January 17, 2023

Differences Between a Yellow Jacket Nest vs. Paper Wasp Nest

Aggressive wasps invade yards across the United States whenever summertime rolls around. It’s essential to understand the difference between a yellow jacket nest vs. paper wasp nest to control the infestation on your property adequately. 

Keep reading to learn about wasp nest identification and ways to avoid these dangerous pests if they pop up in your yard. 

Don’t forget that Zunex is here whenever you have pest problems in your home. Just contact us for help with pesky wasps!

Wasp Infestations in Washington

In Washington, wasp season typically begins from March to April. Because these pests’ livelihood relates to the season, wasps can only survive in warmer weather when food is abundant. 

Washington residents may see yellowjackets, paper wasps, or baldfaced hornets populating yards from late spring to fall, building nests and foraging for food throughout the seasons. 

While these pests primarily consume plant nectar and pollen, they turn toward our picnics and barbeques for nourishment whenever their food stores run out. 

These pests become aggressive whenever colder temperatures set in or the food dwindles in the fall. You may have fewer pests to deal with, but wasps will make their inconveniences your biggest problem!

Because most wasps look similar, it can be challenging to pin down an infestation without seeing their home base. Paper wasps and yellow jackets cause issues in your yard, but knowing the location of an infestation will protect your home throughout the year. 

Yellow Jacket Nest vs. Paper Wasp Nest

Most yellow jacket species have their signature yellow and black look, while paper wasps can differ in appearance from red, black, brown, and yellow appearances. 

You can discern minor differences if you get close enough to look at these pests. Yellow jackets are usually bulkier and smaller than most paper wasps, with the latter having long legs.

Of course, we know you won’t want to get too close to these dangerous pests, so here’s what you’ll need to know to keep yourself safe!

Yellow Jacket Nest

Unfortunately, yellow jacket nests aren’t easy to find on your property. Because these pests craft intricate underground tunnels, you may not even notice yellowjackets are nearby until you happen upon the entrance to the hive. 

After a queen yellowjacket has reproduced with another male reproductive, she will search for an optimal space to create a home and have more children, often using former rodent holes.

While the queen yellow jacket begins the construction process, her worker children typically take over once they’ve grown past their pupae stages into adults. 

Some yellow jacket species craft large nests aboveground on homes, trees, or light poles, but you’re more likely to spot these tiny insects flying to their below-ground homes. 

Seeing yellow jackets swarming around a space in your yard could indicate a nearby hive, especially if you find these pests escaping into unseen underground areas. 

Paper Wasp Nest

Unless you physically find one on your property, it could be hard to a yellow jacket nest vs. paper nest apart. 

Paper wasps are typically less aggressive than yellow jackets, but that doesn’t mean a paper wasp infestation is a piece of cake! Any wasp infestations could be dangerous for your home and family. 

Unlike yellow jackets, paper wasps won’t build underground tunnels. Instead, they prefer to craft umbrella-shaped nests on the side of your house, under porches, inside trees, or in bushes.

As their name suggests, paper wasps create large nests from chewed tree pulp, using the pasty product and their saliva to make honeycomb-esque cells.

Paper wasp nests usually won’t have a thick papery material encasing the outside, so you’re more likely to see the interior cells filled with aggressive pests. Yellow jacket hives usually have more inhabitants, while paper wasps only contain around 250 vespids at once. 

Because paper wasp regularly builds their hives near or on our homes, they can be a major nuisance and safety concern for Washington residents. Without proper management, these pests could harm you or your family.

Yellow Jacket Nest vs. Paper Wasp Nest Removal

So, what are your next steps if you find one of these wasps on your property? Regardless of their location, having a wasp infestation is a recipe for disaster, especially whenever food becomes scarce during fall. 

Whether dealing with yellow jackets or paper wasps, you should consider using pest control methods to eliminate the problem before it grows out of control. However, not all solutions are safe. 

DIY alternatives may be alright for run-of-the-mill pests like ants or flies, but wasps are challenging and dangerous insects to handle.

We don’t recommend attempting at-home hive removal on your own. These hives can house hundreds of angry wasps waiting to strike at anyone they perceive as a threat, and trying pest control on your own could cause you harm! 

Just take a look at the temper of these pests!

Instead of trying to combat wasps alone, consider contacting a trusted pest control agency to give you a hand! Here at Zunex, we can help you with yellow jackets, paper wasps, or bald-faced hornets.

Just give us a call whenever you see stinging insects start to build in–or under– your lawn! Whether you’re dealing with a yellow jacket nest vs. paper wasp nest, we can help keep your home safe. 

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