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Yellow Jackets Vs Black Jackets: Top 5+ Differences To Tell

Although Yellow Jacket vs Black Jacket may sound like a fashion brand war, they both are harmful insects with punch-packing stingers!
Although Yellow Jackets and Black Jackets belong to the same insect family, they differ in size, appearance, colors, habitat, diet, and hostility toward predators. Besides, they show aggressive behaviors and painful stings.
Go through the entire article to learn more about the similarities and differences between Black Jackets and Yellow Jackets.

Overview of Yellow Jackets & Black Jackets

Yellow Jackets are social wasps native to Europe, Asia, and North America.

They are typically yellow and black in color with alternating bands on the abdomen.

Yellow and Black Jacket
Yellow and Black Jackets are also scavengers and feed upon dead organisms.

Black Jackets are native to North America. They are larger than Yellow Jackets and have a more regular black color.

Furthermore, both Yellow & Black Jackets are popular for their aggressive behavior and painful stings.

Here is a table showing the key features of Yellow and Black Jackets.

FeaturesYellow JacketBlack Jacket
Size0.5-0.7 inches0.7-1 inches
ColorBlack & YellowBlack
HabitatAerial places, such as trees or under eavesUnderground
AggressivenessMore aggressiveLess aggressive
UsesSweet substances, meat, and proteinMeat protein
StingPainful and cause allergic reactionsPainful and cause allergic reactions

Yellow Jacket & Black Jacket [Sting & Toxicity]

If you get stung by the Yellow & Black Jacket, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention. 

Here are some symptoms after getting stung by Yellow & Black Jackets.

  • Gasping, panting (breathing difficulty)
  • Swelling of the tongue, face, or throat
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rashes or allergies

If you see a Yellow & Black Jackets nest, leaving them alone or calling the pests professionals to remove them is better.

Note: Black and Yellow Jackets secrete protein-induced neurotoxins through their hollow stinger.

Here are some tips to avoid the sting of Yellow and Black Jackets:

  • Do not wear bright colors, especially black and yellow.
  • Do not eat or drink near the areas of the nests.
  • Keep food containers tightly sealed.
  • Remove any stagnant water from your yard, as it can invite the Yellow and Black Jackets.
  • Plant non-attractive flowers to Yellow and Black Jackets, such as Mint, Lavender, and Rosemary.

Yellow Jackets & Black Jackets [Similarities]

Yellow and Black Jackets are included in the same insect family, Vespidae.

Difference in patterns between Yellow and Black Jacket
If you are stung by a Yellow or Black Jacket, remove the stinger first.

Due to this reason, they share some morphological and functional similarities with one another.

Here are some similarities between Yellow and Black Jackets.

  • Both of them are social insects that live in colonies.
  • Both predators feed on insects, spiders, and other small animals.
  • Both have the ability to sting, and their stings can be toxic.
  • They both are attracted to sweet substances, such as fruit juice and nectar.
  • Both of them are found in similar habitats, such as wooded areas and in top of the rocks.
  • Besides, they both are active during the Summer months.

Yellow Jackets Vs Black Jackets [Differences]

Although Yellow and Black Jackets are included in the same family, there are some differences between them, which are mentioned below:

  • Size: Black Jackets are typically larger than Yellow Jackets.
  • Color: Yellow Jackets have black and yellow stripes, but Black Jackets are solid black.
  • Habitat: Yellow Jackets build their nests in aerial places like trees. While Black Jackets build their nests underground.
  • Diet: Yellow Jackets are more fascinated by sweet substances, while black Jackets are more attracted to protein-rich sources.
  • Hostility: Yellow Jackets are more likely to sting if they feel disturbed.

From Editorial Team


After identifying them, avoiding the sting of Yellow and Black Jackets becomes easy.

Furthermore, immediately seek medical support if you are stung by Yellow or Black Jackets.

Besides, wash the wounds immediately with soap and water and apply cold water or ice.