European hornets are the wasp species, Vespa Crabro. In fact, there are roughly 20 hornet species worldwide, with most of them residing in the tropical regions of Asia. However, they are also found across many regions in Africa, North America, and Europe, where they are referred to as European hornets.

Quick Guide

  • Characteristics: 1 to 1 ½ inches long, making them longer than yellow jackets.
  • Nests: When they build their nests, they will be either sheltered or unsheltered. You can find these nests on trees and various structures.
  • Risk of Sting: Generally not an aggressive species; however, they can sting more than once.
A closer look on the body structure of a European hornet

European Hornets: Habitat and Nests

European hornets are omnivores, so they’ll eat almost anything, including insects, tree sap, and leaves. Similar to bees, they’re also pollinators. They build their nests from tree bark and plants mixed with their saliva. And, they use these materials to create a paper pulp-like material. Additionally, these nests feature one entry hole on the exterior with multiple layers of chambers on the inside. They build up a papery covering to encapsulate the nest. In like manner, they prefer to nest in dark locations, but if one is unavailable, they’ll increase the number of exterior layers to keep the light out.

European Hornets: Behaviors and Damage

The average nest of European hornets comprises 200 to 400 workers by the later stages of summer. In addition, there will also be guards focused on preventing potential threats to the colony. So take care when a nest builds near a path, entryway, or another high-traffic area. Because in addition to being protective of their colony, European hornets also tend toward aggressive behavior around food sources.

A European hornet sitting on a flower bud

However, if you find a nest that’s not located near your home or business or poses a definitive threat, you should leave it alone. Similarly, hornet colonies do not make it through the winter, with workers dying by late fall. And only a few fertile females embark on a journey to find shelter until the spring when they establish their new colonies.

Prevention and Control

You’ll need a thorough inspection in the fall or spring. This inspection will help prevent European hornets from building nests in all the places you don’t want them.  Likewise, you can take the opportunity to seal cracks, crevices, and holes. Additionally, you’ll want to repair any torn screens. Remember, the goal is to minimize as many hornet entry points as possible.

And if, during your inspection, you discover a hornet’s nest inside a wall or other tight area, don’t seal it up. They will always find a way out, even if they have to chew through the drywall. Indeed, you don’t have to tackle the problem alone. Contact A.N.T. Pest Control, we have the most reliable technicians on hand to help remove your dangerous wasps problem that are knowledgeable enough on  how to prevent wasps from coming back.


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