Bald-faced hornets don't get as much attention as yellow jackets or bees, but they can still cause a lot of problems for American homeowners. Here are five things you need to know about them.
What do bald-faced hornets look like?
Bald-faced hornets are mostly black, but they have white markings on their faces and on the very ends of their abdomens, near their stingers. They're also known as "white-faced hornets" due to their coloring. They're fairly large; the average length of an adult worker is 0.75 inches.
Are they found throughout the United States?
Bald-faced hornets are found throughout the United States, but they're more common in some regions than in others. For example, you're more likely to encounter them in the southeastern states. Within their range, you may see them building grey nests that look like they're made out of paper. These nests can be seen hanging from tree branches, eaves of houses, or other structures that are high above the ground.
Do they infest houses?
A bald-faced hornet nest is bad enough when it's hanging from a tree branch in your backyard, but it's also possible for them to build the nest inside your house. They will choose places that are high above the ground and easy to get to, like the roof of your garage or your attic. You can avoid this by sealing up gaps in your home's exterior that could allow them to get inside. Keep your garage door closed as much as possible and fill gaps and cracks in your home's walls and roof with caulk or metal mesh.
Do they sting?
Bald-faced hornets are very defensive of their nest, so if you get too close, they will sting you. Most stings happen when people disturb the nests; hornets don't go out of their way to sting people. They have smooth stingers, so a single hornet can sting you many times. This is especially dangerous if you're allergic to the venom.
How can you kill them?
You can kill the hornets by spraying insecticides directly into the opening of their nest. This should be done in the evening when the hornets are less active. Avoid spraying the outside of the nest from a distance; this will just annoy the hornets. Attempting non-pesticide solutions like trying to knock down the nest with a broom is also a very bad idea.
Bald-faced hornets are a nuisance, but you can get rid of them with insecticides. If you're allergic to hornet stings or don't want to risk getting stung, hire a pest control company to deal with the nest for you.
For more information, contact Associated Victoria Pest Control heat treatment or a similar company.
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