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These insects are also known as umbrella wasps and usually live in a colony of 20 to 30 wasps. They may be seen flying around the home buzzing and making cosmetic damage around the home. Paper wasps will sting only if threatened, so nests should be approached with caution.

They are black or brown wasps with yellow or red stripes and may be seen crawling on nests or hovering around them. Nests are usually made of singular layers of paper which are then suspended from trees, eaves, ceilings and other such places. The nests are often umbrella-shaped with exposed, open cells that give them a honeycomb appearance.

Paper wasps are not aggressive and seek areas to build nests where their colonies are not likely to be disturbed. They raise their young in the nest’s cell-like structure and new nests are formed as the colonies grow and expand. If threatened, they will sting may cause swelling, itching, and other generalized flu-like symptoms in individuals who are sensitive to bites.

When you see paper nests you can spray them at dusk or anytime during the night with a fogger containing resmethrin or diazinon. You want to be at least 8 feet from the nest when you spray and stop spraying when the insects begin to emerge. Quickly leave the area by walking but do not run or the wasps are likely to follow and sting. You must respray every evening until no more insects emerge, only then is it safe to physically remove the nest. In order to rid the area of paper wasps you must destroy the nest. Swelling can usually be controlled with a cold compress if you are stung, but call a doctor immediately if any unusual or severe symptoms occur.