What are Hornets and What Types of Hornet Species Exist

  • By: Charles Coleman
  • Date: January 27, 2023
  • Time to read: 9 min.

Hornets are social insects, which means they live in colonies. Hornets typically build their nests in trees or other high places to be safe from predators. There are many different hornet species found worldwide, but here we will talk about some common ones: bald-faced hornet, European honey bee, and Asian giant hornet.

Hornet SpeciesDescription
European HornetThe European hornet is the largest hornet species in Europe, measuring up to 45mm in length. It has yellow and brown stripes on its body and a yellow head.
Asian Giant HornetThe Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, measuring up to 55mm in length. It has a yellow and brown body with a large yellow head.
Yellow JacketYellow jackets are a type of hornet that are common in North America. They have a yellow and black striped body and measure up to 25mm in length.
Bald-Faced HornetThe bald-faced hornet is a type of hornet that is found in North America. It has a white and black striped body and measures up to 20mm in length.
Cicada Killer hornetThe cicada killer hornet is a type of hornet that is found in North America. It has a black and yellow striped body and measures up to 50mm in length.

Identifying hornets

There are many types of hornets, and they can be challenging to identify. Some key things to look for include the size of the hornet, its coloration, and whether it has a stinger.

European hornet (Vespa crabro)

The European hornet is the most giant hornet in North America and can be up to an inch and a half long. They are mostly golden brown or reddish-orange in color, with darker bands on their abdomen. European hornets build nests made of a papery material that hang from tree branches, leaves, or other structures.

They are sometimes confused with another type of hornet in the United States, known as the bald-faced or white-faced hornet.

Asian hornet (Vespa velutina)

The Asian hornet is a hornet species primarily found in Eastern Asia. They are usually around 25mm long and have yellow legs with orange, black bodies, though they can vary based on their gender (females being more significant than the males). Their stingers don’t contain any venom, so their stings usually cause pain and swelling. They feed on other insects, including bees, to often be considered pests.

The Asian hornet was accidentally introduced to Europe in 2004 and has spread ever since. In September of 2016, the first confirmed sighting of an Asian hornet in Britain was reported. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has been working hard to try and eradicate the species before it becomes too widespread.

When is a hornet not a hornet?

There are many types of hornets globally, but not all are classified as “hornets.” In North America, for example, there is a type of wasp that is commonly referred to as a hornet. European hornets are also not true hornets. True hornets are what we call members of the genus Vespa from Asia.

Most people consider any giant wasp with an orange or yellow body a hornet. However, true hornets only make up around 20% of all wasps in North America. The rest include paper wasps and yellow jackets (and sometimes mud daubers), both of which can repeatedly sting without dying immediately afterward as some other types do. This means that it is crucial to correctly identify what type you may have before attempting treatment methods to remove them from your home.

Giant horntail (Urocerus Gigas)

The giant horntail is a large hornet species found in parts of Asia. This hornet can measure up to two inches long, making it one of the largest hornet species in the world. The giant horntail has a black body and a bright yellow head. It is also one of the most venomous hornet species, with a sting that can cause intense pain and swelling.

This hornet prefers to build its nests in trees, which can be challenging to spot. However, their large size makes them an easy target for predators.

Hornet moth (Sesia apiformis)

The Hornet moth (Sesia piriformis) is a giant European moth of the family Sphingidae. The hornet is considered one of Britain’s most giant insects, with forewings up to 85 millimeters in length. It is reddish-brown with a darker band and the wings and a hairy thorax. The hornet moth flies from May to September and can often be seen at dusk hovering over flowers in gardens or meadows.

The larvae feed on honeysuckle (Lonicera), brambles (Rubus), and other plants in the family Caprifoliaceae.

  • Giant European moth of the family Sphingidae
  • Forewings up to 85 millimeters in length
  • Reddish-brown with a darker band along with the wings
  • Hairy thorax
  • Flies from May to September
  • Often seen at dusk hovering

Hornet mimic hoverfly (Volucella zonaria)

The hornet mimic hoverfly is a fly that mimics the color and appearance of a wasp to avoid being preyed upon. This fly is found throughout Europe and North America.

The hornet mimic hoverfly can be identified by its black and yellow stripes, which resemble a hornet. Additionally, this fly has a small body size and slow flight speed, distinguishing it from other types of flies.

Despite its deceptive appearance, the hornet mimic hoverfly is harmless to humans. It feeds on nectar and pollen from flowers and does not sting or bite people.

This fly is an important pollinator, helping to transfer pollen between flowers. It plays a valuable role in ecosystems and should not be harmed or disturbed.

Hornet killer wasp (Sphecidae family)

The hornet killer wasp (Sphecidae family) is typically found in Europe and Asia. This hornet can sting people, but it doesn’t forage for food in human towns as the yellowjacket does. However, this species preys on honeybees by paralyzing them with venomous stings that destroy their nervous systems. The only downside to these beneficial insects is that they sometimes prey on other pollinators instead of bees; however, overall male wasps are harmless to humans since they lack a stinger entirely!

Asian hornets

Asian hornets are usually less than an inch in length than European hornets that tend to be around two inches. Asian Hornets have orange-yellow legs and a black head with light brown bands on their abdomens. They also have dark wings that become darker towards their tips – this is different from other types of hornet species as they typically have clear or yellowish wings.

What’s the problem?

I have a hornet’s nest in my backyard! What do I do, where do I go? Well, the good news about this is that you are not alone. This happens to thousands of people around North America each year because of their ever-so-popular location choice: “underneath your porch.” However, the bad news is that it can be hazardous if you don’t know how to handle this situation. If you’re still reading, then let me tell y

The most common hornets in North America are the bald-faced hornet and the paper wasp. Although some species may have more red than black, Hornets can be identified by their characteristic yellow and black stripes. Hornet nests are made of a papery material built by chewing wood fibers.

Bald-faced hornets get their name from the white markings on their face. They are about an inch long and build large nests to house up to 700 individuals. Bald-faced hornets are aggressive and will sting if threatened. Their stings are painful but not life-threatening unless you are allergic to them.

How did they get here?

The hornet species found in North America likely arrived from Europe on ships. They stowed away in the cargo, and when they were released, they quickly spread across the continent. There are now over 40 different species of hornets living in North America.

How to identify a nest or hornet’s nest

There are many different types of hornets, and each has its own unique markings and habits. It can be challenging to identify a particular type of hornet without seeing the nest. However, some clues can help you determine whether you’re dealing with a wasp or hornet’s nest.

Hornets build their nests in trees, while wasps typically make their homes in attics, sheds, or other sheltered areas. Hornets also have a characteristic “W” shape to their nests, while wasp nests tend to be more spherical. Additionally, hornet nests are often larger than wasp nests. If you see a large nest hanging from a tree branch, it’s most likely a hornet’s nest.

Hornet stings – the good, the bad, and the ugly

Hornet stings can be quite painful, especially if you’re allergic to their venom. However, they also have some benefits. For example, hornet venom has been shown to kill cancer cells. Additionally, hornet nests can be used to make natural pesticides.

There are several types of hornets globally, and each one has its own unique characteristics. The bald-faced hornet is North America’s largest hornet species and is known for its aggressive behavior. Meanwhile, the Asian giant hornet is the world’s largest hornet species and can kill people with its powerful sting.

Hornets are valuable members of our ecosystem despite their dangers and should be protected wherever possible. If you encounter a hornet in your home, contact a pest control service to remove it.

Ways to get rid of a hornet infestation in your home

Hire a professional: Hiring a professional is a best and most reliable way to get rid of hornets in your home. However, it can be expensive depending on how much you need to be done. Also, they might not always do the job 100% right if you don’t know what you’re looking for. We recommend hiring professionals when possible, though, because their knowledge and experience will make sure that getting rid of them will take no time at all!

Consider organic methods: There are natural remedies such as essential oils that work great against Hornets! One popular oil used is cedarwood oil, but we also love using orange peel extract. All you have to do is soak orange peel extract in water and spray it around the areas where you see Hornets.

Use a fogger: Foggers work great against hornets too! You can buy pre-made ones or make your own depending on what exactly has been infested. The biggest downside of using them, however, is that they don’t last long enough for most people’s purposes – which means if you’re going to use one, remember that they will need to be replaced often until all Hornets are gone from your home as well as the surrounding area!

Tips for preventing a future infestation

If you’re having a problem with hornets, there are some things you can do to prevent a future infestation:

  • Seal any holes or cracks in your home that could provide access for hornets
  • Remove any food sources that could attract hornets, such as pet food or garbage cans
  • Install screens on your windows and doors
  • If you see a hornet’s nest, remove it as quickly as possible
  • Hornets are giant, black insects with distinctive yellow or white markings.
  • There are over 20 different species of hornet in the United States alone.
  • The European hornet is one of the most common types found here.
  • “Vespa crabro” is another name for this particular type of hornet, which can be identified by its brown color and yellow banding across the abdomen.

FAQs about Hornets

What types of hornets are there?

There are many different hornet species, but the most common is the European hornet and the bald-faced hornet.

What do hornets eat?

Hornets typically eat insects, although some species also eat fruit.

Where do hornets live?

Hornets can be found throughout most of the world, except for Antarctica.

How can I avoid being stung by a hornet?

The best way to avoid being stung by a hornet is to stay calm and move slowly. If you are being chased or attacked, run in a zigzag pattern to confuse the hornet. Do not swat at a hornet, as this will only anger it. If you are stung, try to remove the stinger quickly with tweezers. Apply ice or cold compressions to the area to reduce swelling.

What is the difference between European hornets and bald-faced hornets?

The bald-faced hornet is smaller than the European hornet, and its face is white instead of brown or black.

Where do hornets build their nests?

Hornets build their nests in trees, bushes, or man-made structures such as eaves or attics.

How can I tell if there is a hornet’s nest nearby?

There is likely a nest nearby if you see large numbers of wasps or hornets flying around. You may also hear a buzzing sound coming from the vicinity of the nest.

What should I do if I find a hornet’s nest on my property?

It is best to leave the nest alone and avoid disturbing it. If you must remove the nest, wear protective clothing and caution to avoid being stung.

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