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Wasp vs Hornet: The Differences Explained

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wasp vs hornet

It’s estimated that there are 10 quintillion insects on Earth—that’s a lot of creepy crawlies!

The good news is that most of them aren’t harmful to humans. With that said, there are some that can cause problems. Take wasps, for example, it’s not uncommon for them to attack people unprovoked.

The same thing goes for hornets; they can be quite aggressive.

Not sure what the differences are between the two species? Want to learn more about wasp vs hornet? If so, you’re on the right page. Keep reading to learn more about the topic!

Wasp vs Hornet: 4 Major Differences That You Should Know About

These insects are different in a number of ways. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Appearance

Wasps tend to be smaller than hornets. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the latter to be twice their size!

Aside from that, their coloring is also different. That is, wasps tend to have a red and black coloration whereas hornets can range from black and white to slightly reddish or brownish.

2. Aggressiveness

Contrary to popular belief, not all wasps are aggressive. Take paper wasps, for example, they rarely attack unless provoked.

In contrast, hornets can be very defensive when someone approaches their nest. It’s not uncommon or them to swarm intruders or delivery multiple stings.

3. Nests

Wasps typically make their nests in the ground. While it depends on the species, most will resemble a small pile of dirt with a large hole in the center.

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As for hornets, they like to build spherical nests in the air. In other words, they’re typically located out of reach. If anything, this is a good thing as you wouldn’t want to accidentally disturb the colony.

4. Appetite

Wasps have a sweet tooth; they like to feed on things like juices and fruits. With that said, many will eat small insects from time to time.

Hornets, on the other hand, mainly feed on other insects. For example, it’s not uncommon for them to eat bees and flies. Some, however, will eat tree sap and leaves.

What to Do If You Notice a Nest

The best thing to do if you notice a nest is to call in an expert; they’ll be able to determine the type of nest and remove it safely. For example, you can search “pest control company in Eagle” if you live in Eagle, ID.

Never try to remove it on your own as they can sting when disturbed and there’s always a chance that you might be allergic.

Identifying Wasps and Hornets

And there you have it—the differences of a wasp vs hornet. As you can see, these insects differ in more than one way. When in doubt, call in a professional!

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