Wasps, Hornets, and Yellow Jackets (pictured above, from left to right, respectively) are three of the most commonly and easily confused stinging insects, and while they do all have characteristics in common, here are some facts that can help to distinguish between the three of them.

  • “Wasps: Wasps feed on sweet liquids and are even known to get drunk off fermenting juice in the late summer. In the autumn, inseminated females will seek places to spend the winter, and may move inside the home, especially if there is a cathedral ceiling present.
  • Hornets: European hornets live in colonies that may contain between 200-400 members. They tend to appear in late summer, and unlike most other stinging insects, are active at night. European hornets are attracted to light and will repeatedly bang into lighted windows when it’s dark outside.
  • Yellowjackets: Yellowjackets live in colonies with up to 4,000 workers, so it’s not surprising that their nests can grow to very large sizes. In 2006, a farmer found a yellowjacket nest had engulfed in his 1955 Chevrolet, according to NPR.org.


If you’re seeing any of these pests around your home, be sure to give us a call at 1-520886-4146 as removing stinging insects like these should be done by a professional with the appropriate equipment.


For more information about stinging pests in general, take a look at our article on which ones are common in summer and fall.



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