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What Every Worcester Homeowner Ought To Know About Paper Wasps

paper wasp crawling on nest

Are you familiar with paper wasps? They are a common sight around Worcester homes during the warm months of the year and especially in the fall when they seek out sheltered locations to overwinter. If paper wasps overwintered in your home last year, this is the time when they will come out of hiding and start looking for a place to build a nest. Here are a few things you should know about spring paper wasps and the nests they make.

Social Butterflies, er...Wasps

Paper wasps are social insects. This makes them a force to be reckoned with if you happen to do something that disturbs or threatens their nest. Keep these facts in mind.

  • Paper wasps have a nest-protection instinct.
  • If you get too close to a nest, drones will release a scent that alerts other drones that danger is near.
  • Paper wasps gather together into a swarm to defend their nest.
  • Paper wasps will pursue you for a few yards.
  • Paper wasps can sting multiple times.
  • Paper wasps are less aggressive when they are away from the nest and by themselves.

Recognizing Paper Wasps

It is important to tell the difference between paper wasps and wasps or bees that are solitary by nature because solitary insects are far less likely to sting you. Here are a few quick ways you can identify paper wasps and their nests.

Paper Wasp Identification — Being a wasp, these insects do not have hairs on them, like bees do. You can tell them apart from other wasps by their coloration. Paper wasps may be a brownish-red color or black and yellow, like a yellow jacket. But you don't have to worry about telling them apart from yellow jackets. Both are social insects.

Paper Wasps Nest Identification — You are probably aware that these wasps create gray, paper-like nests that look like big eggs. But they don't look like that at first. This time of year, a nest may look like an umbrella with hexagonal compartments inside.

Location Location Location

When selecting a place to live, paper wasps have a preference for spots that shield them from the weather. There are a few places you can expect to find a paper wasps' nest developing.

  • Underneath rooflines
  • In trees or bushes
  • On the ceilings of open porches
  • Inside open pipes

How To Prevent Nests

Paper wasps create aerial nests that are often in locations you can see. It is important to do frequent, routine sweeps of your yard during the spring and take a peek in sheltered locations, such as under the roofline of your shed. If you see a developing nest, you might find it without any wasps nesting on it during the day. Paper wasps are active during the day, and they are likely to be out gathering material for their nests. If you take a broom and knock a nest down, you can stop the problem before it begins. Consider wearing clothing that gives you protection, just in case there is a wasp around.

Once a nest has developed beyond the initial stage, it can be hazardous to remove. There can be wasps inside. It can also be hazardous to spray nests with chemicals. The chemicals used to eliminate wasps are highly toxic to humans, dogs, cats, and other living creatures. The best solution is to have a licensed professional remove the nest.

Wasps Control In Worcester

The pest professionals at Big Blue Bug Solution can give you ongoing nest detection and nest removal as part of your residential pest control plan or provide you with one-time nest removal if you need. Reach out to us anytime. We're here to help.