Paper wasps are the most familiar of Missouri's social wasps. Their tan, papery nests are easy to identify: a single layer of hexagonal cells, arranged side-by-side like a honeycomb, and suspended by a single stalk from some overhanging shelter (such as the eaves of a house or other building). The wasps themselves look something like skinny yellow jackets. They are black or brown, often with rusty or yellowish markings, and fly with their legs dangling.
Paper wasps are commonly seen chewing bits of wood from untreated wooden fences, park benches, and so on, which they mix with saliva and use to build their remarkable paper nests.