What Are The Differences Between Paper Wasps & Hornets?

Paper wasps & European hornets are two different types of stinging insects with a somewhat similar appearance, making them difficult to discern without a trained eye. In this article, we’ll go over some information that you should know about each insect and offer some tips on telling them apart!

Paper Wasps 

Paper Wasps are typically ¾ of an inch to 1 inch long with black wings that are folded lengthwise when at rest. These insects are usually brown/black in color, with yellow markings on the head, thorax, and abdomen. Paper wasps get their name from the paper-like materials (wood fibers, plant stems) that they make their nests out of. These nests are shaped like an upside-down umbrella and are open, meaning the cells are not covered with a cap. Paper wasps feed on caterpillars, beetle larvae, flies, and the nectar of flowers. Paper wasp nests are most often found in attics, garages, storage sheds, barns, shrubbery, and trees. These wasps are typically only aggressive if they are being disturbed near their nests.

European Hornets 

European Hornets, also known as giant hornets or brown hornets, are typically about ½ inch to 1.5 inches long and are black, yellow, and rusty red in color. The European Hornet arrived in New York sometime in the 1800s and has since migrated as far west as the Dakotas and as far south as Louisiana. These insects are the only true hornets in North America. They typically build their nests in hollow trees, barns, sheds, attics, and wall voids in buildings. They live in large groups, with nests typically containing between 300 and 1,000 hornets. These hornets feed on various things, including flies, grasshoppers, honey bees, yellow jackets, and more. European hornet stings carry venom that makes the stings hurt, itch, and swell for about 24 hours and can cause the same risk of allergic reaction as other insect stings.

Wasp & Hornet Prevention 

As mentioned above, these insects build their nests in some problematic places around homes and buildings. The best way to prevent contact with wasps & hornets is to make your property less attractive to them. Ensure that you inspect fallen tree branches and other possible locations for their nest before cleaning. Do repairs where necessary, especially if the wall cracks, and avoid leaving your door open for no reason. If you are spending time outdoors, avoid perfumes and try to keep food and other things that may produce attractive scents covered. Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes to protect your feet against potential paper wasp and hornet stings.

Contact Pied Piper Pest Control!

If you’re experiencing a wasp, hornet, or bee problem on your property in the Greater New Orleans area, Pied Piper Pest Control is here to help! Our licensed pest control experts have years of experience dealing with a wide variety of pests throughout the New Orleans area! Contact us today at (504) 366-1333 or fill out the contact form on our website for a free mosquito control estimate!

What Are The Differences Between Paper Wasps & Hornets?