The European wasp averages a length of 1 cm. Its body is black with yellow patterns, and its “thread waist” is quite thin. When referring to the narrowing of the body between the torso and the belly, the term “thread waist” is frequently used. Because of their similar appearance, the European wasp and the common yellow jacket often need clarification.
The European wasp typically nests in protected regions, and it seems to like dark, void areas, such as beneath the eaves of a building, inside vent pipes, inside gas grills, in wall voids, under decks, and inside electrical boxes. Although most wasp species build brand-new nests annually, this particular species has been observed returning to use existing nests occasionally.
The Life Cycle
Beginning in early spring, a new generation of fertilised queens who overwintered in safe locations will begin constructing nests, marking the beginning of the bee and wasp’s annual life cycle. These healthy queens lay one egg in each nesting compartment. Wasps’ larval stage begins once the newly deposited eggs hatch, which might take many days. The adult female will feed her developing young larvae bits of insects that have already been chewed up so that they can grow and mature into sterile worker females after completing the larval and pupal stages. The colony has developed to the point that the queen lays eggs while the many workers gather food, build the nest, and protect it. It takes little under 50 days for European wasp eggs to develop into adults in ideal conditions. When winter comes, men and labourers perish, and fertile females look for places to spend the season. Adults of this species of paper wasp, like those of other species, subsist only on nectar from flowers and other sweet liquids.
• Nest in old rodent burrows, hollow trees, and bushes
• Indoors, they favour sheltered locations with easy access to the outdoors, like lofts, garages, and wall cavities
• Early in the season, the brood prefers insects; later in the summer, as the brood matures, the workers become more of a nuisance to humans;
• Females sting readily and can sting repeatedly;
• Some estimates put the number of wasps in a colony at around 25,000.
The European wasp, a pest since its introduction in the 1970s, is a non-native insect. Since then, the species’ range has expanded over most of the United States. This wasp has spread across the United States, from the Atlantic coast (Maine to Florida) to the Pacific coast (Colorado to California), because it has few or no natural predators or parasites.