Physical Characteristics

Paper wasps are large (1 inch long), slender wasps with long legs and a distinct, slender waist. Background colors vary, but most western species tend to be golden brown or darker, with large patches of yellow or red.

Paper Wasp

Paper Wasps


Paper wasps prefer to live in or near orchards or vineyards, and they hang their paper nests in protected areas – under eaves, in attics, or under tree branches or vines. Each nest hangs like an opened umbrella from a stalk, or pedicel, and has exposed cells that can be seen from beneath the nest.  Paper wasp nests rarely exceed the size of an outstretched hand, and populations vary between 15 to 200 individuals.


Most Polistes species are relatively non-aggressive, but they can cause a problem when they are disturbed where they’re nesting over doorways, or in other places where people visit; they also can be found around orchards and vineyards. If you’re having a problem with paper wasps on your property, your Clark Pest Control technician will know how to take care of it.