Photo by Melody

Common Wasp, Yellowjacket (Vespula vulgaris)

Order: Hymenoptera (hy-men-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Vespidae (VES-pid-ee) (Info)
Genus: Vespula
Species: vulgaris (vul-GAIR-iss) (Info)


No positives
2 neutrals
2 negatives


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Reseda, California
, Newfoundland and Labrador
Bucyrus, Ohio
Corpus Christi, Texas
Hatton, Washington
Kalama, Washington

By Todd_Boland
Thumbnail #1 of Common Wasp, Yellowjacket (Vespula vulgaris) by Todd_Boland

Member Notes:

Neutral Todd_Boland On Jul 31, 2006, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL
(Zone 5b) wrote:

Common wasps are aggresive and will sting if you bother them or their nest. However, they are important pollinators and eat many harmful insects, so they are really beneficial insects despite their being a nuisance to humans. Treat them with respect.

Negative palmbob On Jul 31, 2006, palmbob from Acton, CA
(Zone 8b) wrote:

This may be an important pollinator, but this is one of the nastier wasps I have had experiences with. Unlike the case with honey bees, these can sting over and over, and when you stumble into a nest of them you can run for many hundreds of yards before they give up chasing you, and give you hundreds of stings in the mean time. However, most of my experiences with this wasp has been with their annoying behavior around food than anything else... very common in the city of Los Angeles, often frequenting outdoor eating areas and fast food restaraunts (not sure what they are looking for), and will hover around you and your meal insessantly, being very difficult to dissuade. At least I have never had one sting me in such a situation.

Negative growin On Sep 20, 2006, growin from Beautiful, BC
(Zone 9b) wrote:

These aggressive scavangers get into everything. I've found that they become particularly unpredictible in the fall when it cools. They can sting without warning or reason. They act solitary but can group if one of them finds something. A drip of spilled pop (soda) can attract a number of them and they tend to circle like vultures. I'm allergic to stings and they can be particularily frustrating when I do cuttings as they keep coming back around. In a mild-winter followed by a hot/dry summer produces the largest numbers.

Neutral joegee On Jan 9, 2007, joegee from Bucyrus, OH
(Zone 6a) wrote:

I am highly allergic to both the yellow and white-faced hornets. They may be beneficial, but they cause more fear in me than Africanized honeybees. A several hundred aggressive hornets stinging dozens of times each can certainly be as dangerous as several thousand bees stinging once each.

Both can be deadly if not treated with respect.

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