The black and white wasp is often considered by most people to be a hornet. That thought is supported by the numerous colloquial names given to this wasp which include, white face hornet, black faced hornet, spruce wasp, bald faced hornet and so forth. While its many names may suggest that it is a hornet, it is more a wasp than a true hornet.
A wasps such as the bald face wasp’s anatomy will assume a triangular shape in the midsection when observed from the side. While the profile view of a hornet will show that it has a stooped posture. The entire body of a bald faced hornet has black and white patterns similar to those found in a yellow jacket wasp. Perhaps that is not at all surprising as they are of the same species. The bald head can be predominantly white or black which help explains some it the above names associated with this wasp.
Bald faced wasp habits
This wasp is a social insect and commonly active during the day. They build a grey colored paper carton nest above ground at a height of three feet or more from the ground. For that reason their nest are easily visible. The bald faced wasp will commonly build their nests on shrubs, trees, sheds and houses. Their colonies will have anywhere from 100 to 400 wasps at the peak of their season in summer.
The black and white wasp is an aggressive insect and will not hesitate to show its aggression should an intruder approach their space. While most other stinging wasps may not attack until they feel that there is a threat to their hive, the bald faced workers guarding the wasp will feel free to attack any person wondering into their space.
Interestingly, only the impregnated bald wasps will overwinter to start a new colony once the cold season is over. The rest of the colony will die off during winter. The surviving wasps do not reuse their old nest from the previous season and will go on ahead to build a brand new nest as soon as winter is over. Their nest size will often measure between 14 inches and 28 inches.
Black and white wasp sting
Unlike most other stinging insects such as bees who sting once and die, the bald face wasp has a smooth stinger. This means it has the ability to sting again and again.
The sting is painful causing swelling for a period of about 24 hours. Ordinarily, one does not need to go to a hospital because of a wasp sting.
Symptoms include the following:
- Pain and burning
It is important to note that persons who are allergic to wasp stings can be severely affected. This can lead to an anaphylactic shock. In such cases, one should be rushed to a medical center.
How to get rid of bald faced wasps
Given their aggressive nature and stinging capability, it would be ill advised to try and remove the nest yourself. Avoid disturbing a whole colony of black and white wasps and getting stung by them. It is best to get in touch with your local pest control officer for assistance.