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Bald-Faced Hornets

What Do Bald-Faced Hornets Look Like?

image of a bald-faced hornet

Bald-faced hornets are common throughout New England. Despite its name, this insect is actually a member of the yellow jacket family. This pest is almost entirely black, with white markings along the thorax, legs, and abdomen. The bald-faced hornet can grow three-quarters to a full inch in length, with the queens landing on the larger side.

How Can I Tell if I Have a Bald-Faced Hornet Problem?

While a single, stray wasp may not be cause for concern, if you notice several of them around your home or business, there may be a bigger problem. Some of the warning signs that you have a bald-faced hornet infestation include:

  • Nests – Bald-faced hornets build grayish-brown nests similar in shape to a football. You might see them attached to buildings, tree limbs, or shrubs.
  • Stinging – These insects become very aggressive if they feel threatened. A bald-faced hornet can sting multiple times.
  • Noises – Because they occasionally live near houses and other human structures, you may be able to hear them buzzing if you’re close enough.

How Do Bald-Faced Hornets Get Inside Homes and Businesses?

A bald-faced hornet may come in through an open door or window. Flowers also attract these pests in the late summer when they’re looking for nectar, so gardeners may bring one inside on their clothing. Queens looking to overwinter during the cold season can sometimes seek shelter in attics and inside walls.

Businesses may also have problems with bald-faced hornets. Florists and greenhouse workers might encounter these pests while they search for food. Areas with landscaping that includes trees and shrubberies, such as apartment buildings and parks, are more likely to have bald-faced hornet nests on the property.

Are Bald-Faced Hornets Dangerous?

These pests can become aggressive if a person or pet gets too close to a nest. A bald-faced hornet has a sharp, painful sting that can cause swelling in the affected area. This can be especially dangerous for those with an allergy to their venom since they can sting repeatedly.

Since they feed on fruits and other sugary foods, bald-faced hornets can disrupt outdoor markets and restaurants. There is also an increased risk for employees who work outside, like landscapers or utility workers. Nests near the entrance of shops could scare off customers, leading to a loss in sales.

How Can I Prevent Bald-Faced Hornet Infestations?

Keep windows and doors closed or screened during the warmer months to stop these pests from coming in. Make sure garbage bins have tight-fitting lids and clean up any dropped fruit from your yard to remove potential food sources. If you find a bald-faced hornet nest, keep a safe distance and call the experts at Waltham Pest Services for assistance.

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