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How To Tell Apart Wasps, Hornets, & Yellow Jackets

In our Atlanta service area, we have many stinging pests. The stinging pests most commonly associated with painful welts are yellow jackets. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between yellow jackets, wasps, and hornets? Well, the answer isn’t as straight-forward as you’d probably like. The problem with figuring out what each of these are is muddied by improper, or unhelpful, common names. A perfect example of this is the bald-faced hornet, which is actually a wasp. Here are some visual distinctions to look for.

Wasps: Yellow Jackets, Paper Wasps, Bald-faced Hornets

As you can already see, this is a confusing mixture of insects. Yellow jackets and bald-faced hornets are both in the classification of wasp. One of the primary visual distinctions of wasps is an almost complete lack of hair. You’ll have to look closely to see hair on a wasp. Bald-faced hornets are usually a white and black coloring; yellow jackets are yellow and black; and paper wasps can be brown in color or yellow and black, like yellow jackets. All of these wasps are social insects. That means they can attack as a group. But of the three, yellow jackets are the most aggressive.

Hornets: European Hornets

European hornets, Vespa crabro, are true hornets with a significant distribution through the Eastern half of the United States. The most significant difference you will notice, visually, is that European hornets have some hairs on them. Though not nearly as hairy as bees, the presence of hairs makes them very un-wasp-like in appearance. They are also thicker and larger than most wasps, around 1.5 inches. Their black and yellow coloring make some people mistake them for yellow jackets. But their size and slightly hairy bodies should be a dead giveaway to which stinging pest they are.

What You Should Know About All Wasps and Hornets

These insects are drawn to sweet things. Whether you have flowers in your yard or a cup of juice sitting outside, you’ll draw these pests into your yard. They will also be drawn to open trash, which can be a source of carbohydrates (sweet things) and proteins (meats). If you want to keep wasps and hornets away, make sure all of your exterior trash is sealed, and that you have no sweet smelling things in your yard. This includes perfumes and sweet scents.

Pest control for wasps and hornets is the same. It is vital to reduce nests, whether they be aerial nests or ground nests. Fewer nests mean fewer stinging pests, and fewer stinging pests will result in fewer stings.

If you need assistance to control the population of stinging pests on your property, or you have a nest that you need to have removed, we can help. Contact us today for a fast resolution to your pest problem.

How To Tell Apart Wasps, Hornets, & Yellow Jackets in Georgia

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