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Name: Peggy
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Question:
I've read several website articles, including yours, on paper wasps and the construction of their nests. I am writing structural condition reports for a historic museum village in upstate New York. We know ,for example, that powder post beetles do real structural damage to the timbers of these buildings. I understand that the wasps make their nest of leaves, man-made paper, wood and spit. One of our staff is worried that the wasp may be nibbling at the rafters of our meticulously restored 19th century buildings, which are generally the nearest source of polistes' nest building materials. I've never heard of the wasps as being a problem in this way, like the beetles ARE a problem. Need we worry and/or take measures against these benificial insects ( the wasps-not my co-worker )? Thank-you for any help you can provide.



Replies:
I am not an entomologist but I have read quite a bit about wasps and bees, and have never heard of them chewing up solid wood - rotten wood maybe, but you have noted their usual sources of material. I don't think you have to worry about paper wasps doing structural damage. Carpenter ants, however, are another insect to watch out for.

J. Elliott



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