Paper Wasp

Actual Size: 0.75 to 1.25”

Characteristics: Black abdomen, mahogany body with distinct yellow ring, black wings

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Build umbrella-shaped, paper-like nests in residential yards. Nests often hang from twigs and branches, porch ceilings, and more.


  • Known as semi-social wasps that live in small colonies without a worker caste
  • Eat nectar and other insects, including flies and caterpillars
  • Can be aggressive and sting repeatedly when threatened

Paper Wasps in Albuquerque NM

Paper wasps are one of the most common types of wasps in the nation, with over 22 species in the United States alone. They are often confused with yellowjackets, which is why it’s important to learn how to tell them apart. Paper wasps are best identified by their unique nests. Often referred to as “umbrella wasps”, their nests look like upside-down umbrellas and hang from horizontal surfaces. Paper wasps feed on spiders and other insects, making them beneficial in reducing the insect population. Like many types of social wasps, they can get aggressive when it comes to defending their nests and are able to sting repeatedly.

Paper Wasp Nests & Habitat

Paper wasp nest look like upside-down umbrellas and have a papier mȃché feel to them. Unlike yellow jackets, paper wasp nests are somewhat open and not completely covered. Nests can most often be found either on tree branches or under eaves, attic rafters, and porch ceilings. Because nests can be built directly on a home, these wasps have been known to make their way indoors through holes in attic vent screens or underneath shingles. Even when their nests appear vacant, it’s important to practice caution around them as much as possible. 

Paper Wasp Behaviors & Stings

Like all types of social wasps, paper wasps can get aggressive when it comes to defending their nests. They are able to sting repeatedly, which is why it’s so important to practice caution around them. It’s important to never disturb their nest. If you notice a nest forming on or near your property in Albuquerque, always call a professional wasp removal company rather than try to get rid of them on your own.