Yellow Jacket
Yellow Jacket
Paper Wasp
Paper Wasp

Paper wasps and yellow jackets both have a habit of building papery nests under eaves and in various places around the home. Both can be aggressive, but they are differentiated by the size of their body and the color of their antennae. We're often asked the difference of paper wasps vs yellow jackets.

The most important thing you need to know when it comes to paper wasps vs yellow jackets is which one is more aggressive. Yellow jackets take the prize on that one as they are larger and have the numbers to back up a defense of their home.

In this article, you will learn a bit more about the differences between paper wasps and yellow jackets, how harmful to humans each can be, and how to get rid of paper wasps and yellow jackets.

What Is the Difference Between Paper Wasps and Yellow Jackets?

Wasps on paper nest hanging on wooden door frame of house

Paper wasps and yellow jackets both show aggression when it comes to defending their nest homes and can be more irritable during the fall when the colder weather is on the horizon.

When trying to determine the difference between the two species, you only need to look at the body structure. Yellow jackets have thicker bodies and are overall larger than paper wasps. Additionally, paper wasps have orange-colored antennae whereas yellow jacket’s antennae are dark brown or black.

Do Paper Wasps Sting?

Although less aggressive than yellow jackets, paper wasps will sting you. Typically, paper wasps sting out of self defense to protect their home and colony. Sometimes it may seem like paper wasps sting people for no reason; however, this is extremely rare.

Most likely, you walked close to a nest without realizing and the wasps felt threatened so they took it upon themselves to show aggression.

Are Yellow Jackets Harmful?

Yellow jackets can be very harmful to humans. They will sting out of self-defense if they feel threatened by you or if you seem to be a threat to their colony. While most of the time, the venom in their stingers is fairly harmless, there are certain circumstances that can make you very sick.

For example, yellow jackets can harbor harmful bacteria that can cause blood poisoning. More commonly though, if you exhibit an allergic reaction to yellow jacket toxin, you can experience hives, severe rash or swelling, or even anaphylactic shock that can be fatal if left untreated.

How Do You Get Rid of Paper Wasps and Yellow Jackets?

The best way to get rid of yellow jackets or paper wasps is to eliminate the nest. Be sure to spray it at night when the insects are not active and most of the bugs are in the nest. Stand at a distance in case any individuals come out.

If you don’t feel comfortable taking care of a yellow jacket or paper wasp extermination yourself, give My Pest Pros a call and we will be able to remove the threat and treat to help prevent more paper wasps and yellow jackets from nesting in the future. Our technicians are wasp experts with experience treating and removing these stinging pest threats to your family’s safety.