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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What insect is this? > Insects found indoors > Winged Insects - 1/2 inch and greater > Paper wasps

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Paper wasps

Polistes spp.


Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota


Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota

Size: 5/8 - 3/4 inch long (queens, sometimes from late summer to spring, are a little larger).

Description: Slender wasps; generally black with yellow stripes; smooth body with few hairs.

Where/When: Paper wasps can nest on or around homes. They are active from spring until fall. They may enter homes in search of overwintering sites.

Significance: They are a potential health problem because of their ability to sting. Occupants of nests do not survive freezing temperatures and nest are not reused.

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