Wasps are a controversial topic for gardeners and home owners. Most people consider wasps to be very dangerous creatures, which exist only to attack people with no reason, and sting them until they die. And the people, interested in the environment claim, that wasps aren't so bad, and if we stay away from them, they won't harm us. Some even say wasps are useful creatures, because they kill and eat other dangerous to people pests, like spiders, fleas and many other. So, we can easily say wasps are complex insects. But what some people don't consider, is the fact there is more than just one kind of wasps. There are more than two thousand known species, and three basic ones which are popular all around the world. Some of them are very aggressive and dangerous to us, and some are quite harmless and even useful. You can check these kinds of wasps down below. I have listed them for you with some general information about every kind.
Bald-faced hornet. The bald-faced hornets get their name because of the large white straps on their head. They can be found practically everywhere in Europe and North America. They feed on fruit juices and flower nectar. This kind of wasps build their nests from paper strips and tree bark, and hang it from trees, bushes, some higher vegetation or even on buildings. Each spring only the queen has survived the winter, and she grows the colony on her own, by laying eggs constantly in a smaller nest. After the first workers are born, they build the rest of the nest, so the queen can be situated in the deepest part, where she can always be protected. The bald-faced hornets are aggressive and will attack you if you get too close to their nest. Their stingers are smooth, so they won't die after the first time they sting someone. Also, their stingers contain venom, so the stings will hurt and swell unpleasantly for the first one or two days.
European hornet. The European hornet is a lot larger than all the other kinds of wasps and they are the only kind, which can fly at night. These wasps have casts, and every cast has its own purpose. The queens are the only ones, which can mate. Most of the wasps in the colony are workers. Their job is to build the nest, gather food, feed the young, take care of the queen, and protect the nest and the colony. There are a few males in every nest, but their only job is to mate with the queen. They die not long after this. These wasps are predators. They feed on different insects, like bees, flies, grasshoppers and other. The European hornets build their nests in hidden locations, like inside trees or some other protected location. They are not so helpful to the environment, because they destroy trees by taking their bark to build their nests or while looking for tree sap. They can sting more than once before they die, and it hurts a lot when they do. This is why if you notice a nest in your garden, you should call a wasp control service right away, or at least follow some professional advice on how to remove a wasp nest.
Yellow jacket. The yellow jacket is the most common kind of wasps. They can be seen practically everywhere. Their colouring is black with yellow stripes. These wasps like to eat spiders and some other small insects. Eventually they would also like to eat human food, especially if it's sweets and meat. They sometimes also feed on flower nectar, but they don't produce honey or store food like bees. The yellow jackets like the human presence. This is why they build their nests around garbage, in trees, shrubs and on houses. They really like dark and cool places. Their nests are usually active only for a year, because they die out during the cold winter and the queen starts looking for a new place to nest in. This kind of wasps is actually quite helpful for farmers, thanks to their dietary preferences. But it's still a big risk to keep such a nest close to your home, because they can harm you, your children and your pets by accident.