Currently viewing the category: "Paper Wasps"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Polistes flavus
Geographic location of the bug:  Tucson, Arizona
Date: 06/30/2018
Time: 4:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: P.S.
You might be interested in the attached photo of Polistes flavus “walking on water.”
Kathy is always rescuing waterlogged honeybees, but she photographed these wasps landing on the surface of the pool, taking a drink, then flying off over the house. ID has been confirmed by the folks on the Southwestern Arthropods Facebook page.
How you want your letter signed:  Julian P. Donahue

Paper Wasp: Polistes flavus

Thanks Julian, for sending your gorgeous image of a Paper Wasp.  BugGuide has no species specific information on it except to indicate its southwest range.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Type of wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  Austin Texas
Date: 12/19/2017
Time: 06:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Seen this bug, just curious
How you want your letter signed:  Kitsada M Kongmanichanh

Texas Paper Wasp

Dear Kitsada,
We were away from the office for several weeks when you submitted your request, and we are just now trying to catch up on some old ID requests.  This is some species of Paper Wasp in the genus Polistes.  Paper Wasps are social wasps that build a nest from chewed wood pulp, and they will defend the nest against perceived threats.  We believe your individual might be a Texas Paper Wasp,
Polistes apachus, based on this BugGuide image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Inside a European Paper Wasp nest
Geographic location of the bug:  Tonasket, WA
Date: 01/22/2018
Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I think I can only send one picture at a time.  There’s 3.
At the end of the hatching season, these1/2 dozen or so had a hole chewed in the top of their egg cell. None of the earlier eggs had this done to them. Don’t know if it was the baby or their mates that did it. About 2 weeks later the wasp emerged the same way as all the rest, by chewing the cap off from the inside and flipping it back like a Pez dispenser. They were next to my garden, and I had absolutely no bugs. Not good ones or bad ones. They are also very calm. I took tons of pictures and the only time they got excited was when the wind blew my hair into their nest. They didn’t chase me very far… lol. I know they eat the good as well as the bad, but that’s just nature. My moral dilemma here, is I know they are an invasive species. Any thoughts on whether or not they should be destroyed?
How you want your letter signed:  Cathy

European Paper Wasp Nest

European Paper Wasp Nest (10 days later)

This is on 8-15-17, and I’m sending it because it looks like it has moved in there. I’m really  close, 3 or 4 inches and on macro. Sorry it’s still blurred. None of the wasps cared I was there. It hatched a couple of days later.

European Paper Wasp Nest (11 days later)

Dear Cathy,
Thanks for sending in your images of the activity in a European Paper Wasp Nest.  According to BugGuide:  “First reported in North America in 1978 near Boston, MA” and “Replacing native wasps in some areas.”  According to Colorado State University Extension:  “The European paper wasp has already largely replaced the native species in much of the region. Some reasons for the competitive advantage to P. dominulus over our native paper wasps include:

  • Earlier establishment of colonies in the spring, which allows it a competitive advantage in collection of early season prey. Early nest establishment also avoids some bird predation, and allows the production of early season workers to hunt for prey and protect developing larvae.
  • The habit of using protected nesting sites provides protection from predation. The European paper wasp utilizes small holes and voids to make nests, which are sites the native species does not exploit to the same extent.
  • The native paper wasps prey on caterpillars, while the European paper wasp capture a variety of insects from several orders. The varied diet of our new invader gives it a distinct advantage over the native species.
  • European paper wasps reuse nests that have been abandoned for various reasons, while our native species do not reuse nests. European paper wasps have an advantage in being able to establish colonies more quickly than the native paper wasps.

We empathize with your dilemma.  At the end of the day, there are species that adapt to co-existing with humans and species that do not.  Species that adapt to living near humans often out compete native species.  We always lament the loss of native species after the introduction of invasive species. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wasp, maybe a queen
Geographic location of the bug:  20min North of Boston
Date: 11/29/2017
Time: 05:33 PM EDT
This was outside in late November temp was probably 45 degrees looks to be a queen … Note the red antennas
How you want your letter signed:  William Mundy

European Paper Wasp

Dear William,
Based on images posted to BugGuide, we are confident this is a European Paper Wasp,
Polistes dominula, and introduced species.  According to BugGuide:  “mostly orange antennae diagnostic” and “Only females are able to overwinter.”  Considering the time of year, this is most likely a female that will overwinter.  BugGuide also notes:  “First reported in North America in 1978 near Boston, MA  Replacing native wasps in some areas.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Adelaide Australia
Date: 10/17/2017
Time: 03:33 AM EDT
Hi I’m just wondering if you can tell me what bug this is theres little things like this all over the outside of house
How you want your letter signed:  Email

Paper Wasp

This is a Paper Wasp in the genus Polistes, possibly Polistes humilis, based on this Atlas of Living Australia posting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mystery Nest thing
Location: Oklahoma, USA
August 13, 2017 11:02 pm
This is up above out back doorway and I cant find it anywhere on google or anywhere! Mum thought it was a birds nest…
Signature: Edward

Paper Wasp Nest

Dear Edward,
This appears to be the nest of a Paper Wasp in the genus Polistes.  The individuals in your image look very dark, leading us to believe they might be
Polistes metricus which is described on BugGuide as “Very dark–abdomen is black and the thorax dark reddish-brown with black lines. Tibiae and tarsi are yellow.”  Based on BugGuide data, the species is reported from Kansas.  Of the genus, BugGuide notes:  “Not as aggressive as Hornets or Yellowjackets. Often build nests under eaves. May be considered beneficial to gardeners (feed on herbivorous insects).”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination