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Bald Faced Hornets

08/15/2016

The name bald-faced hornet is not really an accurate name for these pests. They are actually aerial yellow jackets. There are 7 to 8 species of this type of wasp in North America. There is only 1 true hornet in North America the European Hornet. The European hornet was reported in New York State as early as 1840.

Bald faced hornets can be found almost anywhere New York, you can find them New York City, Queens, Brooklyn the Bronx and on Long Island as well.

Description

A bald-faced hornet is mainly black and has ivory and white markings on their face. The abdomen, legs and thorax are mainly black with white markings as well. They are about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch long. The queen is the largest member of the colony.

Life History and Behavior

The queen Bald Faced Hornet can overwinter in many various locations including inside of our homes, in attics, wall voids and in other voids in our buildings garages and sheds. Most of the time they choose protected areas in tree hollows, under the bark, below rock piles and other protected areas as well. The nests are usually located as low as 3 feet off the ground and can be found very high as well. It is not common to see these nest along the top of a tree after it shed its leaves. A very common spot is underneath eaves of a house, garage or shed.

The most active time for Bald Faced Hornets are in the spring and summer months. Their diet during this time of the consist mainly of proteins. They feed upon flies, other yellow jackets and many other type of insects as well. When the nests mature and there are not as many larvae to feed they switch their diet to carbohydrates getting most of the nutrition from nectar and other forms of carbohydrates. The colony will die with the exception of the newly fertilized queens that will overwinter and start a new colony the following year.

Management

Magic Pest Management LLC offers control of these pests. We will control them in many different ways depending on the location of the nests. They are considered a beneficial insect that reduces the populations of undesirable insects, including other yellow jackets. They are also pollinators of flowers as well when they are searching for nectar. If you see a nest near you it is best to keep some distance and call us. If they are 60 feet up in the air you should be safe. Just don't do anything to disturb a nest; they will not be happy if you do. They do have stingers and you do not want to feel it.