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Paper Wasp

Overview About Paper Wasp

Paper wasp are social insects that live in colonies, commonly found in North America and Europe. They build nests made of paper-like material, which they produce by mixing wood fibres with their saliva.


  • Paper wasps are long-legged insects that are easily recognizable by their narrow waist and elongated body.
  • They have a slender body and a length of about 1.25 to 1.5 inches (3-4 cm).
  • Their appearance is typically yellow and black with yellow and black striped abdominal segments.
  • They have a yellow head and thorax with black markings.
  • Their wings are also transparent and held flat when at rest.

Life Cycle

  • The life cycle of a paper wasp consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
  • Egg: The queen paper wasp lays eggs in a paper nest. The eggs are small, oval-shaped, and pale yellow in colour.
  • Larva: Once the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on chewed-up insects and other materials brought back to the nest by the adult wasps. The larvae grow and molt several times before transforming into pupae.
  • Pupa: In this stage, the larvae spin cocoons around themselves and undergo metamorphosis. They emerge as adult wasps.
  • Adult: The newly emerged adult wasps mate and then the female wasps continue to build the nest and care for the young. The queen wasp is responsible for laying eggs, while the other female wasps forage for food and protect the nest.

This life cycle of a paper wasp can repeat several times a season, depending on the species and the environment. Some paper wasps can live for up to one year, while others have a shorter lifespan. The entire life cycle of a paper wasp can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks.


  • Paper wasps are known for their distinctive paper nests that are constructed from wood fibres and saliva. They build their nests in a variety of locations such as tree branches, eaves, and porches.
  • Paper wasps live in highly organized social colonies with a single queen and workers. The queen is responsible for laying eggs, while the workers take care of the nest and the young.
  • Paper wasps feed on nectar and other insects. They hunt for insects, spiders, and other small creatures to feed their larvae.
  • Paper wasps are protective of their nests and will defend them against any perceived threats, such as predators or humans.
  • In the winter, paper wasp colonies die off, and only the mated queen will survive to start a new colony in the spring.
  • Some species of paper wasps are migratory and will travel to new locations to build new nests.
  • While foraging, paper wasps also contribute to pollination by transferring pollen from flower to flower.