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04-28-97

08-14-95




Paper Wasps
Familiar to most people from their paper nests, Oklahoma species of paper wasps include:

black-and-red,

yellow-and-brown, and

mostly-red.

Nests around human homes can be a nuisance as paper wasps will defend their nests and redily sting. Efficient predators, mostly of caterpillars.

A typical mature paper wasp colony will have 20-75 adults during summer, comprised of a egglaying female "queen" (not distinguishable from the others) and a number of female workers, all capable of stinging.

Paper wasps are most defensive and threatening around this nest. In late summer or early fall males and reproductive females are born, and the workers begin to die as these new "reproductives" leave the nest.

In late fall large "mating aggregations" may be encountered by workers on top of buildings, utility poles, and other elevated structures.

These swarms may seem very threatening but are comprised generally of males (no stinger) and non-agressive females interested primarily in mating and hiberation. Only the reproductive females will survive the winter to establish a new colony.

Controlling Paper Wasp Nests:
Use standard aerosol "wasp sprays" with rapid knockdown insecticide and "freezing" component.

Follow the General First Aid instructions on the Perilous Partners page for bites/stings.

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