Paper Wasp

Actual Size: 0.75 to 1.25”

Characteristics: Black wings and abdomen. Mahogany-colored body marked with a distinct yellow ring.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Builds umbrella-shaped nests out of a paper-like material made from plant matter. Often nests in residential gardens on trees, porch ceilings, and other areas above the ground.


  • Moderately aggressive and capable of stinging multiple times in a row. 
  • Primarily consumes nectar and insects, such as caterpillars or flies. 
  • Colonies have just one queen, but female workers help build nests.

Paper Wasps in Anaheim

Paper wasps are one of the most common stinging insects in the United States, with over 22 species living across the country. Most have a brownish color with yellow markings, which makes them easily mistaken for yellowjackets. However, paper wasps build a unique nest that resembles an umbrella. These nests usually hang above the ground from a horizontal surface, such as a tree branch or ceiling. Paper wasps mainly eat sugary nectar, insects, and spiders. 

Paper Wasp Habitat

Like their name suggests, paper wasps are known for their unique, papery nest. These nests are made from chewed up cellulose and have a papier-mache texture when completed. Unlike the nests of yellow jackets, paper wasps leave their nest partially open. Most paper wasp colonies build their nest in shaded and protected areas such as attic rafters, porch ceilings, and tree branches. However, some may also build their nest directly onto your property, which can make them a hazard and a nuisance to homeowners in Anaheim. 

Paper Wasp Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Paper wasps can be beneficial to the environment by controlling insect populations and pollinating plants. However, they aren’t a pest you want anywhere near your home or business. These wasps are fairly aggressive and will sting repeatedly if they feel threatened. Approaching a nest puts you at risk of very painful stings, which can be highly dangerous to individuals who are allergic to bee venom. If you come across a paper wasp nest in your yard or property, we highly recommend seeking help from a professional wasp control company. They have the equipment and experience needed to safely remove the paper wasps and can help you implement exclusion measures to protect your space from future infestations.