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Eden Pest Knows Bugs: Bald-Faced Hornets are Yellow Jackets without the Yellow Coloring

bald-faced hornet Dolichovespula maculata

Washington and Oregon pest control services share that bald-faced hornets are really yellow jackets in disguise. While it belongs to the genus of ill-tempered winged insects, it doesn’t have the same yellow coloring that you might expect to see.

Behind the Name

Averaging between 2 and 3 centimeters, the bald-faced hornet looks similar to European hornet, but it has a white head and face. Another distinguishing characteristic is the three white bands circling the bottom of its abdomen. 

Bald-Faced Hornet Nests

Bald-faced hornets are best known for their papery, football-shaped nests made of chewed wood and saliva. The hornets begin construction in the spring in preparation for the larvae. Nests can be up to 23 inches long with a diameter of up to 14 inches. Bald-faced hornets build nests in vegetation of all heights, from low-growing shrubs to tall tree branches.

Bald-Faced Hornet Behavior

Oregon and Washington pest control experts state that among the bald-faced hornets in a colony, only the females have stingers. They are more aggressive than most yellow jackets and are very protective of their nests. When bald-faced hornets believe their nest is threatened, they repeatedly sting the perceived offender.

What to Do if You Find a Nest

As soon as you see a nest on your property that looks like one that may belong to a colony of bald-faced hornets, don’t get close to it. The sting from this insect can cause strong allergic reactions. If you accidentally happen upon it, calmly back away from the nest. Then call a Washington and Oregon pest control service like Eden Pest immediately. The experts at Eden will suit-up and remove the nest in a manner that keeps you and the environment safe.

If you see a flying insect, but aren’t sure if it’s a friend or foe, check out our infographic on how to tell the insects apart and the steps to take to control and prevent them in a way that doesn’t harm honeybees.

[ Photo by: Paul and Jill, on Flickr, via CC License ]

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