Australia is home to several species of wasps, including the Vespula vulgaris. Most people know them by their common name, paper wasps. There are essentially two types that plague Australia’s home and business owners, the Polistes humilis and the Rhopalidia. Today, we wanted to focus on the Polistes humilis because they are more prone to creating nests on buildings. The other genus is more partial to building homes on the branches of local flora.
Although they have comparable color markings, both differ greatly from European wasps in terms of body shape, size, antennae, flying style and nesting preferences. For instance, they tend to sport 19 mm long, svelte bodies with brown or orange tipped antennae. The European wasps, on the other hand, tend to have bulky, 15 mm long bodies and solid black feelers. They also tend to shy away from hovering or letting their legs remain in a vertical position during flight, which are both something that the V. vulgaris are prone to do. Nonetheless, laymen often confuse one species for the other.
To the trained eye, V. vulgaris’ nests are also quite unique. Made from a mixture of spittle and regurgitated plant material, they resemble the base of an overturned, diminutive, gray-brown wine goblet without the extended stem. Because the nests are so small and feature bland coloring, they often blend into a building’s exterior too. Understandably, that can make it very easy for Aussies to accidently disturb the wasps’ nesting sites. And that frequently leads to hard-hitting attacks that tend to result in multiple stings accompanied by severe allergic reactions.
Would you like to know more about paper wasps and how to get rid of them? If so, please contact us at Compass Pest Management and ask to speak with one of our paper wasp experts. We can help remove V. vulgaris and other flying pests known to harm humans and their pets from homes or businesses.