Guide to Paper Wasps, What They Are, Their Dangers and Behavior, The Queen, The Nest, The Sting and How To Get Rid of Them
Most people receive a painful sting from a wasp at least 2 – 5 times in their lifetime. That’s not a lot of stings overall, but the pain is enough for us to remember every single one!
No wonder we’re so afraid of these flying, stinging insects. But are paper wasps dangerous?
What should you do the next time you find a paper wasp nest? Let’s take a closer look at paper wasps and find out if they’re as dangerous as we think.
What Are Paper Wasps?
Paper wasps are a type of social wasp common in North America. They get their name from the paper-like nests they build out of chewed-up wood fibers. These types of wasps are so named because they make their nests out of paper-like material and raw wood fibers from trees, plant stems, logs and fences.
Paper wasps are generally yellow, brown, or red and are about ½ inch to 1 inch in length. They are slender wasps with long legs and a narrow waist. They are sometimes confused with yellow jackets but are different in appearance and behavior.
Paper Wasp Queens Create Nests
Paper wasp queens hibernate in crevices and sheltered areas during the winter. The queen is the first to emerge in the spring, when the temperatures reach 50 degrees, even before yellowjackets and hornets.
Once the queen appears, she will immediately start her search for a place to settle and start her colony. She will never return to an old nest, as when she begins to build her new nest, it will resemble honeycombs and upside-down umbrellas which will suspend from an eave or ceiling, under outdoor furniture, inside electrical boxes and mailboxes and underneath bbq grills.
Paper Wasp Behavior
Paper wasps are not naturally aggressive and will only sting humans if they feel threatened or provoked. They are attracted to sweet foods and drinks near picnic areas or garbage cans.
That can make them seem like dangerous insects, but they are just looking for a meal. If you leave them alone, they will usually leave you alone. They are not considered particularly aggressive and will usually only sting if they feel threatened.
Are Paper Wasps Dangerous?
Paper wasps are not inherently dangerous. They’re actually beneficial to farms and gardens because they eat caterpillars.
But they can become a problem if they build their nests near your home or business. The most significant risk posed by paper wasps is their sting. Paper wasps can sting multiple times, and their stings are quite painful.
In general, paper wasps are not dangerous to humans unless the person has an allergy to their venom. Approximately 3% of adults and .4% to .8% of children are allergic to a paper wasp sting, which can be life-threatening.
How to Get Rid of Paper Wasps
If you are concerned about paper wasps on your property, there are a few things you can do to get rid of them.
First, try to remove any potential food sources that might attract them. That could include things like ripe fruit or garbage. Next, take a look around your property for any potential nesting sites.
Removing a Paper Wasp Nest Near Merrimack, NH & Beyond
Are paper wasps dangerous? Hopefully, this article has answered the question.
As a reminder, with insects like these, don’t try to knock them down or spray them with anything. Wasps will defend themselves if you don’t get the entire nest all at once. And if they swarm around you, there’s a good chance you’ll get at least ten painful stings.
If you see a paper wasp nest near your home, call a pest control professional to have it removed. Garfield Pest Control removes nuisance animals and insects in Merrimack, NH, and the surrounding areas. Call Garfield Pest Control for safe and painless wasp nest solutions if you have a paper wasp nest.