Meet the European paper wasp, Polistes dominula. Most people hate wasps. Not me. I personally thanked this one for hanging around one of my flower pots. He was taking a nap in a milkweed plant. I woke him up to get some photos.
First, this is not considered an aggressive wasp. I tapped it on its behind to get it to turn around for a photo. This species is often confused with yellowjackets, which may not tolerate your presence and let you know. The European wasp is not a native species, but is commonly found throughout the Pacific Northwest and has ended up being a beneficial insect. European wasps eat aphids, earwigs, flies, gnats and MOSQUITOES. They eat mosquitoes! They’re heroes.
Their nests are the little ones under eaves and along fences with open cells. Yellowjacket nests are encased with paper, spherical, large and often seen hanging in trees.