Paper Wasps

Actual Size: 1″

Characteristics: Various colors. Legs hang in flight.


  • Moderately aggressive.
  • Nest is exposed like an upside-down umbrella, usually under eaves, cedar shake, and protected areas.

Paper Wasp Overview

Every creature on the planet has a role to play in the survival of their ecosystem. This even goes for pests we hate having around – especially those with an annoying bite or painful sting. Insects like bees and wasps do a lot for the environment, whether they’re pollinating, scavenging, or acting as food for other animals.

During the warmer months in states like New Mexico, you’re more likely to come across stinging insects. While they’re not normally aggressive, this doesn’t mean you won’t be stung. Before you go buy the largest can of insecticide you can find, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with and the potential environmental impact your decisions could have.

Wasps in New Mexico

Bees and wasps can sometimes be confused with each other, but there are some major differences between the two. Only a small number of wasps act as pollinators; the majority are scavengers and predators of agricultural pests like beetles, grubs, and aphids. Some farmers even introduce wild wasps into their fields as a natural form of pest control!

However, because of their predatory instincts, wasps tend to be more aggressive than their bee brethren. Hornets, yellow jackets, and paper wasps are three common pests in New Mexico, and will aggressively defend their nests if they feel threatened. Their nesting habits are slightly different from each other:

  • Hornets can form large nests the size of a softball
  • Paper wasps typically form a visible nest that looks like an upside-down umbrella, typically under eaves and awnings
  • Yellowjacket nests are hidden and can be found both in the ground and high above where the siding meets the eaves

Mud dauber wasps, on the other hand, are more docile. True to their name, they make nests out of the mud. These mud nests often look like organ pipes and contain rations of captured spiders for their young. Unlike bees, which can only sting once, wasps have reinforced stingers containing venom that allow them to inflict multiple, painful stings that can cause severe allergic reactions – and in some cases anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal.

What You Can Do

In most cases, it’s best to avoid bees and wasps entirely, as they are normally not a danger to humans. However, when their nests are in close proximity to us, they are more likely to perceive a threat and defend their nest at all costs. Additionally, in the late summer months, some bees and wasps become more aggressive in seeking out food like sugar and fruit, which can bring them into contact with you and your family. If you decide to use pesticide or chemical sprays, keep in mind they can be extremely poisonous and should never be used indoors or near other people.

The New Mexico Pest Control Solution

Although most insects are environmentally beneficial, it can be difficult to coexist peacefully when they invade your personal space. Bees and wasps can be dangerous to people and often destructive to homes and other structures.

New Mexico Pest Control will safely and carefully eliminate bees or wasps and their nests from your home or property. Exposed nests may be removed on the day of service depending on the activity and size of the nest. In other cases, we’ll come back on a day when it is safer to remove the nests. In addition, we will create a full report describing the treatment and how you can protect your home from further infestation.

What happens if bee or wasp nests form again? Don’t worry. Our year-round pest control program, which covers common New Mexico pests, will ensure your home and property are protected throughout the entire year.

For a free estimate or to schedule a stinging pest removal service, contact us today!