Bald-faced hornet: A black and white wasp with a powerful sting

    Bald-faced hornet: A black and white wasp with a powerful sting

    The bald-faced hornet is a species of wasp that belongs to the yellowjacket family. It has a distinctive black and white pattern on its face, body, and abdomen, which gives it its common name. Despite being called a hornet, it is not a true hornet, but a type of yellowjacket that builds large paper nests.

    The bald-faced hornet is found throughout the United States and southern Canada, but is most common in the southeastern U.S. It is an omnivorous insect that feeds on nectar, fruits, insects, spiders, and carrion. It is also a predator of other wasps and bees, and can raid their nests for larvae and honey.

    The bald-faced hornet is a social insect that lives in colonies of up to 700 workers and one queen. The workers are sterile females that defend the nest, forage for food, and care for the young. The queen is the only fertile female that lays eggs and controls the colony. The males are produced from unfertilized eggs and only appear in late summer to mate with new queens.

    The nest of the bald-faced hornet is a gray paper structure that hangs from trees, shrubs, buildings, or other supports. The nest is made of chewed wood fibers mixed with saliva, and consists of several layers of hexagonal cells covered by a paper envelope. The nest can reach up to 23 inches in length and 14 inches in diameter. The nest is abandoned in winter and only new queens survive to start new colonies in spring.

    The bald-faced hornet is an aggressive insect that will attack anyone or anything that invades its space. It can sting multiple times and inject a venom that causes pain, swelling, redness, and itching. In some cases, the sting can cause an allergic reaction that may require medical attention. The best way to avoid being stung by a bald-faced hornet is to keep away from its nest and not to provoke it.

    The bald-faced hornet is a beneficial insect that helps control pest populations and pollinate plants. However, it can also be a nuisance and a threat to humans and pets when it builds its nest near human activity or when it competes for food sources. If you find a bald-faced hornet nest on your property, do not attempt to remove it yourself as this can be dangerous. Contact a licensed pest control professional who can safely remove the nest and prevent future infestations.

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    How to identify a bald-faced hornet

    The bald-faced hornet is easy to recognize by its black and white coloration. It has a white or “bald-faced” head, with two large black eyes and a pair of black antennae. It also has three white stripes at the end of its abdomen and two white spots on its thorax. The rest of its body is black, except for some yellow markings on its legs. The bald-faced hornet is about 3/4 inch long, with a slender waist and a pointed abdomen. The queen is slightly larger than the workers and males.

    The bald-faced hornet can be confused with other black and white wasps, such as the paper wasp and the European hornet. However, the paper wasp has a longer and narrower abdomen, and the European hornet has a yellow head and a reddish-brown thorax. The bald-faced hornet also differs from other yellowjackets by its larger size and more aggressive behavior.

    How to prevent bald-faced hornet problems

    How to identify a bald-faced hornet

    The best way to prevent bald-faced hornet problems is to avoid attracting them to your property. Here are some tips to follow:

    • Keep your garbage cans tightly sealed and dispose of trash regularly.
    • Clean up any spilled food or drinks, especially sugary ones, from your outdoor areas.
    • Do not leave pet food or bird feeders outside.
    • Cover any openings or cracks in your walls, roof, or foundation that could provide access to your attic or crawl space.
    • Trim any branches or vegetation that could touch your house or provide shelter for the wasps.
    • Wear light-colored clothing and avoid wearing strong perfumes or scents when outdoors.
    • Do not swat at or disturb the wasps if you encounter them.

    If you notice a bald-faced hornet nest on your property, do not approach it or try to remove it yourself. Contact a licensed pest control professional who can safely eliminate the nest and advise you on how to prevent future infestations.

    Hi, I’m Adam Smith

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