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The Difference Between A Hornet Sting And A Hornet Bite

Most people know that insects like bees and wasps can sting, and that flies and mosquitoes bite. But what about hornets? Do hornets sting, bite, or do both?


hornet sting hornet bite hornet sting symptoms do hornets sting or bite bald-faced hornet European hornet

First, What Are Hornets And What Do They Look Like?

In North America, there is only one true type of hornet, which is the European hornet. There is another insect referred to as the bald-faced hornet, but it is actually a type of wasp, not a real hornet.

European hornets are brown, yellow, and hairy. They are bigger than wasps, and females are often larger than males. Only females have an ovipositor, which means only female hornets can sting.

Do Hornets Sting Or Do Hornets Bite?

Although injuries by hornets are colloquially referred to as a “hornet bite,” hornets are closely related to wasps and bees, so they actually sting humans, not bite them. Hornets do bite their prey, but only with the intention to kill for food, as opposed to stinging humans, where their intention is to protect themselves. Unlike bees, hornets do not lose their stingers after a sting, which means, like wasps, they can sting multiple times, which is bad news for anyone who comes in contact with a hornet nest!

Hornet Sting Symptoms And How To Treat Them

If you’re ever unfortunate enough to stumble across a hornet nest, remember that hornets are quite aggressive, especially when protecting their nest, so your best bet is to appear as non-threatening as possible. Better yet, put some distance between you and threat; retreat slowly until you’re a safe distance away.

If faced with a single hornet, you may react a bit differently. Although not foolproof, many suggest remaining perfectly still until the hornet leaves, or to stay still and when the hornet is far enough away from you, back away. If you swat at the hornet, or make loud noises and gestures to appear threatening, you will almost always get stung.

If a hornet does stings you, you may experience some painful symptoms. Aside from the initial pain, which is said to feel like a burning sensation, hornet sting symptoms include swelling, in both the area of the sting as well as your face, lips, or throat, especially in you’re allergic to the venom in a wasp or hornet sting. You may also break out in hives, have difficulty breathing, and become dizzy and/or nauseous. The area of the hornet sting can feel painful and swell for a few days after the sting. However, aside from icing the injury, there isn’t much you can do. The wound should heal itself within a few weeks. If the swelling does not begin to go down after a few days, or increases in pain, contact a medial professional.

Not every hornet sting victim will experience all, or sometimes any of these symptoms. If are one of the unlucky ones to get stung by a hornet and you experience severe hornet sting symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.     

If you find a hornet nest in your home or yard, do not attempt to remove it yourself. Hornets are extremely territorial. To avoid personal injury, you should consult a professional pest removal company to quickly get rid of the hornet nest before you or your family is harmed. Contact Magical Pest today at (905) 738-6676 or fill out a contact form to get started on removing your hornet nest now!

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