What is the Difference Between a Wasp and a Hornet?

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People usually find it difficult to differentiate between wasps and hornets. They’re both flying insects and they both can deliver very painful stings when aggravated or feel threatened. However similar they may be, there is a considerable amount of differences between these insects. Call us if you need a wasp removal Trotono service.

Wasps belong to the Vespidae family, which includes yellow jackets and hornets. Hornets, on the other hand, are considered as a little subgroup of wasps, which are not local to North America. 

It is important to understand the differences between the two because, as the summer months come and families begin to be more and more outside, if a sting from either insect occurs, the proper treatment needs to immediately be administered in order to help the individual who was stung.

Physical Differences

Hornets tend to be around 1 to 1.5 inches in length. They are identifiable by their either black/white color or being reddish-brownish. 

Wasps are generally smaller than hornets, at around 1 inch long. They tend to have varied colors, depending on the type of wasp. There are also those that don’t have wings and can be mistaken for ants or other smaller insects.

Their Nests

Hornets nests are usually high up and are made from paper. Their nests can be crate large and they live in groups.

Wasps have nests both high up (i.e. trees) and in the ground. The yellow jacket wasps are the wasps that will build nests that are either high up or in the ground, although they often prefer to build them underground. 

The paper wasp is known for constructing cone-shaped nests using shrubs or twigs found from nearby materials. Since both the wasp and hornet can be very territorial when it comes to their nests, if you come across any one of their nests, your best option is to stay clear of it and call our pest control Toronto professionals to have it immediately removed. 

Eating Habits

Hornets prey on larvae, as well as other insects. Wasps also prey on other insects, however, the difference here is that they also usually hunt for sweets and proteins, while hornets don’t. 

How Aggressive are They?

Hornets are very likely to become aggressive and sting when they feel that their lives or their nests are being targeted or threatened. Some of the hornet species have stings that can also be fatal to human beings. 

Wasps are also likely to sting in this situation, however, they reveal their aggression differently. For instance, the yellow jacket wasps are generally very aggressive, while the paper wasps only reveal their aggression once threatened. Wasps are known to be generally more aggressive than their relatives, bees, but not as aggressive as hornets. 

Educating yourself and your family members about the differences between these stinging insects will help to ensure that if you encounter one on your property or while you’re out on a picnic, you’ll know how to take the correct precautionary measures to ensure everyone’s safety.

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Joe The Exterminator
Joe The Exterminator

Joe is a professional pest control exterminator with over 15 years of experience and enjoys sharing his knowledge about different pests and how you can deal with them.