German yellowjacket (Vespula germanica), a common and widespread social wasp, is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It was unintentionally introduced into Canada in the 1960s and the eastern United States in the 1970s. It quickly spread and by 1989 it had reached California. It is now found throughout North and South America. It usually nests in the ground but often nests in voids, such as tree stumps, attics, roofs, and hollow walls. It rarely builds a hanging nest like the bald-faced hornet.
This species of yellowjacket is identified by distinctive black and yellow markings on its head and body and by three small black spots on its face.