Paper wasp queens, like other Vespid nest
The male Vespids die in winter, likewise the nest
disintegrates and will not be used again.
mothers, is the lone female reproductive, who begins
her nest by attaching a thick paper strand to an
overhanging structure. She then builds hollow paper
MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OF
cells by chewing wood or plant fibers (cellulose)
PAPER WASPS (Polistes)
mixed with water and shaped with her mouthparts.
Paper wasps nests are often found near doorways
and other human activity areas without occupants
being stung. Colonies can become problems, but when
they do, Paper wasps can be controlled easily:
When attracted to fallen ripe fruit, these wasps
sting people who venture into the same area. Colonies
in trees, out buildings, hollow fence posts and other
protected places are not as easy to control as those
from nests on structures.
Remove old nests and scrape the point
of attachment. [This spot is often
selected by new queens for attachment
Paper Wasp Nest
of new combs.]
Remove ripe fallen fruit as often as
When a half dozen cells or so are hanging
together, the Queen lays an egg near the bottom of
Caulk openings in attics, window
each one. The little white grubs that hatch from the
frames, and around wall penetrations to
egg glue their rear ends in the cell and begin receiving
keep overwintering females out of
nourishment in the form of chewed up bits of
unused rooms and spaces.
caterpillars provided by their mother. When they grow
large enough to fill the cell cavity, they break the
glued spot and hold on their own by their stuffed fat
Use pressurized sprays that propel spray
bodies, hanging head down.
for 8-12 feet or use aerosols on
Mature larvae, then, spin silk caps, closing off the
extension poles especially manufactured
cell, and molt into pupae. This same larval behavior
for aerosol cans.
pattern is followed by yellowjackets and hornets also.
If a ladder is needed wear a bee suit and
All are females. Other than their white color, these
veil. Proceed cautiously.
Vespid pupae look like adults; they develop adult
systems, then shed their pupal skins, chew through
their silk cell cap, pump out their wings, and take their
place as worker assistants to their mother. (Paper wasp
Yellowjacket (with eighteen species in North
queens and workers are the same size; yellowjacket
America) colonies begin with a large fertilized queen;
and hornet queens are larger than their daughters.)
she develops smaller daughter workers and later
From Spring on, the queen lays eggs and the
reproductives just as the Paper wasps, but the nest
daughter workers feed larvae and expand the comb or
structure is not the same. Some yellowjacket nests
nest. They do not eat the protein (insect) food they
hang in trees and shrubs, and some are developed
gather for the larvae but get their energy from flower
nectar. Later in the season, some of the larvae
develop into males and others will become next year's
The new males and females mate with those of
Several yellowjackets make the aerial football-
other colonies, and the fertilized females find hiding
shaped paper nests, commonly called hornets nests.
places under tree bark or in logs and wait out the
Two of these yellowjackets are common: the Aerial
yellowjacket, Dolichovespula arenaria, and the Bald
winter until they can begin their new colony in the
Faced hornet, Dolichovespula maculata.
Module Two, Chapter 2, Pg 2