We were performing a routine check of a customers attic when we came across this rather large, dormant Paper Wasp Nest. Paper Wasps will build their nests in meadows or fields but prefer to nest under an overhang such as the eaves of a roof. These wasps must have found an entry into the attic and preferred to be more protected from the elements.
Paper Wasps gather fibres from dead wood and plant stems, which they mix with saliva and use to construct water-resistant nests made of grey or brown papery material. Their nests generally do not cause any structural damage to buildings.
It is best to leave these wasps alone if they are present in an area where they will not come in contact with people. Paper wasps do not present a danger unless the nest is disturbed, but if provoked they are aggressive and will defend their nest. The best time to remove a Paper Wasp Nest is during the winter because these wasps will not return to the same nesting site the following year and leave the nest after the first frost of the year.
One benefit to having a Paper Wasp Nest near your home presents itself if you have a garden nearby. They are predators of residential and agricultural pests, making them especially valuable near vegetable gardens, where they provide natural and free control of herbivorous caterpillars.