Wasps vs Hornets: Stinging Insects in Myrtle Beach

hornet on a stick

Discover the differences between wasps and hornets and learn how to handle these stinging insects in Myrtle Beach. Whether you're a resident or a tourist, knowing how to coexist with these creatures and keeping yourself and others safe is important.

What’s the Difference Between a Wasp and a Hornet?

Wasps are generally smaller and slimmer with a narrow waist, while hornets are typically larger with a thicker waist. Additionally, hornets are more aggressive and have a more painful sting than most wasps. Many people use the terms "wasp" and "hornet" interchangeably, but they are two different types of insects.

hornet vs wasp identification picture

How Do You Tell If It’s a Hornet?

When trying to identify whether or not a stinging insect is a hornet, there are a few key characteristics to look out for.

  • Check for a distinct "waist" between the thorax and abdomen
  • Look for larger sizes and more aggressive behavior compared to other stinging insects
  • Observe the color pattern, which usually includes black and white stripes with yellow or orange markings

If the insect meets these criteria, it is likely a hornet. However, it is important to remember that hornets can vary in appearance and behavior depending on the species and location.

How Do You Tell If It’s a Wasp?

Not all wasps look the same, so identifying them can be tricky. However, here are a few key characteristics to look out for:

  • A narrow waist between the thorax and abdomen.
  • Pointed lower abdomen.
  • Smooth and shiny appearance.
  • Bright colors, such as yellow and black or metallic blue.

Is a Hornet Sting Worse Than a Wasp? 

Some may find hornet stings more painful, while others may have a stronger reaction to a wasp sting. However, it really depends on the individual person and the species of the insect. It's important to avoid getting stung in the first place by wearing protective clothing and staying away from nests or hives.

Other Stinging Insects in Myrtle Beach

Unfortunately, wasps and hornets aren’t the only stinging insects here in Myrtle Beach. Bugs like yellow jackets, bees, and mud daubers also plague residents and visitors alike. 

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are stinging insects known for their yellow and black striped bodies. They are often mistaken for bees but have a slimmer and more defined waists. Yellow jackets are especially aggressive in the late summer and early fall months when their colonies are at their largest. If you encounter a yellow jacket, it's important to stay calm and avoid swatting at them, as this can provoke them to sting.

Honey Bees

Honey bees are small, fuzzy insects that are primarily recognized by their distinct black and yellow striped pattern. They play an important role in our ecosystem as they are responsible for pollinating a variety of plants and producing delicious honey. If you see a group of bees hovering around a flower, chances are they are honey bees. They are also known for their organized behavior and ability to work together as a hive.

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are a prevalent species of bee that can cause damage to wooden structures. These bees are often mistaken for bumblebees due to their similar appearance but can be distinguished by their shiny black abdomen. Male carpenter bees do not have a stinger and are often seen hovering near wooden structures to protect their territory. Female carpenter bees have a stinger but are typically not aggressive toward humans unless provoked. If you notice circular holes in wooden surfaces, it may be a sign of carpenter bee activity.

Mud Daubers

Mud daubers are a type of wasp that is known for building their nests out of mud. They are generally black or metallic blue in color and have a thin, elongated body. You can identify them by their long, narrow waist and how they gather mud to create their nests. Unlike other wasps, mud daubers are not aggressive and rarely sting unless provoked. If you see a mud nest on your property, it is likely that mud daubers are nearby.

Getting Rid of Wasps and Hornets

When it comes to getting rid of wasps and hornets, there are several DIY methods that can be effective. These methods do not require the use of harmful chemicals and can be done with items found in most households:

  • Use a mixture of dish soap and water to spray directly onto the insects. This will suffocate them and cause them to die.
  • Place a bowl of apple cider vinegar and dish soap outside. The sweet smell of the vinegar will attract the insects, and the dish soap will trap and drown them.
  • Plant mint or basil around your outdoor living areas. The strong scent of these herbs repels stinging insects.
  • Hang a fake wasp nest near your outdoor living areas. Stinging insects are territorial and will avoid areas they believe are already occupied.

Call Beach Pest Service For Professional Help!

Beach Pest Service's wasp and hornet control in Myrtle Beach is the best solution to eliminate these pests. We understand the dangers that these insects can pose to your family and your property, which is why we make sure to use only the most eco-friendly and sustainable methods to keep them at bay. With our expertise and dedication, you can have peace of mind knowing that your home is protected from these dangerous pests. Get a free quote today

Frequently Asked Questions

Do hornets bite or sting?

Hornets sting, they do not bite.

What's the difference between a wasp vs a bee?

Bees are generally larger, more robust, and covered in fine hair, while wasps are slimmer, smooth-skinned, and have a more defined waist. Bees are primarily herbivores that collect pollen and nectar, while wasps are more carnivorous and feed on other insects. Additionally, bees are known for their ability to produce honey, while wasps do not.

What's the difference between a yellowjacket vs a wasp?

Yellow jackets are a specific type of wasp characterized by their yellow and black coloration and aggressive behavior. While all yellow jackets are wasps, not all wasps are yellow jackets. Wasps encompass a broader range of species with varying appearances and behaviors.

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