Bald-faced Hornets

What do bald-faced hornets look like?

a bald faced hornet on a plant outside a home in ottawa illinois

Bald-faced hornets get their name from the fact that they are almost completely black except for an off-white color pattern that is found on most of their face and on the end of their abdomens and thoraxes. Workers grow to between 1/2 and 5/8 of an inch in length. The queens are large and can grow up to 3/4 of an inch in length. Their body is long, thin, and wasp-like. Bald-faced hornets are only referred to as hornets because of their large size and because they place their nests high up off the ground; they are actually a relative of yellow jackets and paper wasps.

Where are bald-faced hornets found?

A bald-faced hornet colony only survives for one year. In the fall, fertilized queens find a safe, suitable place to overwinter in while the rest of the colony perishes in the cold weather. In April or May, the overwintering queen emerges and finds a suitable location to build a new nest. They generally choose an aerial location such as in trees, on utilities poles, on the sides of Iowa & Illinois homes, or under roof eaves. Their nest can grow to be more than 14 inches in diameter and 24 inches in length.

What do bald-faced hornets eat?

Bald-faced hornets are considered to be beneficial insects because they are responsible for pollinating some flowers and plants, and they are predatory insects. Bald-faced hornet workers prey upon a large number of nuisance insects in order to bring them back to the colony for the developing larvae to feed on. The adults have a liquid diet and feed on sweet sugary liquids like nectar and juices.

DIY bald-faced hornet prevention and control tips

It is very difficult to prevent bald-faced hornets from building their nests on your property. If they have built their nest high up in a tree or in some other out of the way location, it is probably best to leave the nest alone since they are an environmentally beneficial species. However, if they have built a nest on your home or in a location that poses a risk to you and your family, it is best to contact Quik-Kill Pest Eliminators to come to your property and treat the nest. The venom found in the stinger of a bald-faced hornet is strong enough to cause severe allergic reactions in some people. DIY stinging insect nest removal is dangerous and is never recommended.

Professional bald-faced hornet control

For help removing a hornet nest or resolving a stinging insect problem at your home or business, Quik-Kill Pest Eliminators is ready to help. Our technicians have the training, experience, and equipment necessary to safely and effectively eliminate your bald-faced hornet issue. For more information about our pest control services, please contact us today.

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