Wonderful, Wonderful Wasps!*
Caterpillar killers

    Another beautiful wasp is the polistes wasp, also known as a paper wasp. People learned how to make paper from plant fibers by watching these wasps.

    This little lady is beginning her nest in the spring. She has made four cells, and laid the first egg in one. She built this nest at my father-in-law's back door in Tennessee.

   Soon she will be carrying caterpillars to feed her babies. They eat a LOT of caterpillars, and so help control many pests. Of course they eat some good caterpillars too, like butterfly larvae.

waspbuildingnest.jpg (45959 bytes)
Image Copyright 2001, David L. Green     Unauthorized use prohibited

   She is quite large and some people are frightened of the polistes wasp. She is not mean though. She is usually busy making her nest and feeding her babies, and if you leave her alone, and don't make any loud vibrations (like slamming doors) she or her daughters will never bother you.* The nest never has more than a couple dozen wasps.

*Note on Protection from Stings

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