German Yellow Jacket Nest

March 23, 2010
This nest is in our attic. I have never seen anything like this before and it totally CREEPED me out when I noticed it in the attic. It can not bee seen from outside the house. I didn’t get to close to it. Please help…. major heebie jeebies right now.
Renton Washington USA

German Yellow Jacket Nest Nest

Hi Andrea,
This appears to be the paper nest of a Bald Faced Hornet.  The nests are only used for one season, and the colony dies shortly after new queens and males are produced.  After mating, the queen builds her own nest and the old nest is not reused.  The European Hornet, an introduced species, is not reported from Washington, according to BugGuide.

Correction Courtesy of Eric Eaton
March 28, 2010
Hi, Daniel:
Here are a couple of other corrections:
The “bald-faced hornet nest” in the attic in Washington state is definitely not built by Dolichovespula maculata.  They nearly always build their nests in exposed situations on the exterior of buildings, in trees, blackberry canes, etc.  This attic nest is almost certainly that of the German yellowjacket, Vespula germanica, which is now firmly established in Washington state.
Keep up the great work, Carlos…I mean Daniel:-)  LOL!  I loved that post from Lisa….
P.S.  Hey, next year, when your book is out, we should go in on a table at the Bug Fair and do signings!

Possible Correction
possible misidentification of a wasp nest in an attic
April 8, 2010
RE: Post by Andrea March 23, 2010
Renton Washington USA
Having removed several similar nests – both live and old – from attics, both near Renton WA (Kent) and here in Ellensburg, WA, and judging by the redish colors [cedar?] and the ornate, curly-Q sculpting of the paper I suspect that this nest is probably made by Vespula vulgaris, “the Common Yellowjacket.” The “German Yellowjacket”, Vespula germanica, which also nests opportunistically in attics and crawl spaces tends to construct nests of grey paper.

Thanks for this information Shawn.

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