A relative of the yellowjacket is a bald-faced hornet. The bald-faced hornet gets its common name from its largely black color and mostly white face. Because of its large size and aerial nest, this stinging insect is named a hornet.
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.
Black body with a white pattern on most of the face
1/2 – 5/8″ (12-15mm); queen 3/4″ (18-20mm)
Found throughout the U.S.
How many times can this hornet sting?
These hornets attack on impulse, so if you get closer than three feet of their nest, you could get attacked and stung. Bald-faced hornets have a smooth stinger, and hence unlike the bees, they can sting more than once and in some cases repeatedly injecting a venomous liquid under the skin of the victim. Bald-faced hornet stings with venom that stings itch, hurt, and swell for about 24 hours.
These Queen hornets are larger 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.
Signs of an Infestation
An infestation is visible with the presence of a nest, which would be suspended above the ground. There will also be worker bald-faced hornets flying around the nest and nearby area if there is an infestation.
Avoiding contact with these insects is key to prevent getting stung. It is recommended to seal up any tiny openings like cracks where the hornets would be able to enter when seeking shelter. Keep your food covered, especially when outdoors. Avoid wearing strong fragrances when spending time outside.
How to Get Rid of Bald-Faced Hornets
If you locate this type of hornet or a nest at your home or on your property, do not attempt to remove it on your own as this can aggravate the colony and cause the hornets to sting. Call a licensed pest control professional regarding hornet removal to avoid the risk of bald-faced hornet stings. A professional will likely examine the nest during the daytime, and then they will remove the nest at night—when the majority of the hornets are in their shelter—to maximize removal.
The Bald-faced hornets nests can be as large as 14 inches in diameter and more than 24 inches in length. They build paper nests three-plus feet off of the ground, usually in shrubs, trees, utility poles, on overhangs, houses, sheds or other structures.
Bald-faced hornets are social insects, although not true hornets, and are most visibly active during the day. These hornets live in colonies that contain between 100 and 400 members at their peak. Bald-faced hornets show up in late summer when populations are the largest. Specifically, males emerge from unfertilized eggs and impregnate the new females for the next season at the end of the summer. The inseminated insects are the only ones that overwinter when the weather cools, while the remaining members of the nest die off, and the process repeats the next spring and summer.
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