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Did You Know A Bald-Faced Hornet Is Actually a Wasp?

Did You Know A Bald-Faced Hornet Is Actually a Wasp?

Dolichovespula maculate – the bald-faced hornet – is known for its hostility and extremely painful stings. While referred to as a hornet, it is actually a wasp from the yellow jacket family. Let’s take a closer look at these three.

What Is a Hornet?

Hornets are actually a type of wasp – notable for their significantly larger size and level of aggression. 

As a matter of fact, they are one of the largest varieties of wasp… sometimes attaining a length of over two inches. The European hornet holds the crown as the largest true hornet in the U.S. and is considered one of the ten largest wasps in the world

What Is the Difference Between a Hornet and a Wasp?

There are three key differences. Hornets tend to have rounder, fatter bodies than wasps (which tend to have a narrower body profile). Wasps are also brighter in color – most of the time. Size is the next factor, with most wasps only attaining a length of about an inch while hornets regularly reach two. 

Then comes the important one if you are physically sharing the same space with them, the sting. Hornet stings are notoriously painful for a reason; they contain a neurotoxin most other wasps do not possess. There are a number of other differences, but those are the main ones to look for. 

Are Bald-Faced Hornets Poisonous?

Technically, no. From a scientific standpoint something defined as “poisonous” delivers its toxins when eaten. Bald-faced hornets deliver a neurotoxin in their sting, and creatures that deliver their toxins via a bite or a sting are called “venomous.” 

Are Bald-Faced Hornets the Same as Paper Wasps?

Both bald-faced hornets and paper wasps are in the family Vespidae – along with the common yellow jacket. Despite that, they are separate species. 

What all three types of wasps do have in common is the fact that they all make “paper” nests. Each species has its own distinctive architecture and style of nest, though… so you can learn to tell them apart. Just do it from far away.

What States Do Bald-Faced Hornets Live In?

Bald-faced hornets can be found throughout the Eastern United States, with the greatest density of them found in the southeast. They can also be found in the Rocky Mountains and along the west coast. 

Fox Pest Control, Your Experts at Wasp Removal

Afraid of getting stung in your own yard? Tired of hostile hornets? If you see any signs of unwelcome stinging pests, contact a pest control professional immediately. Let our team of trained professionals at Fox Pest Control eliminate your worries and give you back your porch or yard. For a free consultation, give us a call!

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