Get to Know the Paper Wasp in Texas - A Friendly Guide for Homeowners

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on March 18, 2023 · 2 mins read

As a homeowner in Texas, you may have noticed some wasps flying around your backyard. One type of wasp that is commonly found in Texas is the paper wasp. In this guide, we’ll cover all you need to know about paper wasps.

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 type of social wasp that build nests out of paper-like material. They are usually brown or black with yellow or orange markings on their bodies. The most common paper wasp species found in Texas are the Polistes exclamans and the Polistes annularis.


Paper wasps are non-aggressive unless they feel threatened, and they play an important role in controlling pest populations. They hunt insects such as caterpillars, aphids, and flies, making them excellent natural pest control agents.

Nesting Habits

Paper wasps build their nests in protected areas, such as under eaves, porch ceilings, and in trees. Their nests are made of a paper-like substance that the wasps create by chewing up wood fibers and mixing it with saliva. The nests can range in size from a golf ball to a basketball, depending on the size of the colony.


Identifying paper wasps is relatively easy because of their distinct appearance. They have long, slender bodies that measure between 1 and 2 inches in length. Their wings are translucent, and they have yellow or orange markings on their bodies.

Encountering Paper Wasps

If you encounter paper wasps, it’s best to keep your distance and avoid disturbing them. If you do need to remove a nest, make sure to wear protective clothing and spray the nest with an insecticide specifically designed for wasps.


In conclusion, paper wasps are beneficial insects that play an important role in controlling pest populations. While they may seem intimidating, they are non-aggressive and will only sting if they feel threatened. If you encounter paper wasps in your backyard, remember to keep your distance and call a professional if necessary. Understanding their behavior and nesting habits can help you coexist with them peacefully.