There are numerous types of wasps spread in the USA. Some of them do not dwell in your area; others can bother you. That is why I, as a professional entomologist with decades of experience, decided to teach you how to get rid of paper wasps.
These insects are widespread in America and become a well-known problem for many owners of private homes with gardens. They do not mind building their nests even inside the house. And while they are helpful in the household, killing bugs that live in your house and yard, they are aggressive tenants that can easily sting people.
- 1 Information on Paper Wasp Control and FAQ
- 2 Getting Rid of Paper Wasps
- 3 Best Paper Wasp Treatments
- 4 FAQ
- 5 Consider All the Options
Information on Paper Wasp Control and FAQ
They are blood siblings of yellowjackets and hornets, and probably some distant cousins of mud daubers. In North America, 22 different species of paper wasps dwell. In total, there are 300 species of these insects around the world.
These wasps are extremely territorial creatures that live in big communities and do not mind to sting anyone who seems dangerous to them. And unlike mud daubers, paper wasps sting painfully. Beware!
If you have an allergic reaction to wasps venom, you have to go to the hospital immediately. Those people who are allergic can’t come out close to the nests and need to call the pest control service. You can’t get involved in killing paper wasps in this case.
How to Identify Paper Wasp?
These insects are usually colored in dark brown. They have yellow stripes on their bodies and black wings. These stripes may be mistakenly accepted for yellow jackets’ coloring. If you can’t decide which species you see in front of you, take a look at their legs. Paper wasps have long legs, unlike other types of wasps.
Paper wasps sometimes are called umbrella wasps due to the shape of their nests. These insects create their dwellings from wood, various plants, and saliva. They mix everything to create the perfect place to lay the eggs. After the eggs are inside the cells, they seal it. From outside, it looks like paper, so now you see the origin of the name.
Unlike other wasps, these species do not hide their habitat, and people can observe what they are doing at the same moment. Larvae get out of the cells and become adult insects.
Paper Wasps Lifecycle
Paper wasps prefer to lay their eggs separately in every cell. Usually, it happens during warm seasons of the year. The eggs hatch into the legless larvae that grow into the adult species in a few stages, including pupating. A cell is always open during metamorphosis. Sterile wasps that are known as workers help to build cells. One nest may contain over 20 adult wasps.
Paper Wasp or Yellow Jacket
I can understand why you are confused here. Both of these wasps are colored in yellow and black. They belong to the same family, they sting, and they can fly. Yet, paper wasps are longer with black as a dominant color. Besides, they have longer legs. The wings of paper wasps are thinner than yellow jackets, as well as their waists. Also, yellowjackets are smaller.
Why Do Paper Wasps Appear at Your Home?
Apparently, you have attracted them somehow. But rest assured, wasps do not actually need any permission from you to enter your house. The reasons for their appearance may be completely unrelated to you. Let’s check them out:
- You live in the area of the typical habitat of paper wasps. If they live nearby, they can easily visit your household. Besides, they don’t usually live in the same nest twice. So even with paper wasp nest removal, there is no guarantee that you will not face these stinging insects again.
- They can be attracted to the source of food in your garden. Paper wasps consume small bugs, larvae of various beetles, and different caterpillars. They also may eat your crops.
- Sheltered corners that are hard to reach for humans also attract paper wasps. These insects can peacefully dwell under the roof of your house, basement, barn, or attic. They can easily make a nest under the porch.
- The insects are lured by the abandoned houses. Therefore, if you have a summer house, make sure to check it on paper wasp infestation before letting your children play inside.
Are They Dangerous?
Yes, they are, especially if you or someone from your family are allergic to the venom of wasps. In case you are not sure whether you are allergic, you have to contact your doctor and make an appointment to find it. Even if you are not allergic, the stings of these species are still painful. If you have children in your house, they may be scared by wasps as well.
They do not transfer diseases. Besides, wasps are an essential part of nature. They help to pollinate flowers and cut the number of bugs.
Getting Rid of Paper Wasps
The best way to kill paper wasps does not have to be the most dangerous one. You even don’t have to come out to the nest close. Numerous tools will help you with this procedure.
By the way, since wasps help to decrease the number of bugs in your yard, you don’t necessarily have to kill them. You can just relocate them or show that they are no longer welcome. Here are a few steps you need to perform:
Step 1. Inspect Your Yard
Carefully inspect your house both outdoors and indoors for the signs of paper wasps. Start with the trees and wide shrubs around the yard. Check out the porch, doors, attics, chimneys, and vents.
Wasps will not hide in the chimney during the winter period if you use it often, but they can make a nest during a warm period, while you are not using the chimney too much. Check out your attic.
If you have high ceilings, look around. If you are not sure where to look, just follow the paper wasp you see. It will lead you to the nest.
Step 2. Pick the Treatment
Decide which tool you want to use against the paper wasps. Treat them according to the original plan:
You can call the wasp and hornet control in your area. Call them in case you have allergies or suspect that somebody in your family is allergic to the wasps’ poison.
Use chemicals. Insecticides are the most powerful and helpful tool against paper wasps. Usually, they contain Cyfluthrin, which is highly toxic for insects but less toxic to humans.
Warning! Make sure you wear a protective suit. If you don’t have one, just cover all your body parts with clothes which don’t have holes in them. You also have to wear glasses and gloves.
Detailed instruction on how to use insecticide:
- Wear a beekeeping hat, if you have it. It has a veil and can protect your face. Use gloves, goggles, and cover your body with the clothes.
- Effective wasp spray usually kills at 15 feet distance. You have to stand at least 4-5 feet away from the nest for a better result.
- Open the bottle and push the button.
- Wait for a day and check whether the wasps are dead.
Try natural-based remedies. Paper wasps, like many their siblings, can’t stand the vinegar. You can mix it with the water to create a trap. Insects will not be able to get out once they are inside, or you may spray the vinegar around to keep wasps away.
In case you have red paper wasps intrusion, use decoy nests of other wasps. They are extremely territorial and will not go near. Thyme, citronella, and eucalyptus are the plants that will scare wasps away as well.
Step 3. Preventive Measures
Use the paper wasp prevention. Don’t forget to remove the nest after you killed or paralyzed the wasps. Take it away, so insects will not return. Clean everything carefully.
To secure yourself and your family from these stinging insects, you don’t have to do anything extraordinary or tiresome. Even paper wasp repellent may guarantee you several weeks of protection, while all the wasps will fly away. Here are a few simple recommendations:
- Wash the place where the nest was situated after you get rid of it;
- Make sure there are no other signs of paper wasps;
- Seal all your windows and doors. Check out the cracks in the walls. If you have paper wasps in the house, there must be a way inside for them. Paper wasps can’t come through the walls;
- Take care of all the garbage as they may be attracted by it;
- Solve the problems with bugs.
Main Ingredients of Wasp Control Products
One of the widely used ingredients in chemical insecticides is diatomaceous earth, which is not that toxic but dries out wasps in no time. Insecticides may contain Cypermethrin that offers a long-lasting effect.
You need to read the instructions before you use any of the products around the house. Some of them may be applied only outdoors, while you can use others indoors as well.
Best Paper Wasp Treatments
This is my personal list of favorite tools against paper wasps. I decided to make it as detailed as possible, based on my experience. Take a look at this list and pay attention to the pros and cons before you buy the product.
1. BASF 597802 PT Wasp-Freeze II – Powerful Paper Wasp Insecticide for Outdoors
The 597802 PT Wasp-Freeze II by BASF will kill all the wasps and bees in 15 feet area. It contains powerful chemicals and acts immediately. There is a detailed instruction on the bottle. You have to read it together with the Caution info. The bottle is comfortable to hold and use. It is lightweight of 1.09 pounds.
You have to wear a protective mask on your face while spraying it and avoid contact with your bare skin. The product works splendidly on hornets, bees, and spiders as well. BASF company specializes in insecticides for indoors and outdoors.
2. Tempo Dust Insecticide BA1011 – Easy to Apply Paper Wasp Control
No products found.
The Tempo Dust Insecticide BA1011 by Bayer is a perfect tool against paper wasps both outdoors and indoors. It kills numerous pests, apart from paper wasps. The product works on stinging insects in no time. The dimensions of this insecticide are 2.5 x 3.8 x 9.6 inches. It weighs only 1.3 pounds.
The product is extremely popular on the market. It is easy to apply and comfortable to hold. If the wasps in the nest are still alive, you have to repeat the procedure. Make sure your hands and face are covered. You don’t have to sprinkle it inside the nest; you can use the insecticide around it. Bayer also offers various tools for your house that you may find helpful.
Related Post: Best Wasp Killing Powders Reviewed
3. Ortho Home Defense Hornet & Wasp Killer – the Professional Foam Paper Wasp Killer
The Home Defense Hornet & Wasp Killer by Ortho was created to kill hornets, mud daubers, yellow jackets, and paper wasps. It entraps wasps limiting their movements at the same time it is applied. The product has a comfortable system of the application. You can keep the safe distance while using the insecticide to the nest of 20 feet above the ground.
This tool will kill all the wasps that return to the nest. You can also spray it around the doors and windows. Home Defense Hornet & Wasp Killer was created by Ortho, a company famous for pest control measures.
Are Paper Wasps Dangerous?
Yes, they can be pretty dangerous for people who suffer from allergies on the venom of wasps. They can sting painfully. These insects are aggressive towards any possible threats. They can sting you, your children, or your pets. Once they are near your house, you have to get rid of them.
Do Paper Wasp Sting?
They are more “vicious” than many of their relatives. They can sting painfully and attack you while you are expecting it the least. Unlike mud daubers, for example, they protect their nests vigorously. If you have found their nest, do not come near it with the bare skin. Don’t try to control paper wasps. Put long shirts and pants to protect your legs.
When Is the Best Time to Kill Wasps?
The best time to get rid of these insects is somewhere close to the sunrise or at dusk. They are not as active then as during the day. After you learn how to kill paper wasps and pick the perfect treatment, you have to wait until it acts. Don’t hurry up. Remember that if you wake them up, wasps can become aggressive, so always apply protective measures.
Related Post: How to Get Rid of Cicada Killer Wasps
What Attracts Paper Wasps?
Almost everything can attract paper wasps in your house, especially if they leave nearby and are looking for a new place to build their nest. It may be food, leftovers, plants, trees, bushes, the mess in your yard, abandoned barns, garage, open window, or door. You can make sure that there are no holes in your house walls and don’t forget to close the doors and windows.
Consider All the Options
Before you decide which method is more beneficial for you and your current situation, I advise you to consider everything that was said above. Pay attention to the information about paper wasps. They are not that useless as you may think, and may help you to cut the number of caterpillars and other bugs in the yard.
I made an emphasis on the dangers of coming close to the nest without protective clothes. In the comments below, please tell your own story of struggling with paper wasps. Don’t forget to mention whether you used one of the products I described.
- Vespidae (HYMENOPTERA, Vespidae (Stephens) – (Vespoidea)):
- Yellowjackets Vespula Wasps (Missouri Department of Conservation):
- Wasp and Hornet Control (University of Idaho):
- Controlling Paper Wasps in and Around Structures (NC State Extension Publications):