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What is a Wasp

What is a Wasp

Every year, around 62 people die from hornet, wasp, or bee stings. These creatures may be little, but they can be very dangerous if you or someone you know has an allergy. 

You may be allergic to a particular insect, which means it's important to know the difference between them.

So what is a wasp? And how can you identify them? We'll discuss these answers below.

What Is a Wasp?

A wasp is a winged stinging insect. There are around 4,000 types of wasps in the US!

They're close cousins of bees, which is why people get them confused. We'll tell you how to tell the difference between the 2 in a later section.

What Wasps Look Like


As you can imagine, all 4,000 wasp types will have their own unique physical appearances. But for the purpose of this article, we'll assume we're talking about the yellow jacket variety.

This type has a yellow and black body, which gives it a very similar appearance to the honeybee.

Wasps vs Bees

While these 2 flying insects may have similar appearances, there are small nuances to tell which one you're dealing with.

Wasps are thinner in their waists and have very little to no body hair. Bees are squatter in stature, with thick appearances and furry bodies.

Also, in general, wasp colonies are much larger.

Wasps vs Hornets

What about hornets? Well, hornets are a type of wasp! More specifically, they're yellow jackets. So "hornet" and "yellow jacket" are interchangeable.

What Do Wasps Eat?

What wasps eat depends on the species you're looking at. If you're looking at them as a whole, then they'll like to eat things like honey, nectar, and fruit. They may also eat some small insects.

If you hone in particular species, they'll have their own preferences. For example, yellow jackets might eat food from garbage cans.

How Long Do Wasps Live?

Like most other insects, wasps don't have very long lifespans. How long they live will depend on the role they have.

However, most die within 3 weeks (22 days). Queens can live for around 1 year.

Where Do Wasps Nest?


You'll know you have a wasp nest if you see a circular hive that looks like a bunch of bandages wound up.

They usually like to nest in high-up places in the corner. Look for wasp nests in your garage or wall cavities.

What Time of the Year Do Wasps Come Out?

During the colder winter months in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the Eastern Shore of Maryland, wasps will hibernate. However, come springtime, the queens awaken and start building their colonies. This is why you see swarms of wasps outside during the spring and summer months; they're looking for a new place to call home.

Solve Your Wasp Problems With Extermination

Now you know the answer to the question: what is a wasp? You also now know how to identify them.

If you think you have a wasp issue on your property, then it may be a good idea to call a professional, like Viking Pest. As an expert in wasp extermination, we'll be able to effectively treat wasps around your home. Our certified and trained technicians have the proper equipment to control these dangerous pests.

Get a fast, free estimate for wasps online, or call us today at 1-800-618-2847. Viking Pest is the wasp exterminator expert throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

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