The name “paper wasp” refers to at least 22 species in the US and hundreds more all over the world. They all look quite similar -- paper wasps have a brownish coloring, with some yellow marks, though some paper wasp species are more reddish in appearance. They have 6 legs, 2 antennae, and a set of wings. They have a robust body with a pinched waist.
Paper wasp stings will swell and redden. As with other bee, wasp, and hornet species, people with strong sting allergies need to be very careful around these insects. If you see paper wasps flying around your property, it’s a good idea to check your home for signs of an infestation. Paper wasps build nests in the shape of an umbrella, and their name comes from the papery appearance of these dwellings. The nests are built where they can hang -- from tree branches, eaves, porch ceilings, door frames, shed ceilings and similar structures. Paper wasps are not a particularly aggressive species, and will only sting when they feel threatened. Touching or removing their nest will aggravate them and make them sting. For this reason, always contact a licensed professional to remove a paper wasp nest.