7 New Jersey Stinging Insects: Which Ones Are Most Aggressive?

By Horizon Pest Control

New Jersey is home to many types of bees and wasps. As many people learn the hard way, some of these stinging insects are much easier to provoke than others.

Below, we’ve grouped common stinging insects in New Jersey according to how aggressive they tend to be. Please note that there are always exceptions. For safety, it’s essential to involve a pest professional when trying to remove ANY type of stinging insect problem, especially if you may be allergic.


  • Mud Daubers. These wasps may be the least aggressive of their kind. They’re not easily provoked. They may sting if something invades or disrupts their nest; however, the bigger danger comes from more aggressive insects that may take over mud dauber nests once mud daubers abandon them.
  • Bumblebees. These fuzzy bees tend to mind their own business unless you directly disturb their nest. They’re not likely to bother you if you’re outside gardening or taking a walk. Just be warned that if you do mess with their nest, they will chase you for a long distance and can sting you multiple times.
  • Honeybees. Honeybees are not particularly aggressive but can become so when something disturbs their nest. You may find yourself getting “dive-bombed” by these bees if you wear bright, floral-type colors. Rain, high heat, and humidity can also make honeybees grumpy and more prone to aggression.


  • Paper Wasps. While not as easy to provoke as their cousin, the yellow jacket, paper wasps can become quite aggressive if you get too close to their nests. Once they feel threatened, they’ll release pheromones “requesting backup” from other paper wasps.
  • European Hornets. Hornets are a type of wasp and can exhibit aggressive behavior. European hornets tend to be fairly passive but can get stirred up once a person or animal gets within a few feet of their nest.


  • Bald-Faced Hornets. It doesn’t take much to set off a swarm of these insects. Be watchful for their papery, oval-shaped nests because walking too close can cause them to attack. Like yellow jackets, bald-faced hornets are sensitive to vibrations, so loud noises like lawnmowers can set them off.
  • Yellowjackets. These insects have a reputation for being easily provoked, and it’s well-earned. What’s worse is that they get “hangry” as the year goes on. Yellowjacket colonies are at their biggest during late summer and early fall, and that’s right about when their food sources shrink. Hunger makes yellowjackets particularly frustrated and aggressive.

Do you need help removing stinging insects from your New Jersey or New York property? Get it handled safely by the experts at Horizon Pest Control: (201) 447-2530.

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