Hornets vs Wasps? What You Should Know

Hornets vs Wasps Similarities and Differences

Hornets and wasps have many similarities. The main difference is their color and size. Wasps size ranges from 1/3 to 1 inch, whereas the hornets are larger. Wasps have yellow and black bands around their abdomens, while hornets have white and black bands.

The Sting

Both hornets and wasps will sting if they feel threatened that their nests are in danger. The stings of both can be dangerous to those who are allergic to their venom. Unlike bees who die after they sting, hornets and wasps do not die.

Life Cycles

Both colonies of the hornets and wasps have a queen that can produce between 1,000 to 3,000 offspring. The number depends on the condition of the surroundings. In a nest that is damp and cool with access to lots of food, queens will give birth to more offspring. Queens can live up to five years, whereas males only live for forty to fifty days.


Wasps and hornets mostly feed on insects; however, they will feed on decaying fruit and old sweet food left around.


Burrows and holes near homes and food sources like fallen fruit are the perfect spots for wasps and hornets to set up nests. A few of these areas around the house can be in attics, ceilings, and walls, as well as in surrounding shrubs and trees.


Eliminate any food sources, especially decaying and sweet foods, from lying around the property. If a nest is found, avoid the area due to a large number of these stinging insects that can be in the nest. Avoid trying spraying them during the day.

Beyond these precautions, it is highly advised to hire a professional pest control company to take the proper steps to free your home or commercial property. After all a wasp or hornet sting can be extremely dangerous. Did you know that stinging insects send over 500,000 people to emergency rooms every year?

Contact NJ Pest Control to get rid of your wasp and hornets nests and to put a protection plan into action.

Take a look at a few hornets and wasps to look out for below


The Eastern Yellowjacket is a wasp and can be found in the eastern part of North America. The adult yellow jacket is about 3/8” to 5/8” in size. The queens are approximately twenty-five percent longer. The abdomen has yellow and black bands. Their colonies can have between 1,000 to 4,000 yellow jackets. They usually build their nests close to structures. When their colony is disturbed, they will act aggressively stinging multiple times.

Eastern Yellowjacket

Asian Giant Hornet  (Vespa mandarinia)

Various invasive species have been found over the years, and this one is a bit of media hype.

The Asian Giant Hornet, aka “Murder Hornet,” is native to Asia, China and Japan. In the US, they were first found in Washington in 2019. Even though this hornet prefers ground burrows (digging their own or using a pre-existing rodent burrow), it will occupy exposed rotted tree roots.

The Asian Giant Hornets are usually between 1 ½ to 2 inches in size. The queens can range up to 3 inches. They primarily feed on insects; however, they are a concern because they can do severe damage to honeybee colonies.


Hornets Vs Wasps? What You Should Know 1

European Hornet (Vespas crabo)

The European Hornet was first introduced from Europe in the eastern part of the United States in the mid-1800s. These hornets are ½ to 1/4 inch in size. Unlike other stinging insects, they are only active at night when they come out to seek prey. They can be scary looking but are rarely aggressive unless they feel threatened. When they do sting, they will sting multiple times. They build their nests in walls, attics, and in hollow trees. An average nest will have 200 to 400 European Hornets within the colony.

European Hornet

Bald-faced Hornet

The Bald-Faced Hornet highly resembles the yellow jackets. Their adult size is between 1/2 to 5/8 inches, with the queen being larger at 3/4 of an inch in size. Their nests are usually above the ground, where hornets can be seen flying around. They can enter homes to seek shelter and prey on uncovered food and insects. Like other types of hornets, they will sting multiple times.

Bald-Faced Hornet

If you would like more information regarding wasps and hornets or need help getting rid of them on your property contact the expert pest control company, NJ Pest Control today.