My mother found a hornet at home (in northern France) that is probably building a nest. Is that an asian hornet? If yes, how can I exterminate them?

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  • $\begingroup$ I am not very good at species ID but it does not look like a Asian giant hornet to me. Asian giant hornets typically have wider dark stripes. It could be a European hornet. Where was the picture taken? $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Apr 21, 2019 at 21:37
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, northern France to be precise $\endgroup$
    – Antoine
    Apr 21, 2019 at 21:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The OP is probably asking about the asian hornet (which is invasive in France) rather than the asian giant hornet (which is not), though this one looks like neither. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Apr 21, 2019 at 22:55
  • $\begingroup$ Yes I'm talking about the invasive asian hornet $\endgroup$
    – Antoine
    Apr 21, 2019 at 23:04

1 Answer 1


This is not a hornet, this a wasp. See the yellow dots on the thorax ? They are typical of the Vespula genus. So is the yellow and black stripe pattern on the abdomen. Those wasps are smaller than hornets (1-2 cm for wasps, 3-4 cm for hornets). Picture from Wikipedia: Vespula germanica (from Wikipedia)

There are two common Vespula species in France (V. vulgaris and V. germanica), but to identify yours, we would need a better view of the head and abdomen.

On the image below, you can compare it to the two hornet species you can find in France (source). The first one is a bee, the second one is a wasp (Vespula), the third one is the invasive "Asian hornet" (Vespa velutina) and the fourth one is the native "European hornet" (Vespa crabro).

Comparison of some hymenoptera found in France (Le Rucher des Plaisirs)

So no extermination needed ;) You can find more information (in French) on how to recognize these species on the Natural History Museum website.



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