Everyone hates wasps and hornets. If you don’t hate them, then you’re on the wrong website! But which is worse? I’m sure you’re thinking – Hornet – because the sting is worse and they can bite. I’m wondering if it could be wasp – because they like sweet food, sting for no reason and ruin al fresco dining. The following is the technical detail for both and I’ll let you decide.

If you have a nest, especially hornets, then don’t try and deal with it yourself (satisfying as that might be to see those evil devil spawn suffer). Instead call a pest control company like Rentokil and enjoy the massacre from a distance!




Young Queens overwinter and emerge in the spring to start nest building and lay eggs.

Workers (sterile females) emerge during early summer and take over nest building. Queen continues to lay eggs.

New queens and males mate in early autumn.

Nest dies during winter, including all the males and workers. Only Queens survive to the next year.


Colony size — medium to large (up to as many as 25,000 individuals).

Preferred nest sites — lofts, wall cavities, old rodent burrows, hollow trees and bushes.

Nest construction — pulped wood (paper). Combs set horizontally. A new nest is produced each year.

Swarming — does not swarm.

Food preferences — will take insects and sweet foods.

Stings readily and repeatedly.



Large, up to 1.8 inches long. Wings are reddish-orange. Orange abdomen with brown stripes.


Nests are founded in the Spring. Most die-off by late Autumn. Only the fertilized Queen overwinters.


Nesting – In sheltered places, e.g. tree trunks, bushes, sides of buildings, barns, attics, hollow walls. Their nests are grey and paper-like.

A colony can reach a size of 700 workers

Sting – Only sting when provoked. Sting is painful to humans. They can bite and sting at the same time. They can mobilize the entire nest to sting in defence which is highly dangerous to humans.

Feeding – Live insects and sap. Are not attracted to human food.