Wasps and Other Flying Stinging Insects

Wasp       Wasp

             Wasp                                                          Yellow Jacket

There are many flying stinging insects that are called Wasps. The most common wasps that pose a health threat include European hornets, bald-faced hornets, yellow jackets and paper wasps.

European hornets also called giant hornets are larger than yellow jackets and attracted to light they can be active at night banging into lighted windows repeatedly. This wasp can sting over and over, while the venom makes the sting hurt, itch or swell for up to 24 hours.

Bald-faced hornets are relatives of the yellow jacket and have a white or bald face.  It is called a hornet because of its large size and aerial nest. They start to appear in late summer, unlike other stinging insects they do not re-use their nests season after season. Bald-faced hornets build paper nests at least three or more feet off the ground, usually in trees, shrubs, overhangs, houses, sheds or other structures. These insect pests are aggressive and will attack anyone or anything that invades their space.


Hornet's Nest

There are several species of yellow jackets. They have a yellow and black head/face and patterned abdomen. Social insects, they live in colonies of up to 4,000 workers. Most are active in late summer and early autumn when a colony is at its peak. Prone to sweets and protein they commonly invade outdoor events.  Their nets are paper carton found mostly in the ground or in eaves and attics. Very territorial, they will sting repeatedly and cause allergic reactions in many people.

Paper wasps get their common name from the paper-like material of their nests. They hang their nests from porch ceilings, deck floor joists, eaves, attic rafters, door frames, etc. Not overly aggressive, they will sting and can cause the same allergic reaction as other insect stings.