aerial and paper nesting wasps

By proof. Pest Control
During the warm summer months in Michigan, we start to see many wasp nests appear on the sides of houses, corners of fences, or in the branches of trees. These large papery nests swarming with stinging insects are very intimidating, especially when they are so close to your home! Unfortunately, unlike bees, wasps can be very aggressive and can sting multiple times, therefore threatening those around their nests. There are several types of wasps that create these types of nests in our area:

aerial yellow jackets

Yellow Jacket

A typical aerial yellow jacket is about half an inch in length and typically has alternating bands of black and yellow across the abdomen. These yellow jackets build nests in trees, shrubs, or on protected man-made structures.

The nest is built from dead wood fiber chewed into a paper-like pulp.

The nest can either be “open” or “closed”:yellow jacket nest

  • In an open nest, you are able to see the hexagonal cavities hosting the larvae.
  • Closed nests have a protective barrier around the entire nest and have only a single hole at the bottom for the wasps to enter and exit through.

bald-faced hornets

Bald faced hornet

The name bald-faced hornet is actually a misnomer since they are not hornets but are, in fact, also wasps.

bald faced hornet nestBald-faced hornets are distinguished from other yellow jackets primarily by their black-and-white coloring rather than the usual black-and-yellow. They are also slightly larger than most wasp species, at about .75 inches in length.

The egg-shaped nests that bald-faced hornets create can get very large. Like the yellow jackets, bald-faced hornets chew wood fiber and mix it with their saliva to create a pulpy substance to create their nests. These wasps can be very territorial and aggressive when threatened.

paper wasps

Paper Wasp (Polistes metricus) isolated on white background.

Paper wasps have a slender body, are typically .75 inches in length, and can be yellow, brown, red, and/or black in color.

They are sometimes called Umbrella Wasps because the shape of their nests resembles an upside-down umbrella. The paper nests the wasps created is a single open of paper wasps around an umbrella nest

They, too, derive the paper material for their nests from wood and plant sources mixed with their saliva. Their nests can be found in sheltered areas such as the eaves of a house, the branches of a tree, or even on the end of an open pipe.

Unlike yellow jackets and hornets, paper wasps will generally only attack if threatened. However, a sting from a paper wasp can be very serious, especially for those with allergies or who have been stung before.

The best way to eliminate a colony of wasps around your home is to eliminate the colony and then remove the nest. If you simply remove the nest, the wasps will often rebuild in the same spot. Since wasps are stinging insects, it is often recommended that you seek out a pest control professional to handle a wasp infestation.

proof. covers wasps as part of our seasonal Pest Free Guarantee™ service plan. Click here to learn how it works, or call us anytime for a free quote!


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