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Have you noticed a heavy presence of wasps on your property and stumbled upon what you believe to be a nest while searching for where they came from?

Before attempting to destroy the nest, you would be better off identifying what species of wasp you are dealing with. This is crucial if you want to wipe out the colony permanently.

In this article, find out what to look for to know if you are dealing with a nest of paper wasps or Yellowjackets, two species found in Quebec.

Telling the difference between paper wasps and Yellowjackets is not always easy

For the average person, it can be difficult to tell paper wasps and yellowjackets apart at first glance. After all, these two wasp species look similar in appearance, both with a black and yellow striped pattern. However, a closer look reveals some differences.

Paper wasps are much thinner at the waist and have distinctly long legs that appear to hang loosely when flying. They are also larger, up to 20 mm in size.  In addition, they are slightly more reddish in colour when compared to Yellowjacket wasps.

Yellowjackets have a stockier body, black antennae and shorter legs. As adults, they can grow up to 16 mm long.

Better distinguish between these 2 types of wasp by observing their nests

Since the two species are very physically similar and it’s best to stay away from wasps, the easiest way to find out which species you’re dealing with is to observe their nests, without getting too close.

Paper wasp nest

Always built above ground, sometimes on the ledges of buildings or in trees, these nests are shaped like an inverted cone. They can vary in size from a fist to a basketball.

They are usually greyish in colour and have the appearance of paper, hence the name of the species.

Yellowjacket nest

Yellowjacket nests are more difficult to observe, partly because they are generally better concealed. Surrounded by a layer of paper, they may be underground, or located in tree hollows that are difficult for predators to access.

Unfortunately, these wasps can also infest buildings that are not properly caulked and build their nests between two walls, an attic or any other location where a new colony can be established. If you don’t exterminate them, they can even cause significant damage to your property.

Call professionals to get rid of a wasp nest

In conclusion, whether you are dealing with a paper wasp or Yellowjacket nest, remember that attempting to destroy it by yourself with crude methods (fire, garden hose or garden tools) is unwise. The risk is high because, unlike bees, wasps can sting repeatedly.

When you find a nest, stay calm, move very slowly and contact our team of pest control experts. At Elite Pest Control, we will gladly exterminate the wasps and eliminate the nest as quickly as possible.

Pascal Rock
Pascal Rock  
Director, Elite Pest Control
Founder and mainstay of Elite Pest Control, Pascal Rock has embodied expertise and dedication for over a decade. His training, acquired with expert mentors in extermination and pest decontamination, has shaped an outstanding professional. Under his leadership, a team of six seasoned technicians deploys the very best pest control strategies. Together, they ensure the peace of mind and safety of residents and professionals from Montreal to Quebec City, by offering fast, effective interventions, available at all times.