Workers are predators on a variety of large insects such as grasshoppers and other orthopterans, flies, yellow jackets, and honey bees. Workers will girdle twigs and branches of numerous shrubs and trees, including birch, ash, dogwood, rhododendron, boxwood, lilac, and horse chestnut. This girdling is done to feed on the sap, but it can result in the death of the plant.
Not an important vector of human disease.
This species will sting in response to being stepped on or grabbed, but generally avoid conflict. They are also defensive of their hive and can be aggressive around food sources. Care should be taken when encountered in these circumstances as they may sting without warning. The pain from the sting may persist for several days with attendant swelling. Victims may wish to seek medical attention in case of allergic reaction.