The Dangers of the Bald-Faced Hornet

August 22, 2022

The bald-faced hornet, often called the white-faced hornet, isn’t actually a hornet. It gets its name from its black color and mostly white face. It is commonly referred to as a hornet because of its large size and aggressive nature. These hornets are plentiful in late summer, and the males look to impregnate new females for the upcoming season. You will find these hornets around your home this month.

What does a bald-faced hornet look like?

Bald-faced hornets greatly resemble their yellowjacket relatives, with black bodies and a predominantly white-patterned face. They also have two slanted lines running from their midsection towards their head and on the latter part of their abdomen. Like yellowjackets and paper wasps, the surface of their upper-midsection almost looks triangular from the side.

Queen bald-faced hornets are larger in size than their adult-worker counterparts. Their aerial nests are grey and paper-like, but they are enclosed, unlike the open cone structure of other stinging hornets and insects, like yellowjackets and paper wasps. (

How dangerous are bald-faced hornets?

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Bald-faced Hornet on a Leaf

The bald-faced or white-faced hornet is highly aggressive. They will attack anyone close to the nest, let alone touch it.  This makes it dangerous for pets and children who may be unaware there is a nest exposing themselves to the danger. A nest can house hundreds of hornets, and they will swarm and attack if a threat is perceived.

In comparison to yellow jackets, hornet stingers are smooth and without a barb, so they can sting and withdraw the stinger from a human/victim without any damage to the stinger. Therefore, the bald-faced hornet can repeatedly sting, injecting the victim with a substantial amount of venom.

What happens if I get stung?

Their stings are excruciating, and you may require medical attention. In most cases, ice and acetaminophen or ibuprofen can lessen the pain. In some cases, an allergic reaction may occur, and should you experience shortness of breath, tightness in your chest, dizziness/lightheadedness, or fainting, please dial 911 immediately.

How do I know if I have an infestation?

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A large hornets nest hanging from a tree branch

The good news is that the nest is the clear sign of an infestation, even if it is the beginning of one. The nests are suspended in trees, eves, or any suspended place on your property. The worker bees are active around the nest and clearly visible.

How do I get rid of bald-faced hornets? suggests, Homeowners should seal up any tiny openings like cracks where bald-faced hornets would be able to enter when seeking shelter. Keeping food covered, especially when outdoors, will also help keep these insects at bay. People should avoid wearing strong fragrances when spending time outside and opt for unscented hygienic products. Likewise, they should wear shoes that cover and protect their feet from rogue hornets.

DO NOT attempt to remove the nest. It is always best to use a professional pest control service. The bald-faced or white-faced hornet’s nest can be as large as a basketball, and with over 400 residents, you do not want to tackle that project without experience and personal protection.

Our technicians are trained in safe hive and nest removal methods, causing no harm to the homeowner. Funny thing: these aggressive pests are active during the day and sleep at night. It would not be unheard of for the nest to be removed when its residents were sound asleep!

Contact us for professional bald-faced hornet removal.

Our process is quite simple. Accurate Pest Control delivers:

  • Detailed inspection- Our trained technicians will inspect the property for nests and determine the best cause of action for treatment.
  • Treatment and removal- We will carefully treat and remove the nests and colony, whether underground, aerial, inside walls, or in hidden spaces.
  • Ongoing Monitoring- Let’s discuss our treatment plans and find the one best suited for your needs. Bald-faced or white-faced hornets’ treatment can be combined with other pest control services such as carpenter ants, ticks, termites, etc.

Keep your pets, family, and home safe as summer turns into fall.  We are here to help.

Contact us today for a home or business inspection, and again, please do not attempt to remove a nest on your own.

Serving: Albany County, Columbia County, Fulton County, Green County, Montgomery County, Rensselaer County, Saratoga County, Schenectady County, Warren County, Washington County.

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