European Hornet

Appearance: Golden brown with yellow abdominal stripes; 1- to 1-1/2 inches.

Habitat
European hornets are social wasps which form colonies that live for one year. European hornets like to build their paper nests in hollow trees, barns and out buildings. However, they will also nest inside the walls, attic or chimney of buildings. Nests may also be constructed on the sides of buildings. Like yellowjackets and bald-faced hornets, European hornets aggressively defend their colony if it is disturbed. Loud vibrating noises from lawnmowers and leaf blowers can cause hornet workers to sting people and pets. Colonies of European hornets may contain several hundred workers.

Diet
European hornets feed on a variety of large insects such as grasshoppers, flies, yellowjackets and honey bees.

Control
Removing their nest is the only to effectively eliminate a hornet colony. This should only be done by an experienced professional. The danger of stings is considerable. Proper protective clothing and equipment are required.





Paper Wasp

Appearance: Brownish with yellow markings; most species are about 1 inch.

Habitat
Paper wasps are easily identified by their nest; a round, upside-down paper cone that hangs from a horizontal surface in a protected location. Most paper wasp nests are located in exposed areas beneath soffits, in the corners of windows, under awnings, under porches and beneath decks. Paper Wwasps will also nest within voids and other protected sites, such as gas grills, electric outlet boxes, hose reels, attics, and crawl spaces. Paper wasps often enter attics through holes in the soffits, attic vent screens and underneath shingles.

Diet
Paper wasps are predators and feed on insects, spiders and caterpillars.

Control
Paper wasp nests are usually easily controlled using a wasp treatment product, then knocking down the nest. Such treatments are best done at night, although professionals can safely treat them during the day. On buildings where continuous paper wasp nest building occurs, treatment of the affected areas with a residual pest control product applied by a professional may be advisable.





Yellowjacket


Appearance: Small wasps with black and yellow stripes; 1/2- to 1 inch. Two sets of wings and a narrow waist.

Habitat
Yellow jackets live in trees, in houses or on the ground. This wasp also builds its nest inside the walls of buildings after entering through cracks in the outside walls. They live in colonies containing thousands of individuals. Yellowjackets are highly social and will sting if their colony is threatened, leaving symptoms ranging from painful swelling to life-threatening allergic shock. Unlike the honeybee which stings one time and then dies, a single yellow jacket can sting many times. As a pollinator of flowering plants they can be very beneficial, but colonies around your home or recreation area can pose a threat.

Diet
Nectar, fruits, juices and certain foods; insects and spiders in some cases.

Control
To prevent accidental stings, when working in a garden be aware of numerous wasps flying into and away from a single point or to a hole in the side of the house. This will usually indicate where a colony might be located. Be careful when using lawn mowers or other powered lawn equipment, as loud, vibrating noises disturb yellow jackets and may send them into an attacking frenzy. Stay away from nests once you know where they are. If yellow jackets are seen entering and exiting a wall, do not plug the hole. If a colony poses a threat, it should be eliminated. Because of the danger in treating these nests, only a professional should attempt to do so.