Bald Faced Hornet Nest
Now that winter is over, and the warm weather is upon us, everything is waking up, the grass, trees, flowers are in bloom and the pests are coming out in full force. This is the time of year we see a spike in pest activity. While most bugs play a vital role in our eco-system and pose little to no threat to us, there are some we should keep a distance from. The bald-faced hornet is one of those pests that are best left alone. Queen bald faced hornets come out about this time and begin to build their nests. The Queens will hibernate all winter long, then in about May-June she will emerge and begin the work on building her nest. Now these wasps in particular are pretty amazing, the Queen will do most of the work building the nest all by herself! Their “papier mache” like nests are comprised of organic material that the queen will fly from tree to tree gathering with her mandibles then mix them with her saliva and weaves it into honeycomb nest. The queen bald faced hornet will build her nest preferably in a tree, but they can also be found in tall, unmowed grass or places hospitable to their needs. These nests can host about 100-400 individuals at a time and can grow to be bigger than a basketball!
Bald Faced Hornet Identification
The bald faced hornet is indigenous to North America. They can be found as far North as Canada or as far South as California, but they won't be found anywhere other than here. The bald faced hornet is not a hornet despite its name, it's actually a wasp and not at all related to the European hornet. Adult workers and soldiers measure about ½ inch to 5/8 inch in length while Queens can get to about ¾ inch in length, making them the biggest wasp species found in North America today! They are easily identifiable by their size and coloring. They are black with white patterning on most of their face, abdomen and thorax. Worker and soldier bald faced hornets are infertile females who oversee caring for the queen, hunting for live insects, and protecting the hive. The Queen is the only fertile female in the bunch and will spend her time nestled safely inside laying eggs. Drones are fertile males and pose no threat to humans because of their inability to sting. Females have the ability to deliver a painful, repeated sting and are known to fiercely defend their hive when provoked or if they feel threatened.
Are Bald Faced Hornets Aggressive?
If you find one of these hives on your property, and they happen to be in an area where traffic will likely occur, either by children, pets, adults, or vehicles, it is best to have it removed by a professional at Eagle Pest Services. The bald faced hornet will aggressively defend their nests at all costs and have the ability to sting their victims repeatedly. This can be especially troublesome for those with allergies to their venom. Removal of these hives requires experience, skill, and the proper equipment to avoid life threatening injuries. If you ever encounter a hive, and the workers start to swarm, run as fast as you can and seek shelter immediately. Even in one or two make it in the door behind you, it will be much better than being attacked by a swarm of them at the same time.
Eagle Pest Services is trained in the removal of all type of dangerous pests and recommends that you never attempt to remove a hive of any kind on your own. Contact Eagle Pest Services for wasp removal and other pest control services.