Paper wasps are a species of social wasp, commonly confused with the more aggressive yellow jacket. They are found all over the US but Utah especially has become the home of the European species – Polistes dominula.
Paper wasps can be found all over Utah, preferring areas of woodland and human areas where wooden structures are plentiful. They use wood pulp and fibers to create their nests so you might find them near weathered fence posts or unpainted lumber.
Paper wasps are not as aggressive as yellowjackets so it’s easier to avoid being stung by them. They will protect their nests, however, so if you get near one by accident, you may find yourself on the receiving end of some painful stings. While these aren’t usually dangerous to adult humans, if you are allergic to wasp venom, seek medical attention.
Paper wasps are pollinators and hunt smaller pests and bugs for prey so can be seen as a welcome addition to the garden.
Unlike bald-faced hornet and yellow jacket nests, the nest of the paper wasp is open so you can see the individual cells or combs inside. They can be attached under house eaves, inside window or door frames, under decks or even in hollow pipes. Paper wasp nests can look like umbrellas, giving them their other name of “umbrella wasp.” The nests are generally quite small, not exceeding 100 wasps each. Queen paper wasps will hibernate over the winter and start a new nest each spring.
If there is a paper wasp nest in a high traffic area of your property, it could pose a risk to you and your family. Contact H2 Pest Control for professional and safe wasp nest removal anywhere in Salt Lake or Utah County. We can identify which wasp you’ve got a problem with, leading to the most effective solutions.