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Bald Faced Hornet Vs Paper Wasp: 5 Differences To Tell

If you are wondering how to prevent the stings of the similar-looking Bald-faced Hornets and Paper wasps, it is essential to distinguish them first.

Generally, Bald Faced Hornets and Paper Wasps belong to the same insect family but they (Bald Faced Hornet vs Paper Wasp) differ in characteristics such as size, appearance, nest location, hostility, and sting pain index.
Go through this article to learn more about the similarities and differences between Bald-faced Hornets and Paper Wasps.

Bald Faced Hornet and Paper Wasp: Similarities

Bald Faced Hornet and Paper Wasp share many similarities, as they are in the same family, Vespidae.

Here are some similarities between Bald Faced Hornet and Paper Wasp.

  • Both are social insects living in colonies and work together to build nests, feed their progenies, and protect themselves from enemies.
Similarities between Bald Faced Hornets and Paper Wasps.
Paper Wasp and Bald-faced Hornets are predators and feed on insects, spiders, and other small animals.
  • Usually, they both make paper nests by chewing paper and mixing it with their saliva.
  • They both have stingers and have the ability to sting multiple times.
  • They both are omnivorous and feed on other insects.
  • Both play a major role in the ecosystem and help control the population of other insects.

Bald Faced Hornet Vs Paper Wasp: Differences

Although Bald-Faced Hornet and Paper Wasp belong to the same family and share many more similarities, they also differ.

  • Size: Bald-faced Hornets are larger than Paper Wasps. Adults can reach up to 1 inch long, but Paper Wasps are about 0.5 inches long.
  • Appearance: Bald-faced Hornets are black in color with a white face. While Paper wasps have a variety of colors, including yellow, black, and red.
  • Nest location: Paper Wasps often build their nests in trees or under eaves. But, Bald-faced Hornets build their nests in trees or shrubs.
  • Hostile: Bald-faced Hornets are more hostile than Paper Wasps. They are more likely to sting if they get threatened.
  • Sting Pain Index: According to Schmidt’s Pain Index, the throbbing pain of the Bald-faced Hornet’s sting (pain level 2) is comparatively inferior to the burning pain of the Paper Wasp’s sting (pain level 3).

Furthermore, if you are stung by Bald-faced Hornets and Paper wasps, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is essential.

Here are some symptoms.

  • Asphyxiation (Breathing difficulty).
  • Inflammation of the face, lips, or tongue.
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Burning of chest

Tips to Prevent Bald Faced Hornet And Paper Wasp From Stinging

Stings from Bald-Faced Hornets and Paper Wasps can be painful and toxic. So, here are some practical solutions to prevent their sting.

  • Keep your yard waste-free, making it less attractive to hornets and wasps.
  • Avoid areas near the nests; if you see a nest, do not disturb it.
  • Wear long sleeves and trousers when you are outdoors. This will help to protect your skin from stings.
  • Apply insect repellant that contains picaridin to the exposed skin.
  • Wash the wounds with soap and water to flush away the venom.
  • If you have any allergies, seek medical help immediately.

Wasps have a very sharp sting with excruciating pain. A video shows the ferocity of the painful sting that these Wasps deliver!

From Editorial Team


Bald Faced Hornets and Paper wasps are not likely to kill you, but they can cause serious health hazards with their toxins.

Be aware of the places with their nests. Bald-faced Hornets are typically teardrop shaped, while the nests of Paper Wasps are more spherical.