Though referred to as hornets, bald faced hornets have more genetically
in common with yellow jackets than any true hornet species.
Bald faced hornets are easy to identify by their white and black
appearance, contrasting the bright yellow and black bodies of yellow
The bald faced hornet name likely derives from the fact their the
insect's entire face has white markings, which give a bald appearance
in contrast to yellow jackets and other wasp species.
Identifying and Removing Bald Faced Hornets Nests
Noted for their paper grey appearance, bald faced hornets nests
differ from the traditional open cone structure of other wasp species.
Rather than an open structure, bald faced nests are fully enclosed
in a paper-like structure, constructed from natural fibers and wasp
Once a nest fitting this description has been visually identified,
an infestation has likely already taken shape in the residence or
Prevention always trumps doing battle with the fierce bald faced
hornet, so homeowners must proceed with caution when dealing with
this highly aggressive species of flying insect.
Due to their defensive nature, bald faced hornets will be on high
alert to anything appearing to interfere with their nest, including
If a homeowner insists on removing the nest, here are the best
measures to take in order to ensure safe removal
Due to the vulnerability of the colony, the best time to destroy
a bald faced hornets nest comes during the spring months
In the springtime, the only threat will be the bald faced hornet
queen, so the prospects of injury will be much lower than during
the sprawling summer months, when a full colony will be at her dispense.
Because of the aggressive tendencies of bald faced hornets, we
recommend professional assistance during the mid to late summer
months when 300+ worker hornets will be active within the nest,
opening the possibility to several stings.
The next opportunity to remove the nest comes during the onset
of fall, when the life cycle of hornets begins to end.
When taking the task of nest removal into your own hands, always
follow these important tips:
- Keep a safe distance when spraying insecticides.
- Sprays should be used when the air thickens during early morning
- Leather or other thicker materials are the best clothing option
for nest removal.
- Avoid bright shades of clothing, as this will attract aggression
- Make sure to dress in tight clothes that do not allow hornets
through loose ends.
Conversely, when conducting a Do-It-Yourself hornet nest removal,
be sure to avoid the following common mistakes
- Keep children away from nest removal area at all times.
- Allow hornets to flee in order to avoid multiple stings.
- Never attempt to burn down a hornets nest.
- Never knock down an active nest under any circumstance.
Interestingly, new bald faced hornet queens will never utilize
the nest of the previous season's hornet colony.
This means that once a life cycle has ended and all hornets have
perished, a nest can easily be removed with little to no danger
Surviving The Sting of Bald Faced Hornets
The bald faced hornet releases venom when stinging a victim, which
will lead to pain, itching, and swelling for at least 24 hours.
Some people may have an allergic reaction from a bald faced hornet
sting, in which case medical attention should be sought immediately
While bald faced hornets typically are harmless when away from
their nest or unprovoked, these insects have been shown to sting
multiple times in response to a threat on their colony.
Only the queen and female bald faced hornet workers have the ability
Common hornet sting treatments and cures include the following
- Mashed plantain leaves can treat delayed sting reactions when
applied to the sting site.
- Aloe Vera gel instantly reduces the effects of a sting when
applied directly to the site.
- A vinegar/baking soda paste can mimic many of the benefits that
aloe vera gel provide.
- Popular OTC antihistamines can assist the reduction of inflammation
- Some have used epi-pens to lessen the sting reaction from bald