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What's The Difference Between Hornets & Wasps In New England?

wasp landing on a picnic table

It may not come as a surprise to you, but the threats that hornets and wasps pose to New England families are growing greater every year. Stinging insects are some of the world’s least favorite backyard pests. With short stingers and even shorter tempers, the pain inflicted from these insects will be remembered for years after the incident.  
Here in the New England area, there are several different types of common stinging insects. A few of these are:

  • The Bumblebee 
  • The Honey Bee 
  • The Sweat Bee 
  • The Paper Wasp 
  • The European Hornet 
  • The Yellow Jacket

Many homeowners find that the similar physiological attributes of the hornet and wasp are too difficult to tell apart. It is important to remember that all hornets are wasps, but only some wasps are hornets. In fact, hornets are a subspecies of the wasp family that share many like attributes with their distant cousins. The best ways to tell the difference between a wasp and hornet is to compare their size, color, and aggressive behaviors. Wasps are often less than 1 inch in size, and have a yellow or black coloration pattern. They are aggressive, but normally only when provoked. In contrast, hornets are 1 to 1.5 inches in size, and appear reddish-brown or black in color. These insects are extraordinarily aggressive and will pursue any victims that happen to stroll into their vicinity.

Apart from the obvious, hornets or wasps hanging around the yard may pose significant challenges to the homeowner and their guests. A few of these considerations include:

  • Loss of use of the yard 
  • Fear and anxiety 
  • Chewing or removal of wood materials (paper wasps) 
  • Stings requiring immediate medical attention to prevent anaphylactic shock

Simply spraying pesticides will not be enough to quell large breeding colonies. Unless fast and powerful measures are taken to manage populations at onset, your wasp or hornet occupancy will very quickly become a full-on pest infestation.

Making Your New England Home Less Attractive To Wasps

Even if your home has a history of accumulating wasp or hornet nests, using the right combination of prevention techniques is the perfect way to make your lawn less attractive to these stinging pests this spring season.

  • Wasps and hornets both require a significant amount of moisture in order to stay hydrated and cool down their nests. Remove any standing water from the lawn, taking care to fill holes with topsoil or fill dirt. 
  • If you caulk, seal, or otherwise repair areas of the home that allow pests to pass indoors, the risks of getting a household sting are significantly lowered. For areas that you are not able to repair on your own, consult with a professional local repairman. 
  • Both wasps and hornets prefer sweet, sugary foods and protein-rich snacks. Clean up all crumbs or food waste while eating outdoors, and cover up any standing food with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Lock up all garbage in a sealed can when removed to the yard.

Not sure what kind of stinging insect may be hanging around your home? Get a professional pest inspection from one of Big Blue Bug Solution’s team members today.

Get Safe Nest Removal With Big Blue Bug Solutions

Hornets and wasps are a homeowner’s worst nightmare, but they don’t need to be. For more prevention advice or professional assistance with stinging insect nest removal in your lawn, contact the professionals at Big Blue Bug Solutions right away. Our hardworking team members and knowledgeable service agents are prepared to protect your lawn the right way right.

Call our main office to consult with a staff member, or request servicing today through our online contact form.