You’ll need to take care if you have bald faced hornets. These are one of the most aggressive wasp species. Mostly, you’ll find them living in colonies, where they fiercely defend their nests. Their food options are generally nectar, other insects, and food and drink with a sugary base. On the other hand, their aggression will increase in the fall when their access to food decreases.

Quick Guide

  • Characteristics: ⅝ to ¾ inches long. These insects are black and white with a smooth bodies.
  • Nest: They make their nests out of paper and place them at least three feet above the ground.
  • Risk of Sting: These hornets are highly aggressive and will sting multiple times.
A closer look on the body structure of a bald-faced hornet

Bald faced Hornets: Habitat and Nests

When spring comes, the bald faced hornets queen will build a nest from chewed wood while feeding the larvae protein from other insects and flower nectar. After approximately one month, the first workers will emerge, taking over feeding and nest building, while the queen begins focusing solely on egg laying.

The bald faced hornet nest is gray and feature many compartments. Likewise, you’ll find these bald faced hornets in many locations, such as hanging near the ground or very high on a pole. In addition, they may be in the open or very well hidden. They come in varying sizes but can be as large as 24 inches long and 14 inches in diameter.

During peak season, the nest will have anywhere from 100 to 400 workers. And as the colony begins declining, larger cells are constructed to enable new queens and males of bald faced hornets to be raised. These hornets will eventually leave the nest to mate and create their own nests.

Bald faced Hornets: Behaviors and Damage​

When their food supplies decrease in the fall, the hornets become even more aggressive as they search for sources of sweet foods and drinks. While their goal is not to sting people, the combination of their persistence and people’s reactions to swat at them generally leads to the uncomfortable result of being stung.

If a hornet senses danger, it will release a pheromone that alerts the rest of the colony to attack. Because of this, it’s in your best interests to avoid sudden movements and remain calm. Hornets can be very dangerous because of their ability to sting multiple times.

A bald-faced hornet feeding from the nectar of a flower

Prevention and Control

Preventing hornets can be challenging, especially when they have chosen high-traffic areas for their nests. If you need advice about this or any stinging insect, our experts can provide the safest and most effective solutions on how to get rid of bald faced hornets and keep you and your family safe from the dreaded sting.


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