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Pest NameDescription 
European paper waspEuropean paper waspThe European paper wasp was introduced into Washington in the late 1990’s. Although we have a native paper wasp, it is found mostly in eastern and central Washington. The European paper wasp is now the most common species in western Washington. Like yellowjackets, they are about 1/2 inch long as workers and are black- and yellow-striped. However, paper wasp have a more thread-like waist than yellowjackets. Fertilized queens overwinter in protected areas and begin building a new colony each spring. The new queens occasionally re-use old nests but usually build their own. Nests contain only one layer of cells and are not enclosed with paper as are yellowjackets. European paper wasps appear more docile than yellowjackets unless startled, at which time they will react fiercely. Their nuisance value is in the obnoxious habit of nesting anywhere, such as under lawn furniture, in light fixtures and mailboxes, as well as under soffits and deck railings. European paper wasps are predators and can be considered beneficial in the landscape since they may prey on insect pests. For more information see WSU Publication FS152E, "The European Paper Wasp."