Paper Wasp

Actual Size: 0.75 to 1.25”

Characteristics: Black abdomen, mahogany body with a distinct yellow ring, black wings

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Gets their name from their distinctive papery nests, which are made from cellulose. Nests are often located in sheltered areas such as attic rafters or porch ceilings.


  • Moderately aggressive and capable of delivering a painful sting.
  • Eat nectar and other insects, including flies and caterpillars.
  • Female wasps will help each other build nests but only one queen will lay eggs.

Paper Wasps in San Angelo

In the U.S., there are more than 22 species of paper wasps, and the majority of them have a brownish hue with yellow markings. People often mistake paper wasps for yellowjackets, and they are sometimes called umbrella wasps. The most distinctive feature of paper wasps is their nests, which resemble upside-down paper cones and are usually suspended from a horizontal surface in a sheltered and shaded spot. Similar to other wasp species, paper wasps primarily feed on insects, spiders, and similar prey.

Paper Wasp Habitat

Paper wasp nests are renowned for their unique appearance, resembling upside-down umbrellas with a distinctive papier-mâché texture. Unlike yellow jackets’ nests, which are enclosed and concealed, paper wasp nests have a more open structure. These nests can frequently be found hanging from tree branches or situated under eaves, attic rafters, and porch ceilings. Due to their preference for building nests in residential areas, paper wasps may construct their nests directly on the exterior of homes. This behavior can lead to potential problems, as these wasps have been known to find their way indoors through small openings such as holes in attic vent screens or gaps underneath shingles. Therefore, it is essential for homeowners to be vigilant about potential nest sites and take necessary precautions to avoid unwanted intrusions.

Paper Wasp Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Like mud daubers, paper wasps are valuable contributors to the ecosystem as they help regulate the insect population and play a role in pollination by consuming nectar. However, it’s crucial to exercise caution around paper wasps because they are considered aggressive and may sting repeatedly when they feel threatened. For this reason, it is essential never to disturb their nests or approach them too closely. Respecting their space and keeping a safe distance can help prevent potential confrontations and stings. Stings can be extremely painful, which is why you should leave it up to a professional wasp control company to control paper wasp infestations in or near your home.