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There are two main species of wasp which may be considered pests in urban areas. They are the European Wasp and the Papernest Wasp.
The European wasp is considered one of the worst wasps in the world. It is harmful to people and the horticultural and agricultural industries. The European wasp can sting several times when disturbed or agitated. It can also attack honey bees causing losses in honey production. The European wasp can be identified by its distinctive yellow and black banded abdomen. These wasps nest mostly in the ground, tree stumps, rockeries and roof spaces.
Papernest wasps are smaller than European Wasps, and lack their vivid yellow markings. They tend to only be aggressive when defending their nests, and are otherwise beneficial insects to have around the garden. The body is slender, with a very narrow waist. The abdomen has some yellow/orange bands, but is mainly black. The nest of the paper wasp is a series of cells shaped like an inverted cone made from saliva mixed with wood fragments. When it dries the mixture is quite paper-like, and gives these wasps their name.