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 There are several species of wasps that live in the northwest. Below are the wasps that we experience the most. The most common is the polistes wasp. They make the open faced comb nest.  There is an introduced polistes wasp species, P. dominulus (often referred to as the European wasp). They can be found on nearly every house. The mud dobber wasp is also common making the mud nests on the house. The sand wasp nests in the ground and can have large populations that can concern people.
Polistes wasps:  There are at least three species of polistes wasps that live in S. W. Washington. Polistes aurifer, Polistes dominulus, and polistes ?  
Polistes have an open-faced comb nest that you can see the wasps sitting on. They do not put the paper envelope over and around the comb like hornets and yellow jackets do.                                                        
P. dominulus is an introduced species originating from Europe. They can be found on almost every property with a structure or old car. They have small nests usually 2"- 5" across with 8-10 insects per nest. Large nests can be 8"-12" across with 60-80 insects.

P. aurifer is a polistes wasp that is native to puget sound. They have small nests usually 2"-3" in dia. with 6-10 polistes on a nest. We find them on about 10% of the houses we go to. 
The Mud dobber wasp make the mud nests that you see in the corners of the wall and roof line. In July the mud dobber wasp make nests of mud cells. In the cell the wasp lays an egg. She will then collect several spiders that she stings and places in the cell. The egg will hatch into a larva feeding on the spiders before pupating and hatching.
Sand wasps: Sand wasps are often seen in July and early August. They nest in sandy loam soil. They have individual holes in the ground that they nest in. They can be seen flying around the ground hovering over their nesting sites.