Paper wasps are a type of social wasp that have an elongated body with a narrow waist and long legs. They can be red-orange, dark brown, or black in body color with yellow markings. Their nests are a single comb made from chewed wood, usually in the shape of an umbrella, and is not enclosed by an envelope. These nests are often found in attics, garages, trees, and under patios.
Yellow jackets can be identified by the yellow and black banding on their bodies. Their nests are made of chewed wood, but are enclosed by an envelope, leaving an opening for the entrance hole. Yellow jackets are primarily ground nesters in gardens and pastures, but aerial nests are found in trees, under eaves, and inside walls.