Paper Wasp (Polistes spp)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Paper Wasp.
Updated: 8/25/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Paper Wasps come in a variety of colors and patterns, but all of them let people know its best to keep a safe distance from a nest.
Paper Wasps are part of the Vespid Wasp family. They form nests by chewing wood, forming a sort of paper mash with their saliva. The color of the nest can vary from gray to brown, depending on the type of wood that is used to build it. This paper mash is formed into round cells that will eventually house eggs and their food ration. Paper wasps sting other insects, paralyzing them, and bring them back to the nest. The paralyzed insects are stored in a cell with a fertilized egg. Once the egg hatches, the wasp larva will eat the living, immobile insect. It will then pupate and emerge as a winged adult.
Paper wasps build their nests in a variety of places: in shrubs, on buildings, in trees, etc.. They are generally easy-going and do not tend to chase after people passing by, but they can and will sting if their nest is disturbed.