Getting to Know Paper Wasps in Florida: A Guide for Homeowners

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on March 09, 2023 · 3 mins read

Are you curious about the paper wasps buzzing around your backyard? Let us help you get to know these insects better.

DIY Wasp removal recommendations

For non aggressive wasps I've had great luck spraying the nests with this Spectracide wasp remover in the evening. For more aggressive wasps I also use this rediculous looking upper torso Beekeeping suit. It seems silly, but trust me, it's amazing.

What are Paper Wasps?

Paper wasps are a common type of wasp found throughout Florida. They are named for the papery nests they build from chewed-up wood fibers mixed with saliva. These nests can be found in sheltered areas such as eaves, porches, and tree branches.

Identifying Paper Wasps

Paper wasps have slender bodies with long legs and narrow waists. They are usually brown or black with yellow or orange markings. There are several species of paper wasps in Florida, but they all have a similar appearance.

If you see a wasp with a smooth body and long legs, it may be a paper wasp. Look for their distinctive thin waist and folded wings when they are resting.


Paper wasps are social insects that live in colonies. Each colony has a queen, who lays eggs and is responsible for starting new colonies. The other members of the colony are female workers who build the nest, gather food, and care for the young.

Paper wasps are considered beneficial insects because they prey on other insects, including caterpillars and spiders. However, they can also sting humans if they feel threatened. Unlike bees, paper wasps can sting multiple times.


Paper wasps prefer to build their nests in sheltered areas that are protected from the elements. They often choose eaves, porches, and tree branches as nest sites. The nests are made from a papery material that the wasps create by chewing up wood fibers mixed with saliva.

If you notice a paper wasp nest on your property, it’s important to be careful. Do not disturb the nest or attempt to remove it yourself. Call a pest control professional to safely relocate the nest.

Dealing with Paper Wasps

If you encounter a paper wasp in your backyard, remember that they are not aggressive unless provoked. If you leave them alone, they will likely fly away on their own.

However, if you need to remove a paper wasp nest, it’s important to do it safely. Wear protective clothing, including long sleeves and pants, gloves, and a hat. Approach the nest at night when the wasps are less active, and use a pesticide specifically designed for wasps.

In Conclusion,

Now that you know more about paper wasps in Florida, you can appreciate their role in controlling other insect populations. However, if you need to remove a nest, always seek the help of a professional.

By understanding paper wasps’ habits, behavior, and habitats, you can safely coexist with these fascinating insects in your backyard.