What is this hornet/wasp?

Asked October 5, 2018, 1:05 PM EDT

Please help me to identify the hornets/wasps - some came into the house on Wednesday. There are currently about 20 flying around some of our eastern facing windows. I’ve killed at least 40 so far. AND, my husband is severely allergic to their stings! I can’t see their nest. I don’t know exactly how they are getting into the house. They are 1 1/4” to 1 3/4” long. I’ve had the pest elimination people here this morning, who say that spraying powder on an area where I can see them flying in and out (a second floor roofline junction) will just drive them further into the house. I’ve had a home builder here who said that it might involve opening up the soffit of the house to try to remove the nest- that we can’t see. It seems if I knew the exact species of this insect that it would help me to understand them, what to expect and what to do. Thank you in advance for your help.

Chittenden County Vermont

1 Response


Based on the picture you sent to us, it appears that you have a nest of European Yellowjackets (Vespula germanica), also called German Yellowjackets. It is a medium sized wasp averaging 15-40 mm or 19/32 to 1 and 37/64 inches long. Distinguishing features include a black arrow-shaped mark in the middle of the yellow stripes on the abdomen with black dots on either side and, on the bottom of the thorax, there are two triangular yellow markings on either side of center, and two yellow stripes on either side of the shoulder of the thorax . Wings are long and translucent. The legs are yellow and the antennae are black.

The European yellowjacket became established in northeastern US in the 1970s. They usually nest underground in holes, but in more developed areas, they often nest in enclosed spaces like walls, roof spaces or other gaps in buildings.The yellowjacket will sting people if it is disturbed while foraging or if the nest is threatened. Protective clothing is required when removing the nest, so we recommend that you enlist the assistance of an exterminator. We suggest that you Google "wasp removal services in Chittenden County Vermont" for information about local exterminators .

The following link provides some useful information:

Good luck.