Activity of bald faced hornets are ramping up this time of year, are you ready? A Five Star Termite & Pest Control wants to help you learn more about bald face hornets to better help you prepare for this aggressive pest this spring.
Bald Faced Hornet Size & Color
Bald Face Hornets are found all over North America and Canada. Bald Face Hornets are mostly black in color, with a white face and three white stripes at the end of its body. Their white face is what gives them the nickname of the Bald Face Hornet. They grow up to 3/4 inch in length. The queens are larger in size with the same coloring, although sometimes this is not the case. Some researchers have taken note that some of the worker hornets can get to the same size as the queen. However the workers have hair on their bodies and queens do not.
How Many Bald-Faced Hornets are in a Nest?
The worker wasps build a paper nest. Bald faced hornet nests are egg-shaped and can reach 14 inches in diameter and 23 inches in length. Each colony can have anywhere between 100 and 700 workers. Workers are very aggressive, making a fully developed nest very intimidating to remove. You will commonly find their nest in trees, bushes, rocks and overhanging ledges of buildings. Each colony will have male and female workers. Most of the females are born sterile. But for those females who are born fertile, they will leave the nest and start their own colony. After the fertile queens are born they will stay will the colony until fully matured. About the end of fall, the new queens are full grown. They will mate and will find a place to hibernate through the winter. The old colony will either die from the cold temperatures of winter or of old age. At the start of spring the new queen will come out of hibernation and begin her search for a place to build the first stage of her nest. The queen’s first set of eggs will establish the first generation of workers. By the end of summer, the nest will reach full size and repeat the life cycle of the bald faced hornet.
How Do You Deter Hornets from Building Nests?
Bald faced hornets can cause problems for many people; especially those allergic to the sting or the young and elderly. Controlling bald faced hornets should begin with the first of every spring. At this time, keep an eye out for any signs that a queen is starting to build her nest. If she starts to build her nest in an undesirable area remove it before she begins to lay her eggs. You may have to remove her nest several times but eventually she will look for a better place. Discouraging is the first step you can take to keep bald faced hornets away.
Should You Remove a Bald-Faced Hornet Nest?
If you come across a fully developed nest at the end of the season, you must be extremely careful. Bald faced hornets will attack anything that comes within three feet of their nest. Unlike bees, hornets can sting you multiple times without dying. While we certainly don’t recommend it, if you want to try a commercial grade pesticide, do not attempt to spray the nest during the day. Hornets are most active in the day time. Wait until dusk or when it’s dark to apply the spray. It is likely the nest and hornets will persist even after you have sprayed the pesticide. In any case, you will most likely need to contact a pest control company. We will spray the nest effectively and remove it for you safely.
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Bald faced hornets and people do not live together well. However the bald faced hornet is a predatory insect that feed on other bug so they do play a vital role in the ecosystem. Nonetheless, due to their aggressive nature, the bald face hornet needs to be removed away from people. A Five Star Termite & Pest Control gets a lot of calls regarding bald face hornets this time of year. Be cautious if you see them on your property and call us right away.