Wasps

Bald Faced Hornets

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Bald faced hornets can be intimidating, with their large size and white and black coloring, and their aggressive behavior is worrisome, especially when nests are near human activity or those with allergies. Controlling a bald faced hornet nests is similar to controlling other wasp and yellow jacket nests, but we can show you how to get rid of bald faced hornets using the proper techniques and the right professional products.

See also: Wasp & Hornet Control, Yellow Jacket Control

Bald Faced Hornet Identification and Habits

Bald faced hornets are not actually true hornets, but a type of yellow jacket. They are much larger than other yellow jackets, about ¾” long, and have the distinct white face and black and white stripes that set them apart and is why they are also called white faced hornets.

Bald faced hornet nests resemble yellow jacket nests, which are football or cone shaped, papery, and mostly gray with white and brown bands. The nests are usually in bushes and shrubs at least three feet off the ground, or high in trees. They are also common in protected manmade areas, like under eaves. In the height of the season, bald faced hornet nests can have anywhere from 100 to 400 workers.

Bald Faced Hornet Danger

Bald faced hornets are beneficial insects, although we’d like to think otherwise. They mainly eat other insects, including pests like other yellow jackets, flies, caterpillars, and more. However, these hornets are fairly aggressive, and often sting when people or animals pass by their nest. A bald faced hornet sting is similar to other stinging wasps and yellow jackets, but they have a unique habit of squirting their venom in the eyes of attackers, so precautions must be taken.

Bald Faced Hornet Nest Removal

Since bald faced hornets are both beneficial and dangerous, nests should be left alone unless they are near areas of human activity, on your home or property, in areas close to lawns that are mowed often, or in places that threaten the health and well being of those in the area.

However, you can control bald faced hornets yourself. The best way to control these stinging insects is to treat the nest.

  • Watch active hornets and follow them to locate the nests during the day, keeping your distance. Wait to treat the nest until very late at night or in the very early dawn, when most of the hornets will be back to the nest and activity is low.
  • There are two ways to treat the nest. If the nest poses an immediate threat and you must get rid of it quickly, you can use a wasp spray with a fast knockdown, like Wasp Freeze Aerosol. Find the opening of the nest and spray inside, also targeting any wasps that escape. Choose this method with caution; this method is for emergencies, and makes you vulnerable to a hornet attack if not done with extreme carefulness.
  • The other option to treat a nest, if the nest is not posing immediate risk or threat, is to use a dust. There is less of a risk to the applicator of stings, but it does take longer to eliminate the colony. You will need to use a dust such as Tempo or Delta and a hand duster. Apply the dust liberally directly to the entrance of the nest and move away quickly. Depending on the size of the nest, this method can take a few days to a couple of weeks.
  • A light source should illuminate the nest but not be shining on the person treating the nest, as that can attract the hornets to that person. A second person to hold the light source may be helpful.
  • Wearing personal protective equipment is very important when treating and removing wasp, hornet, and yellow jacket nests. Boots, gloves, hat, eyewear, and thick long clothing should be worn. If you cannot get away from the nest quickly after treatment, consider wearing a fully protective bee suit.
  • Many products are available to control and treat these hornets; aerosols labeled for wasps and hornets work well.
  • After treating, leave the nest alone for a few days to ensure the product has taken full effect and all the bald faced hornets have left the nest. Place the nest in a sealed plastic bag and throw away or submerge nest in water to ensure all wasps have died. If these methods are not practical, treat the nest with a residual product like Temprid every two weeks until all immature wasps have been killed.

Bald Faced Hornets Nest:

Bald Faced Hornet Up Close:


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