The most common hornet species is the bald-faced hornet (D. maculata), which is stout-bodied and marked with dark and white striping. Stings from hornets usually occur when nests are disturbed.
Yellow jackets (Vespula spp.) are banded yellow or orange and black and sometimes are mistaken for honeybees, but they lack the hairy body and are more intensely colored. A somewhat blunter, more compact body form distinguishes yellow jackets from the European paper wasp. Schools often find yellow jackets scavenging around dumpsters and trash containers.