A Picture of a Paper Wasp Nest

Paper Wasps Facts

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Suborder: Apocrita
  • Family: Vespidae
  • Subfamily: Polistinae, Stenogastrinae, and Vespinae

12 Paper Wasps Facts for Kids

  1. Paper wasp is a generic name for a group of social wasp species who are members of the Vespidae family.
  2. Some species of paper wasps are known as umbrella wasps.
  3. Paper wasps belong to three subfamilies under Vespidae, and they are Polistinae, Stenogastrinae, and Vespinae.
  4. There are over 1,100 species of wasps that are consider paper wasps.
  5. Paper wasps are social wasps and almost all species live in a nest.
  6. Paper wasps construct their nest out of dead wood and plant materials. They mix these materials with their saliva to create a water-resistant nest. Paper wasp nests are usually gray or brown, depending on the materials they used.
  7. Paper wasp nests resemble open combs and do not enclose their nest. Chemicals released by paper wasps help keep potential predators away that would eat their eggs or brood.
  8. Paper wasp nests can be found in many different locations. They are common in sheltered areas, house eaves, trees, open pipes and in burrows in the ground.
  9. Most paper wasps are omnivores, feeding on both nectar and insects.
  10. Common prey for a paper wasp is beetle larva, flies and caterpillars.
  11. Paper wasps can be very aggressive and will defend their nest by stinging an intruder repeatedly.
  12. While aggressive, paper wasps can be beneficial because they prey on insects that are common pests in a garden.

Additional Resources with Paper Wasps Facts