that attract paper wasps to your specific home other than simply finding hidden areas that already exist.

It’s possible that female paper wasps will “overwinter” which is similar to how animals hibernate. They build nests within wall voids and attics to shelter themselves until spring comes around when they exit to start the colony life cycle again. You may see an occasional paper wasp flying around in your home during an uncharacteristically warm winter day. This happens because the paper wasp is trying to escape to head outdoors because they think spring is here.

Do paper wasps sting?

It’s not recommended that you approach a paper wasp nest because they are considered to be moderately aggressive. A single paper wasp nest can be host of up to 100 paper wasps at any given time. If you agitate the nest, it’s highly likely that they will swarm and you will be stung multiple times. Like bald faced hornets and yellow jackets, paper wasps sting when they feel that their nest is threatened. If you stay clear of the nest, the chances of being stung are significantly lower. For those who are allergic to bee stings, localized pain can spread and cause anaphylactic shock. If you aren’t allergic, pain around the sight of the sting can still occur, but will go away on its own after a short period of time.

How can I prevent paper wasps from nesting on my home?

Preventing paper wasps isn’t always foolproof. There are steps you can take to make your home and property less appealing to paper wasps, but you can’t always prevent paper wasps with 100% certainty. Try following the tips listed out below to reduce the likelihood of paper wasps from nesting on your property.

  • Avoid dense landscaping with bushes and shrubs close to home. Paper wasps will frequently visit bushes and shrubs to find insects to eat.
  • Paint unfinished wood surfaces such as deck railings, wooden fences, and wooden play equipment to reduce the attractiveness to paper wasps. They are drawn to these surfaces as easily scraped up material to build their nests with.
  • Screen attic vents from inside the attic with window screening to prevent paper wasps from building nests inside of the attic.
  • Seal gaps associated with any soffits or roof overhangs. Paper wasps often nest inside of soffit overhands and will use these gaps to gain entrance into attic spaces.
  • Paper wasps generally build nests on the side of your home that gets the most direct sunlight. Replacing vinyl shudders with wooden shudders can deter them from nesting behind. Vinyl usually retains heat whereas wood retains much less.

How can I get rid of a paper wasp nest on my own?

Never attempt to get rid of a paper wasp nest yourself. This is not a “do it yourself” project. By agitating the nest, you are exposing yourself to a large amount of angry paper wasps. Always trust Certified to get rid of the paper wasp nest on your property with professional tools and training.

Do you have paper wasps flying around your home? Don’t wait! Call Certified Termite and Pets Control at 972-852-2847 or fill out the form on this page to speak with one of our specialists.