Two common species of hornets living in our area are the bald-faced hornet and the European hornet.
Bald-faced hornets- Adults are black in color and received their name from the off-white colored pattern that covers most of their face and the end of their abdomen. They have a long-thin body and grow to between 1/2 and 5/8 of an inch in length. The queens are larger than the workers and can grow to be about 3/4 of an inch in length.
European hornets- Adults have a brown body with yellow stripes on the abdomen; they have a pale face. They are a very large species of hornet with adults growing to between 3/4 and 1 ½ inches in length. They have a long body that is very robust in appearance.
Are hornets dangerous?
Yes, hornets are considered to be a dangerous pest. They are aggressive and will sting a perceived threat to protect themselves or their nest. Hornets have a smooth stinger which means that they can repeatedly sting their victim over and over again, injecting them with more and more venom. Stings from hornets usually cause swollen, painful, itchy welts and can cause serious allergic reactions in some, that require immediate medical attention. In addition to being dangerous to people, European hornets can cause damage to trees and shrubs; they strip their bark to build their nests with and to gain access to sap to feed on.
Where do hornets nest?
Hornets usually create aerial nests. European hornets tend to create their nests inside of tree cavities, barns and other out buildings, along with inside of chimneys, attics, and wall voids. Bald-faced hornets create their nests in trees, shrubs, on utility poles, overhangs, and on the sides of homes, sheds and other buildings.
How do you get rid of hornets?
Hornets that create their nest out of the way of you and your family should be left alone, hornets are beneficial because they do pollenate a variety of crops and plants, along with hunting for and feeding on a wide range of nuisance insects. However, if hornets have built a nest in, on or near your home and have become a danger to you and your family you should get professional help to remove them from your property as quickly as possible. At Pest Masters our technicians are trained and have the proper equipment to safely remove hornets from your home and property. Request our service today for more information about our hornet control services.
Hornet prevention tips
Preventing hornets from choosing your property to nest on is a difficult task, however there are some things that you can do around you property to help prevent problems with these potentially dangerous pests.
- European hornets are attracted to outside lights; replace white outdoor lightbulbs with less attractive yellow lightbulbs.
- Reduce the amount of flowering and fruit producing vegetation that is planted near your home.
- Fix clogged gutters and leaky fixtures to limit water sources.
- Repair loose or missing roof shingles and holes found along the roof line.
- Make sure that all chimneys have tight fitting caps on them.
- Seal cracks and crevices found in the exterior walls and foundation of your home.