What Do Paper Wasps Eat? Tips for Homeowners

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on March 01, 2023 · 3 mins read

As a homeowner, it’s important to know what kinds of insects are buzzing around in your backyard. One common pest that many people encounter is the paper wasp. These stinging insects can be aggressive when they feel threatened, so it’s important to know how to avoid them. In this article, we’ll answer the question, “what do paper wasps eat?” and provide tips on how to keep them away from your property.

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 Do Paper Wasps Eat?

Like other types of wasps, paper wasps are carnivorous and feed on other insects. They are known to be particularly fond of caterpillars, flies, and spiders. However, they are also attracted to sweet substances like nectar and fruit juice, especially during the fall months when these sources become scarcer.

If you have a garden, it’s important to keep an eye out for paper wasps. They can help control other insect populations, but they may also damage your plants if they decide to build a nest nearby. To keep them from becoming a problem, try to limit their access to food sources by keeping your garden tidy and removing overripe or rotting fruit.

How to Identify Paper Wasps

Before you can start taking steps to prevent paper wasps from invading your backyard, you need to know what they look like. Paper wasps are slender insects with long legs and a narrow waist. They are usually brown or black with yellow markings on their bodies. Their nests are made of paper-like material and are often shaped like an upside-down umbrella.

If you see a paper wasp flying around your backyard, it’s best to keep your distance. If you get too close, they may perceive you as a threat and sting you. Unlike bees, paper wasps can sting multiple times, so it’s important to be careful.

How to Prevent Paper Wasps

Preventing paper wasps from building a nest in your backyard is the best way to avoid problems. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep your garbage cans sealed tightly to prevent paper wasps from scavenging.
  • Seal any cracks or openings in your home’s exterior to prevent paper wasps from entering.
  • Remove any fallen fruit or vegetation from your yard.
  • Keep your lawn mowed and trimmed to reduce hiding places for paper wasps.

By following these simple steps, you can reduce the likelihood of having a paper wasp problem in your backyard.


In summary, paper wasps are carnivorous insects that feed on other insects like caterpillars, flies, and spiders. They are also attracted to sweet substances like nectar and fruit juice. To prevent paper wasps from invading your backyard, keep your garden tidy, remove any fallen fruit or vegetation, and seal any openings in your home’s exterior. By doing so, you can enjoy a pest-free backyard all summer long!