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Bald-faced Hornets

Dolichovespula maculata

Actual Size: 1-1.5 inches

Characteristics: Large and black in color, they are also known as “black jackets”, due to the similarity with yellow jackets.

Behavior:

  • Bald faced hornets are considered dangerous, due to their size and the quality of their sting.
  • A bald faced hornet nest will typically be found in a tree or shrub, especially rhododendron bushes.
  • Nests have a classic oval shape, and they are made of paper.
  • By the time a nest is discovered, it can be the size of a basketball, with 60-100 hornets residing inside.

 

Category:

Pest Description

Bald Faced Hornet Behavior

Baldfaced hornets are omnivorous, considered by many to be beneficial as they eat harmful insects, but they are still considered dangerous. Not as aggressive as yellow jackets, bald faced hornets are large, easily provoked, and have an intense sting. They prefer to nest in trees or shrubs. Bald faced hornets create paper nests, made out of their saliva and chewed material, and these nests are generally oval shaped. By the time most nests are discovered, they are the size of a basketball, with an entry/exit hole at the bottom of the structure. There are usually between 60 to 100 hornets in a single nest.

Bald faced hornets defend their nests fiercely, and have the ability to sting multiple times. The bald faced hornet has a unique defense in its venom, which it can squirt into the eyes of any threatening vertebrate, blinding the nest intruder for several minutes.

Problems Caused by Bald Faced Hornets

Although they are considered beneficial insects because they pollinate and predate on other harmful insects, bald faced hornets can still be a serious problem for humans and animals. The stings are very painful, and people who are allergic to the bald faced hornet sting need to take special precautions to avoid being stung. If you are allergic or sensitive to stings in general, it’s always best to call a professional when a nest of bald faced hornets is discovered.

Preventing, Controlling, and Eliminating Bold Faced Hornets

Routine inspection of outdoor areas can be vital in preventing a bald faced hornet infestation. Garbage areas should be properly controlled, with all containers tightly sealed. Elimination of any fruit juice, rotting food, or other acceptable food sources for these hornets should be completed as well.

If there is an existing nest near a human-inhabited area, do not attempt to remove it. Bald faced hornets are notorious for viciously attacking any perceived threat to their hive. Because they can sting repeatedly, they pose much more of a danger than a simple honey bee. Calling a pest control professional is critical, as they have the necessary training to remove the nest safely. At Pest Control Inc., our comprehensive stinging insect service always includes inspection, treatment, and followup, and we will work with you to ensure the bald faced hornet infestation is permanently resolved.