Is It a Wasp or a Hornet? How to Tell the Difference

Is That A Hornet?
Is That A Hornet?

As the summer season gets into full swing, two of the major pests around are wasps and hornets. Although you may lump them into the same category by calling one or the other the same name, there are differences, and here are some basic ways to tell them apart.

Sweet Eaters

In general, wasps are the guys that will be swarming around anything sweet. Open cans of soda, desserts at picnics, fruit juices in cups, open garbage pails, these are all wasp attractants. Any of the yellow and black striped insects flying around sweets will be wasps.


Hornets generally have black and white coloration, while wasps have several different types of coloring, with the most common being the unmistakable black and yellow stripes on their abdomen.


Those ground hornet nests, as they are called, are actually wasp nests, because hornets always nest high off the ground. Wasp nests are also commonly found off the ground, and those paper-made umbrella-shaped nests, beneath your home or garage eaves, are made by wasps.


Hornets are bigger and stockier than wasps, with most measuring more than an inch long, while wasps are thinner and less than an inch long.

If you believe you have wasp or hornet issues, or just want more information about their differences or how to control them, please contact us at Allison Pest Control. Serving Monmouth and Ocean County for nearly 100 years.



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