Paper wasps are vespid wasps that gather fibers from dead wood and plant stems, which they mix with saliva, and use to construct nests made of gray or brown papery material. Some types of paper wasps are also sometimes called umbrella wasps, due to the distinctive design of their nests. Paper wasps are social insects that build grey, paper-like nests in trees and vegetation, or under the eaves of homes, docks and garages. Polistes sp. 6. Paper Wasp. Keeping food covered, especially when outdoors, will also help keep these insects at bay when they are in search of nourishment. It often nests around human development. Color. iNaturalist. These insects are called paper wasps due to the construction of their nests. Polistes fuscatus, whose common name is the golden or northern paper wasp, is widely found throughout southern Canada, the United States, and Central America. Varies with Species. Their nests include numerous compartments within which wasps lay their eggs and rear their young. Legs. Paper wasp nests are made from plant material combined with saliva and appear to be made from paper. Oval with smoky black wings flat in the resting position. Seal cracks and crevices in the home with a silicone-based caulk, repair any tears in screens, and try to keep doors closed to prevent paper wasps from entering the home. Shape.