Paper wasps are well known for their potent sting and get their name sake from building their nests from wood that has been chewed up to resemble paper. They are also referred to as umbrella wasps after the umbrella like shape of their nests. There are approximately 22 species of paper wasps in the United States. Paper wasps belong to a group called vespid wasps. Other examples of vespid wasps include hornets, yellow jackets, potter wasps, and mason wasps among others.
What Does a Paper Wasp Look Like?
Paper wasps are similar in appearance to yellow jackets and homeowners often confuse the two. Paper wasps have a slimmer body shape than yellow jackets and are mostly brown in color with some yellow markings. Some species of paper wasps can range from orange to dark red with bands of color than can be red or yellow. Size can range from ½ to 1 ½ inches long.
How to Avoid Getting Stung By Paper Wasps
Paper wasps are not aggressive by nature although they will attack with a painful sting if they feel threatened, or if you disturb the nest since their first priority is to protect their queen. The best way to protect your home from paper wasps taking up residence is to make your property less attractive to them. For example, before beginning any type of yard work such as mowing the lawn, trimming bushes and shrubs, or picking home grown fruit or vegetables, check the area carefully to avoid contact with any stinging insects including paper wasps. Check the exterior of your home and seal any crevices or cracks and repair any tears in window and door screens. It is also a good idea to keep doors closed after entering or exiting. Keep food covered during outside gatherings and avoid using strong scented shampoo or personal hygiene products when spending time outside.
How Long Does a Paper Wasp Sting Last?
A paper wasp sting results in a sharp burning sting that lasts seconds and then red hives or a welt that peaks around 48 hours after the sting and last up to a week. If you or family members are stung by a paper wasp you should remove the stinger as quickly as possible to stop the release of venom. Gently clean the affected area with soap and cold water before applying a cool compress or ice pack. Over the counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as aspirin, naproxen, or ibuprofen may be administered as needed to relieve pain. Hydrocortisone cream can also be used to sooth the affected area. If the local reaction begins to worsen, you may have to make an appointment with your physician for prescription antihistamines or oral steroids. If a serious reaction occurs, call 911 immediately.
Stinging Insect Inspections, Control, Removal & More in San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside & San Diego Counties, California
If you suspect that you have a paper wasp or pest infestation of any kind on or around your property, contact your Animal Pest Management Services licensed pest control professional for immediate assistance. Never attempt to remove a nest on your own, doing so will agitate the wasps causing them to retaliate by stinging you as they attempt to protect their home. For more information regarding professional pest control services, contact the experts at Animal Pest Management Services today.