European Paper Wasp  (three photos)
Family Vespidae
Species Polistes dominula


european paper wasp
These wasps are constantly being confused with Yellowjackets.  If you wish to know which one you have
in your yard, and you don't mind getting up close and personal with them, take a look at the antennae: yellow
(or orange) and black - Paper Wasp; all black - Yellowjacket.  Paper wasps are quite striking (no pun
intended!) with their stripes and beautiful eyes.  Red Butte Gardens. © Carol Davis, 9-4-2012


european paper wasp
While these wasps at Red Butte Gardens tend to be more social as they buzz among the flowers, at my
house they chase away hummingbirds from their feeders, harass my cats, and sting any human doing
yard work within a quarter mile of their nests, especially in the Fall. Below is the most important picture
because it shows the business end of these wasps - the end you're probably most familiar with. 

© Carol Davis, 9-4-2012


paper wasp
One should always remember when dealing with paper wasps that there are certain rules to follow: (1) never flap
your arms if they charge unless it helps you clear the nearest hedge, (2) screaming and swearing will only
make them angry but it does cheer up curious bystanders and (3) running zigzag through a crowd of people
to elude them does not work nor does grabbing the nearest person and holding them in front of you - they have
memorized your pheromones and they will find you (even if they have to Google you)!  © Carol Davis, 9-4-2012


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