Bald-faced Hornets In Albany◀ Back To Blog
August 4, 2015
Summer is in full swing and that means stinging insects are active and becoming an increasing pest problem here in Albany and throughout the Capital District. Of the many stinging pests, the bald-faced hornet is the one we encounter most frequently and, believe it or not, the bald-faced hornet is actually a type of yellow jacket, which is actually type of wasp. Did you follow that?
So why are bald-faced hornets that are actually wasps called hornets? Great question. It’s because the bald-faced hornet has very similar habits and features of true hornet. Confused yet? Don’t be, the professionals at Thomas Pest Services are here to explain just what a hornet is, what their behaviors are, how they sting, and why they can become problematic on your property!
A fun fact about hornets is that there are actually only 20 species found worldwide and only one species of “true” hornet found in the U.S., the European hornet. The bald-faced hornet while not a “true” hornet species is the one most often found in Albany. The bald-faced hornet gets its name from the ivory-white markings that are found on their face, their body and head are black in color. Bald-faced hornets like other “true” hornets are large in size, growing to be about 1 inch in length.
Bald-faced hornets like other hornets build their paper nests up off of the ground. They create their nests out of a mixture of saliva and shreds of wood that they collect; their nests are usually circular and are comparable to the size of a football or basketball. The nests are generally built in trees, but can also be found behind wall voids, in attic spaces, underneath of porches or decks, and underneath roof eaves. The bald-faced hornet colony is usually at its peak in the late summer and can have 100-400 members living in it. Bald-faced hornets do not re-use the same nest year after year, each spring a new nest is started by a queen that has emerged from her overwintering hiding spot.
Bald-faced hornets do pollinate flowers and crops as they search for nectar, but even more important is that they prey on and reduce the populations of nuisance insects. So while they are environmentally important if a bald-faced hornet nest is built on, in, or near your home they can be a danger to you and your family and should be professionally removed.
Bald-faced hornets are an aggressive species and will not think twice about defending their nest from a perceived threat. They have a smooth stinger, which gives them the ability to inflict their painful stings over and over again. The venom from a bald-faced hornet like other stinging insects has the potential to cause a life-threatening allergic reaction in some people. Because of this, removal of a hornet nest should never be attempted on your own, only a professional who has the skill, experience, and proper equipment should remove a hornet nest from your property.
When you call the pest control professionals at Thomas Pest Services this summer and fall we will safely remove the hornet nest(s) from your property. In fact we have a few options when it comes to hornet control. Contact us to learn more about these pests and how we can help.