Confusingly, bald face hornets are not actually hornets. They are called “hornets” due to their larger size but are actually classified as wasps. Even so, the name endures!
What Do Bald-Faced Hornets Look Like?
Easily confused with other types of bees or wasps, hornets specific characteristics to help identify them from other wasp and hornet varieties.
Worker hornets are usually 1/2″ to 5/8″ with queens getting up to 1″.
Black bodies with white markings on tip of the abdomen and faces.
Long, wasp-like body shape with 6 legs.
Front wings that fold length-wise when at rest.
Behaviors Of Bald Faced Hornets
Baldfaced hornets are an aggressive species. They are protective of their nests and don’t hesitate to sting if they feel they or their nest are threatened. Their smooth stinger allows them to sting more than once without harming themselves. They will also attack in large numbers when disturbed.
Aerial nests are typically found under house eaves, on building sides, utility poles, and in trees. These paper nests can grow quite large, housing anywhere from several hundred hornets to several thousand.
Adults are carnivorous and are seen as beneficial as they prey on nuisance insects to feed their larvae. Adults feed on sugary liquids such as juices and nectars.
Bald-faced hornet colonies do not survive one season to the next. Only impregnated queens will hibernate with the remaining colony dying out.
Overwintered, fertilized queens select a location for the new nest in the spring. Collecting wood fiber, she chews it up, adds her saliva, and uses this paste material to construct a papery nest. Laying the first batch of eggs, this group will become works and expand the nest. In late summer and early fall, activity becomes more aggressive as the hornets heighten their search for food to meet the demand for increased sugar by the overwintering queens. The queen also lays eggs that become drones and future queens. These fertile males and females mate with fertilized queens overwintering to start the process anew.
If you see a bald-faced hornet nest, call a licensed pest control company immediately. While they can help with nuisance pest population control, they are dangerous and can be difficult to remove safely.
About Willard’s Pest Control
Willard’s Pest Control Company, established in 1987 as a one-person family operation. Today, 32 years later, we are a growing family-run exterminator company employing 30+ people for our pest control services. We specialize in all types of pest treatment services, including bed bugs, ants, cockroaches, and more.
We believe in providing safe, honest work to the Seattle community people and are actively involved in the Washington State Pest Management Association. Through this association, we work to promote professionalism and safety within the extermination industry.