Am I Dealing With Wasps or Hornets?

a yellowjacket

Do you know how to tell the difference between a wasp and a hornet? These stinging pests are often mistaken for each other; however, there are some key differences you can use to tell them apart.

Letting pest control professionals deal with the problem is the most effective option when dealing with stinging pests like wasps or hornets.

Am I Dealing With Wasps or Hornets?

Wasps, pictured above, and hornets are both intimidating, stinging pests, and it can be difficult for homeowners to tell the difference between them. Luckily, it is easy to distinguish them once you learn a few identifying facts about each pest.

Learning whether you are dealing with wasps or hornets is important because it will allow you to take the right pest control and prevention methods to control these unwanted intruders on your property. Some wasps can even live in the ground, so it’s important to control them quickly.

You can tell the difference between wasps and hornets by their appearance, behaviors and other activities.

Wasp Versus Hornet Appearance

The main way to distinguish between a wasp and a hornet is by the size and color of the insect. Wasps may be black, brown or yellow, and they are typically smaller than hornets.

Wasp bodies measure around one-third an inch to one inch long and are known for being slender. They may also have a few distinct markings on their bodies, such as black or yellow stripes.

On the other hand, hornets are larger than wasps and have more robust bodies. The largest hornet species may grow up to one and a half inches long. These pests vary in color and are typically multi-colored. The most common hornets have black and white rings on their bodies.

a hornet

Wasp Versus Hornet Behavior

While both wasps and hornets, pictured above, are stinging pests, they have different approaches to stinging. Wasps are more aggressive than hornets when it comes to defending their nests, which means that they sting more often. They will also sting repeatedly.

Hornets, meanwhile, only sting when they feel provoked or cornered. Unlike wasps, they do not look for threats to sting but wait until the threat is upon them to sting as a defense mechanism.

Other behavioral differences between wasps and hornets include their preferred diet. Wasps are known for being scavengers, and they prefer protein and sweet foods. Alternatively, hornets are omnivores and feast on a diet of other insects.

When it comes to nesting, wasp colonies prefer to build their nests in sheltered areas, such as in wall voids or attics. Wasp nests are shaped like hexagons and made of paper-like material.

Hornets prefer to nest in high places such as on tree branches, basketball hoops and other hard-to-reach spots. Their nests are commonly shaped like footballs.

Deterring Wasps or Hornets

You can use some of the same deterrence methods for both wasps and hornets. First, it’s important to remove possible food sources for these pests. A food source makes your home or property an inviting place for pests to set up camp.

Keep your kitchen well-maintained by cleaning up spills, crumbs and other messes right away. To deter wasps, make sure to clean up sticky sweep substances from your counters, such as honey or syrup.

Next, seal up all potential entry points that wasps or hornets could use to enter your home. Inspect your doors, windows and walls for cracks or holes these pests could fit through.

Keep all of your trash bins, indoor and outdoor, properly sealed with tight-fitting lids. Do not let trash pile up or overflow the trash can.

The best way to deter and deal with wasps or hornets is to work with a pest control specialist. They will have expert knowledge of each pest and advise you on the right plan to kick them out of your home.

an attic

How to Get Rid of Wasps in the Attic

As mentioned above, wasps like to build nests in attics because they offer plenty of shelter and protection. It’s important to be extremely careful around a wasp colony in your attic because they are aggressive pests, and it can be hard to get away from them in a small attic space.

Let a professional pest control service deal with wasps in the attic to avoid a painful sting. An expert will have the proper gear needed to get rid of the nest. They can make sure that the entire colony has been removed and help you put prevention methods in place so that it doesn’t happen again.

As the homeowner, the best thing you can do is follow the prevention protocols to keep wasps out of your home as much as possible. Here are some helpful wash prevention tips:

  • Eliminate their water source. Make sure there is no freestanding or leaking water in your attic, as waps rely on it to survive.
  • Keep your attic clean. It’s important to maintain a clutter-free attic because clutter creates places for wasps to hide. Keep your attic organized and if needed, conduct regular cleanouts to make sure it isn’t getting cluttered.
  • Seal up entry points in your attic. As mentioned above, gaps and holes in your home’s exterior are easy entry points for wasps. Conduct a thorough inspection of your home to ensure no openings could lead wasps into your attic.
  • Inspect your attic regularly. Keeping safety measures in mind, go up to your attic every once in a while to make sure a pest hasn’t taken up residence in your home.

Again, the best way to get rid of wasps in your attic is to contact a professional pest control service. You shouldn’t try to get rid of wasps on your own as they are extremely aggressive pests.

a wasps' nest

What To Do When You Find a Wasp Nest in Your Siding

Another place that wasps often build their nests is inside the siding of a home. Like an attic, siding keeps the wasps out of site and offers plenty of shelter and protection. However, well-built and maintained homes should not allow wasps to nest in the siding.

When wasps get into a home’s siding, it’s typically because the home was poorly constructed or poorly maintained over the years. Wasps will take advantage of faulty construction, worn-out sealant and other damages to your siding to make their home inside of it.

That’s why it’s crucial to bring in professional pest control to deal with wasps. However, it’s even more important to do so when there are wasps in your siding since you could likely be dealing with structural issues.

Improper wasp nest removal could cause structural issues or make existing ones worse, which is why you should not try to remove the nest on your own. A professional can use their expertise to minimize damage while removing the wasp nest.

Until the wasp nest is removed from your siding by a professional, it’s best to keep a distance from it. For safety, you should also limit access to the area of your house where wasps are living in your siding.

Children playing and other activities near the nest can aggravate the wasps and lead them to sting. Again, wasps are aggressive pests who do not wait until they feel threatened to sting. Instead, they are proactive in defending their nest.

If you see a wasp nest in the siding of your home, do not wait to contact a pest control professional.

Get Rid of Waps or Hornets With Professional Help

Wasps and hornets are not pests to take lightly, as they both sting and can cause significant pain. As soon as you identify a wasp or hornet infestation, you should contact a pest control service to come out to your home.

The professionals can remove the wasp or hornet nest safely and ensure that the entire colony has been controlled.

ABC Can Treat the Pests on Your Property

Having wasps or hornets on your property can be frightening. Instead of trying to handle the problem on your own, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. Our pest control professionals can offer advice on what attracts wasps, and we can effectively remove any wasps, including paper wasps, so you don’t have to worry about painful stings.

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