What you need to know about bald-faced hornets

August 3, 2021

The bald-faced hornet is part of the yellow jacket family and is named for its black color and white face. Often called the white-faced hornet, this insect packs a punch with its stinging capability. 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 is a bald-faced hornet?

This insect should be avoided at all costs. The bald-faced hornet is carnivorous! They feed upon other insects and spiders. You may find them around fruit trees and flower beds. Thanks to the professionals at Penn State New Kensington for this perfect description of the bald-faced or white-faced hornet:

The bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) is a large, black, and white-colored, social wasp that is found throughout North America. It is not a true “hornet” because that term is specifically used to describe wasp species in the genus Vespa, but, instead, it is a member of the “yellowjacket” group (in spite of its very un-yellowjacket-like colorations!). The bald-faced hornet has many other common names including the “white-faced hornet,” the “white-tailed hornet,” the “bald-faced yellowjacket,” the “blackjacket,” and the “bull wasp.”

The bald-faced hornet ranges in length from three quarters of an inch to just over an inch. Queens are in the larger portion of the size range, and Workers are in the shorter section of the size range. The bald-faced hornet has a black, relatively hairless body with white patches on its face and thorax and three distinctive white stripes around the end of its abdomen.

Are bald-faced hornets aggressive?

Horents removal in Schenectady NY

White faced hornets nest

Yes, they are very aggressive. According to pestworld.org., Bald-faced hornets are aggressive and will attack anyone or anything that invades their space, unlike other stinging insects that may only rarely sting when they feel extremely threatened. This makes bald-faced hornet removal, which should be left to a professional for safety, somewhat difficult. These hornets have smooth stingers, so they can sting over and over again, whereas other stinging insects, like honeybees, are only able to attack once before their stinger falls off.

How can I protect myself and my family from bald-faced hornet stings?

The winters are very long here in New York that we long for the hot summer days of sitting on our decks or by our pools with a drink or snack. But unfortunately, bald-faced hornets are attracted to our food and sugary snacks, so please keep them covered.

Protect your family and avoid wearing strong fragrances that might attract the hornets. Always be mindful of your surroundings and do not become aggressive towards these hornets. They will attack you.

Hornet stings dispense a very painful venom, itches, and can swell for about 24 hours. A serious risk of allergic reactions from bald-faced hornet stings, as with other insect stings, exists, so seek immediate medical attention if you an unsure if you are having a reaction.

What do I do if I have a nest of infestation of bald-faced hornets?

These hornets will appear and can be aggressive towards homeowners actively working in their yards. They are especially attuned to sound and vibration and therefore dislike the lawnmower! Be mindful of activity and look for their huge nests. These nests can be upwards of a foot and a half wide and hold close to 350 worker bees. The nests are usually located in high places like trees and soffits or under sheds, shrubs, and overgrown bushes.

As a side note, the bald-faced or white-faced hornets are particularly fond of bees, honey bees to be exact. Who knew they had such a sweet tooth?

Is it safe for me to remove a bald-faced hornet’s nest?

Hornet pest control near me

Like most aggressive pests and nuisance wildlife, 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 the nest’s residents were sound asleep!

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– whether underground, aerial, or inside walls or hidden spaces, we will carefully treat and remove the nests and colony.
  • 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

We want to keep you and your family safe.

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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