Wasps

Polistes sp.

  • SIZE

    1/2in to 1in long

  • COLOR

  • BITE OR STING

    Yes

  • WINGS

    Yes

Top-view illustration of a wasp.
Side-view illustration of a wasp.
Paper wasps on a hive hanging from a tree branch.
Close up of wasps on cells within a wasp nest.

General Information

If you have wasps buzzing around outside, it can be difficult to enjoy spending time in the yard—especially if you or a loved one are allergic. Help protect your family from these stinging insects by learning how to help keep wasps away from your home.

  • The active season for wasps is usually April through September.

  • Some people call these “umbrella wasps” because the nest comb (visible from below) resembles an open umbrella.

Details

  • Paper wasp nests are commonly found hanging from awnings, soffits, window ledges, porch roofs, and railings.

  • Less noticed wasp nests may occur in garage and shed rafters, or behind shutters and siding.

  • In the spring, queen wasps search areas around homes to build a new nest. Once the nest is established, they raise their young at this site.

  • In the fall, all the wasps in the nest die except for the newly emerged queens who search for a secluded spot to hibernate for the winter. The following spring, the cycle begins again.

  • Paper wasps don’t go out of their way to bother humans, but when disturbed, they will sting in an attempt to defend their nest.

  • Some people can have severe allergic reactions to wasp stings. These people should get immediate medical attention if stung.

KEEP WASPS AWAY FROM YOUR HOME

Effective wasp control starts with limiting their access to your home and removing items that attract these pesky insects. You can help protect your family and keep wasps away from your home by doing the following:

  • Restrict wasp access to your home by closing all doors and windows.

  • Repair holes and loose edges on door and window screens that may allow wasps to enter.

  • Keep garbage containers sealed and away from your home’s entrances.

  • Rinse all items before placing them in the recycling bin.

  • Cover or store food in sealed containers when eating outside.

GETTING RID OF WASPS NESTS

Treating a small wasp problem as soon as it appears can help prevent a larger one in the future. Here’s how to help get rid of wasp nests:

  • Never attempt to remove wasp nests alone! It’s important to have someone else there in case of an emergency.

  • Ask someone else or hire a professional to treat the wasp nest if you’re allergic to stings.

  • Spray wasp nests only at dusk or after dark when it’s cooler and wasps are less active and less likely to leave the nest to sting you.

  • Wear pants, long sleeves, and gloves to help reduce your chance of being stung during wasp nest removal.

  • Inspect eaves, overhangs, and roofs for new nests and spray them as soon as they are found.

Illustrations of wasp, mosquito and spider

Find My Bug

Answer a few questions and we'll help identify the bug you're fighting.

Illustrations of ant, cockroach and fly