At first sight, the hornet’s large paper nest startles most of us, and for good reason. The inhabitants are very defensive of anyone within a few feet of their home and can pack a mighty wallop, stinging repeatedly if provoked. This is especially true for North America’s most common species, the bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculate), which is actually a member of the yellowjacket family.
From a safe distance, baldfaced hornet colonies are amazing feats of nature. They are started new each year (and never reused), growing up to three feet long over a few months. They house up to hundreds individuals that play important roles in the ecosystem, controlling other insect populations and pollinating many flowers and fruit plants.
However, if the nest is attached to your home or close to where you spend time outside, then it should be removed. But HOW it is removed depends on when you notice it.
The queen establishes the small nest in April or May, starting with maybe a dozen combs, each housing an egg that grows to adult within three weeks. The nest grows as she continues to add young queen and worker combs until late summer, followed by stingerless males around September.
If you notice the nest in a dangerous location during the late spring and early summer months, then you may be able to neutralize it yourself with the right store-bought product. But after a certain point, the safest option is to call in the professionals.
This is just one of many examples where members of Freedom Pest Control’s Gold Plan benefit. Our technician will most likely notice it during one of the seasonal inspections of your property, and take action then. But if the customer spies the nest between visits, then our technician will take care of the problem (or any other, for that matter) at no additional charge.Tags: health risks, yellow jackets