The white face hornet gets its name from its black color and the white pattern on most its face. Bald faced hornets are found in all the states in North America. They are relatives of the yellow jacket.
White faced hornets have two lines running from the middle of their abdomen towards the head at a slanting angle. There’s a white pattern on the rear half of the abdomen too. When viewed from the side their upper midsection surface looks triangular. In the nest there is a clear caste. The queen is at the top followed by the male wasp and finally the workers. The white faced hornet queen is larger than the hornet workers. They chew up wood, mix it with saliva and use it to build their nests which are paper like and grey. Their nests are fully covered unlike their relatives the yellow jacket nests which has an open cone structure.
The white face hornets can be aggressive when disturbed. When threatened they will sting multiple times injecting venom every time. This venom makes the sting hurt, swell and itch for a whole day. They can cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to wasp venom.
White faced hornets construct their nests off the ground, in trees, utility poles, sheds, on overhangs, and houses which can be more than 25 inches in length with diameter of 15 inches. Bald faced hornets show up at the tail end of summer. Males hatch from unfertilized eggs and mate with the new females making sure there will be a new generation next year. All the members of the nest die when the weather cools and winter rolls in leaving only the pregnant females surviving. White faced hornets build nests anew every season from new material. They don’t recycle their nests each season unlike other insects.
With the presence of their huge nests which are built above ground and worker bald faced hornets buzzing around the nest and flying in the nearby areas infestation of the bald faced hornets would be hard to miss. The nest houses about four hundred bald faced hornets.
To avoid getting stung, keeping food covered and especially sweet fruit or sugary juices when outdoors will keep these hornets from finding anything to attract them. Use mild fragrances and unscented soap when going for excursions because hornets are attracted to strong scents and might mistake you for a flower. Also you may dress in neutral colored clothes like grey, khaki and white to avoid hornets landing on you and wear shoes that cover your feet for additional protection from stings. Any cracks and gaps in the home should be sealed to make sure bald faced hornets stay where they belong, outside your home.
Getting rid of bald faced hornets
Buy an insecticide that is in aerosol form and clearly labeled for hornets and wasps. It should have a enough pressure to shoot a stream reaching at least 5 meters so you don’t get too close to the nest. Treat the nest very early in the morning when the hornets are lethargic.
To avoid getting stung it is best to call a pest control professional to get rid of the white faced hornets.