Currently viewing the category: "Paper Wasps"
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Nasty Wasp
Location: Hawkesbury, Sydney, Australia
December 4, 2011 5:19 pm
Hello again,
Wondering if you can identify this wasp. Sorry the picture is not too clear, but these are aggressive wasps and they’re deep in a fairly dense garden. I didn’t want to get any closer or move the bushes around in case I provoked an attack. The nest is in a geranium bush, but quite low to the ground and is around 8-10cm across. The wasps themselves are about 2.5-3cm long. My boyfriend was gardening there and was stung on the knee when he accidentally disturbed them. The sting was extremely painful and shortly afterwards he came over very hot for a while. The sting area was painful for about 2 weeks.
We are in the Hawkesbury region, a rural area about an hour out of Sydney.
Signature: Tracy

Paper Wasps

Hi Tracy,
These are Paper Wasps in the genus
Polistes.  They are not normally aggressive, but they will defend their nest.  We just finished posting another submission of Paper Wasps from Australia.

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Wasp Nest.
Location: Nsw, Australia, Near the coast.
December 2, 2011 3:02 am
Hi. I thought you might like some pictures of what we’ve always called a paper wasp nest, although I don’t know if thats what they actually are. I was very frightened that they would fly at me and start stinging me every time the flash whent off. I hope you like the pictures.
Signature: Emma

Paper Wasps and Nest

Hi Emma,
Thank you for braving danger to take photographs of these Paper Wasps in the genus
Polistes working on constructing their nest.  Paper Wasps are not normally aggressive, however, they will defend the nest.  We believe, based on photos posted to the Brisbane Insect website, that your wasps might be the Common Paper Wasp or Australian Paper Wasp, Polistes humilis.  There is a page dedicated to the species on the Brisbane Insect website.

Paper Wasps and Nest

Hi! I think the reason they didn’t attack me is because it was a rainy day. They seemed to be sleeping, they weren’t moving much. Thanks for letting me know what they are! I’ve found three nests around the farm already, without even looking very hard.

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Food chain
Location: southern indiana
November 21, 2011 7:07 am
Robber fly kills & eats wasp
Signature: brian

Giant Robber Fly eats Wasp

Hi Brian,
Your Robber Fly appears to be one of the Giant Robber Flies in the genus
Promachus.  BugGuide indicates “Adults predatory, often on Hymenoptera,” and your individual is fulfilling its reputation.  The wasp appears to be a Paper Wasp.

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August 27, 2011
Hi Daniel.
I am not normally a random bug killer but the aggressive behavior in this particular instance brought it out in me.
Just for your information, while up visiting in Canada last summer I ran across phoney wasp nests that claimed to stop other wasps from building nests nearby (within 200feet). I took a chance and bought a paper version and a cloth version. They work. I haven’t had a single issue with nest building wasps since I placed them. Just the occasional solitary variety like the mud-dobber (?). I brought back some for my neighbor this year and she has hung them up now. So we can see if they work or if I just had really good luck. Normally we have several varieties of nests to contend with.
I will let you know in the future how they back up their claim. Now if I could find a harmless way to rid our house of mosquitos and flies… That would be a trick
Regards, James
James Rankine

Thanks for the tip on Wasp’s Nests James.  We will notify our readers of your success with the product.  We found a link to a company called Canadian Tire that sells the decoy nests.

You are quite welcome. Growing up in Canada, I am very familiar with Canadian Tire. A very large reputable chain of stores.
Regards, James Rankine

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What’s That Arachnid/What’s That Wasp
Location: Central Alabama
August 20, 2011 8:35 am
Dear Bugman:
It is August in Alabama and I feel like I live in the Amazon. It’s hot, humid, and all of the giant spiders and bugs have come out to play. I found this spider in the corner of my porch next to some type of wasp nest. Could you help me identify both? Thank you!
Signature: Southern Belle Besieged By Bugs

Fishing Spider and Paper Wasp Nest

Dear Southern Belle BBB,
What a crazy photo this is.  The spider is a female Fishing Spider in the genus
Dolomedes, and they are generally found not far from water.  The wasps are Paper Wasps in the genus Polistes.

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Cicada killer?
Location: Doylestown PA/ Stephens City VA
August 10, 2011 6:31 am
I have what I believe are cicada killer wasps living in my backyard:dirt mounds with tunnels, siting of very large(3 inches) insect like the one in the photo going into said mound. Meanwhile, my neice in VA took a pic that looks exactly like the critter I saw going into the mounds.My questions are: is this a photo on a cicada killer female, and what is going on in this photo?
Signature: Deb Kerns

Red Footed Cannibalfly dines on Paper Wasp

Hi Deb,
The behavior you describe is consistent with that of Cicada Killers, however, the predator in the attached photo is a Robber Fly known as a Red Footed Cannibalfly.  It is feeding on a Paper Wasp.  Red Footed Cannibalflies would not be building underground nests, so despite the striped abdomen, if you compare this predator with this Cicada Killer image from our archives, you will see the apparent differences between the two insects.  The Cicada Killer is a much more robust insect.  Not having a photo in front of you and trusting your memory might be creating a false similarity between the two species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination