Did you know…despite their name, bald faced hornets, which are commonly seen on Long Island each summer, aren’t hornets at all?! They’re actually relatives of yellow jackets and other wasps!
Here’s everything you need to know about this common stinging pest you may find in your yard this summer.
What Do Bald Faced Hornets Look Like?
Bald faced hornets are one of the largest species of stinging insects we deal with on Long Island. As mentioned, they may have “hornet” in their name, but these pests are actually much more closely related to yellow jackets and paper wasps. Worker bald faced hornets grow to be anywhere from ½ inch to ⅝ inch long; this size is even larger for queen bald faced hornets, which can grow to be as large as ¾ inch in length. Bald faced hornets have thin bodies like wasps which are black with an off-white pattern on their faces, which is the reason why they are referred to as “bald faced.”
Where Do Bald Faced Hornets Live?
It’s likely you may encounter bald faced hornets in your own yard this summer. Typically they’ll build paper nests that are three or more feet off of the ground, inside trees, bushes, houses, sheds, or other structures. These nests can be over a foot in diameter and more than 2 feet in length.
You’re most likely to see bald faced hornets during the daytime during the late summer season when population numbers are at their highest.
Are Bald Faced Hornets Dangerous?
If you have a bald faced hornet nest in or around your Long Island home, proceed with great caution. Like many stinging insects on Long Island, bald faced hornets are aggressive and most likely to attack if they feel threatened. Because of this, removing bald faced hornets’ nests can be very difficult; if humans get within a few feet of these nests, it’s a major risk for being stung!
While some stinging insects like honeybees are only able to sting once before their stinger falls off, bald faced hornets are capable of repeatedly stinging their victims. Not only that, but bald faced hornet stings contain venom which causes the affected stung area to be painful, itchy, and swollen for around 24 hours; in extreme cases, the venom from bald faced hornets’ stings can cause life-threatening allergic reactions.
How to Get Rid of Bald Faced Hornets
Because of their aggression, it’s never recommended that you try to remove or relocate a bald faced hornet nest on your own. Attempting to remove the nest on your own may aggravate the colony and provoke the hornets to sting.
If you notice a nest on your Long Island property, seek professional help from Suburban Exterminating as soon as possible to protect you, your family, and your pets from potential stings and/or the serious allergic reactions that could result.
For help removing a bald faced hornet nest from your property (or any other summer pest!) call Suburban Exterminating at (631/516) 864-6900. Our licensed team of professionals is trained in safely and completely removing stinging pests’ nests from Long Island yards.