Question: What’s the difference between wasps and hornets?

Question: What’s the difference between wasps and hornets?


We get this question a lot, and the truth is that wasps and hornets are so similar that it almost doesn’t matter which is which. If you have either one of these stinging insects in your backyard, you probably want them gone! Hornets often get confused with wasps because the two names are used interchangeably. There’s actually only one kind of hornet that you’ll ever see in the U.S. – the brown, or European hornet. A lot of homeowners know how to identify bald-faced hornets in their yard, but these are in fact a type of wasp and not members of the hornet family. The main difference you’ll find between the two is in size. Hornets are the giants of the stinging insect world, measuring in the U.S. up to 1 ½ inches long, while wasps don’t usually make it to an inch. Another difference can be found in coloring. Hornets are generally black and white, while wasps come in a wide variety of colors. Diet is another factor – while both wasps and hornets enjoy a hearty meal of insects, only the wasps branch out from there to go for sweets and proteins (like the ones found at your summer picnic). From there, wasps and hornets tend to have a lot in common. Both have at least 100 workers in their aerial paper nests. Both are very aggressive when threatened, and both can be dangerous and unwelcome additions to your yard. If you’re seeing a large amount of any stinging insect around your Glenview home, don’t be a hero and go after them yourself. Contact your local experts at Pointe Pest Control.

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