fbpx Skip to content
We'll get rid of whatever's bugging you. Guaranteed. Get A Free Estimate
family dining on deck

Paper Wasps

We’ll get rid of
whatever’s bugging you.

Avoid paper wasps whenever you can.
Call Adam’s when you can’t.

Paper wasps (Polistes spp) are sometimes called “umbrella wasps” because of the shape of their nest. There are several species of paper wasps found in North America. Although they aggressively defend their nests and their sting is painful, paper wasps are considered beneficial insects and should be tolerated when possible. Adult paper wasps prey on a wide variety of caterpillars, beetle larvae, flies and other garden pests as food for their young; they contribute to pollination; and all but the queen will die as soon as winter arrives and the nest will be abandoned.

But when a paper wasp nest is near people and pets, it’s time to call Adam’s.

Adam’s Gets Rid of Paper Wasps Fast!

Fast, Local Response
Competitive Pricing
Friendly Service
Licensed Professionals
100% Satisfaction

Paper Wasps Treatment Options

One-time Perimeter Stinging Insects

Adam’s licensed pest management professionals have the training and equipment to safely kill nuisance wasp, hornet, and yellow jacket nests up to 25’ in height in or around structures that pose a threat to people. We apply a proven insecticide directly into the nests and also into holes, cracks, and gaps where an active nest may be hiding. Adam’s treats up to 5 nests for the same low price. Adam’s guarantees that no new activity will be present in any treated nest for 3 months.

Premier Perimeter Stinging Insects

Need to prevent more pests than just stinging insects? Adam’s Premier Perimeter Program includes a minimum of 3 preventive barrier treatments around the exterior perimeter of your home for year-round prevention of common household bugs, including insects, spiders, boxelder bugs, and wasp nests. Your Pest Management Professional inspects for pests, and then applies a season-specific, non-repellent, residual material to control common household pests before they can get inside. The service comes with a 12-month guarantee for all existing and new wasp nests.

Premier Home Pest Prevention

Adam’s best value for prevention and control of common household pests, including stinging insects like wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets! Adam’s Premier Home Pest Prevention service provides year-round prevention of pests with a minimum of four visits throughout the year. Service visits focus on the exterior of your home, where most pest problems originate. And should a pest problem ever occur between scheduled visits, the plan includes additional treatments at no additional charge. This program includes common household pests like spiders, centipedes, and roaches and seasonal pests like multicolored Asian lady beetles, ants, and mice, as well as wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets.

More About Paper Wasps


  • A paper wasp infestation is usually pretty easy to see. Paper wasps are active from spring through fall and can be easily seen on and around structures.
  • Paper wasps build their distinctive, umbrella-shaped nests under any protected horizontal surface including branches, ceilings, window and door frames, roof overhangs, eaves, rafters, beams, decks, joists, or railings.
  • Paper wasps make their nests by scraping and chewing wood fiber into a pasty pulp which they then form into a single paper-like comb of hexagonal cells. The nest is attached to the surface by a single stalk.
  • Paper wasp nests are small and generally have 1-2 dozen individual wasps.


  • Paper wasps are slender, narrow-waisted wasps with long, gangly legs that dangle beneath their bodies when they fly.
  • They are 5/8” – ¾” in length (queens are a little larger).
  • Body coloration varies with species; however, paper wasps are generally black or brown with yellow markings on the head, thorax, and bands on the abdomen.
  • Paper wasps have a smooth body with few hairs.
  • Unlike many other wasps, paper wasps fold their 4 wings up longitudinally when not flying.


Yes! Like other wasps, paper wasps will aggressively defend their nests. Paper wasps can sting more than once and will try to do so.



  • Paper wasps capture caterpillars, flies and crickets, and other insects and spiders which they feed to their larvae.
  • Adults paper wasps feed on sugar such as the juices of fruits and honeydew (a sugary substance secreted by certain insects) and the nectar of flowers.
  • Workers from the colony actively forage during the day and rest at night.


  • It is best to ignore a paper wasp nest that is located away from high traffic areas.
  • If the nest is located near a doorway or along a walkway, spray it directly with an aerosol insecticide labeled for wasp and hornet control. Use a quick knock-down product with ingredients such as tetramethrin or prallethrin that can spray 20’ or more.
  • Paper wasp nests also can be dislodged from eaves using a high-pressure water spray.
  • DO NOT attempt to kill a nest yourself if you are allergic to bee stings. Paper wasps will aggressively defend their nests. Take precautions to minimize wasps attacking nearby people and pets.
  • Wear protective clothing (long sleeved shirt and long pants), shoes, socks, and a hat at a minimum. Tie sleeves and pants legs shut or pull your socks over your pant cuffs.
  • Treat in the late evening or early morning when all the wasps are in the nest.
  • Do NOT stand directly under the nest you are treating.
  • Do NOT spray from a ladder.
  • Repeat the treatment if the paper wasps are still flying back and forth to the nest the next day.

TIP #1: Keep paper wasps from nesting in attic areas or other voids by screening any openings or vents.

TIP #2: A fresh coat of paint or varnish will make it difficult for the wasps to attach their nests to the slick surface.


  • Paper wasps have a complete life cycle: egg, larval, pupal, and adult. 
  • Paper wasps are social insects and their colonies contain three castes: queens, workers, and males. A fully matured paper wasp nest may have 20 to 30 adults. 
  • In the spring, several queens select a nesting site and begin to build a nest. Eventually, one of the queens emerges as the dominant, making the others serve as workers in the new colony.
  • The queen deposits eggs singly in the cells on the underside of the nest.
  • After the eggs hatch, the grub-like larvae develop through several stages (instars). The larvae mostly feed on other insects, such as caterpillars, that the sterile worker wasps collect. 
  • Cells remain open until the mature larvae pupate inside a capped cell.
  • In late summer, the queen stops laying eggs and the colony begins to wane. 
  • New queens and males are produced in late summer or early fall.
  • After mating, the new fertilized queens seek overwintering sites in protected places such as in the cracks and crevices of structures or under the bark of trees.
  • The remainder of the colony does not survive freezing temperatures (usually in the mid 20°s F).