Difference Between Paper Wasps and European Hornets

Difference Between Paper Wasps and European Hornets

Over 500,000 people are admitted to hospitals due to stinging insects. After hearing the word sting, you would have thought of Paper Wasps and European Hornets. You are right, these two are the dangerous stinging insects that cause several allergic, and human health issues when biting. Though they are similar in their attack, they differ in their appearance, behaviour, and threats they pose. In this article, we will discuss the difference between paper wasps and European hornets.

Difference Between Paper Wasps and European Hornets

These two species are more dangerous to human health as their bites will cause more pain, and the stung area will be swelling, and rougher. Here are some major differences between paper wasps and European hornets,


Paper Wasps

Paper Wasps got their name from wasp nesting. The nest built by them will be transparent and paper-like material. They are usually brown in colour with some yellow coating, and their waist will be thinner.

European Hornets

European Hornets are also called brown hornets and giant hornets, as they are larger in size compared to paper wasps. These are first found in Europe in the early 1800s and later migrated to New York. They are brown in colour with yellow stripes in their abdomen.


Paper Wasps will build their nest in different places like branches of trees, windows, and doors, twigs, and attic. Their nest will be umbrella-shaped that is hanging from any objects, and each nest will have an open cell where the eggs are laid. These species will eat nectars, caterpillars, and flies.


European Hornets will build their nest in any of the tree branches, hollow trees, and any of the hollow walls, like gaps. These insects will eat any large pests like grasshoppers, flies, yellow jackets, and honeybees. These are usually present in summer and more stinging insects will roam at night.


Paper wasps are not aggressive in nature, and they will bite humans only when they are threatened or when their nest is destroyed. Wasps hate when they are in trouble. Their bite will cause itchiness, swelling and severe pain like other insects.

The bite of European hornets will be smooth so they can bite more than two times. Their bite also causes itchiness, swelling, and severe pain within 24 hours.

Prevention Methods before Getting Stung

Prevention Methods Before Getting Stung

Make your home less attractive for the stinging insects. They are usually attracted by sweet, pleasant, and food smells. It is important to keep your food products closed especially when outside. Try to avoid fragrances when you move to a garden or any forest place, which will reduce the chance of getting stung by these dangerous insects. Always check for the nest before plugging any plants, which will help you to avoid contact with dangerous insects. Covering your feet with the shoes will help to prevent yourself. Clean your home with proper wasp control.

What to do If you have been stung?

If you got stung by the insect, try to remove the stinger as quickly as possible. Clean the spotted area with soap and cold water and make use of the hydrocortisone ointment. If the pain is severe consult a doctor for an antibiotic.


All the differences between the paper wasps and European hornets were discussed. By the end of this article, you might be aware of the difference between both. Hire a professional pest control service in order to get rid of the stinging insects naturally.