Bald Faced Hornets
Spring comes early in Lower Mainland i.e. Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley and so do wasps and hornets. You start seeing some hornets flying around and then small ball like structure appears which rapidly grows and can become as big as football by the end of summer. This grey paper nest are dwellings of Bald-Faced Hornets. These egg-shaped nests are made from natural wood fibre and saliva. These can grow as big as 360 mm (14 inches) in diameter and 580 mm (23 inches) in length. Very easy to notice and not to be missed.
Bald faced hornets are not a true hornet but a species of yellow jacket wasps. Sometimes these are referred to as bald hornets, white faced hornets, white tailed hornets, spruce wasps, black jacket and bull wasps. Queen is longer than workers. The colony may grow to 100 plus workers or even may be 400-700 workers making it the largest colony in yellow jacket wasps.
Bald faced hornets are distinguished from other yellow jacket wasps by their white and black colors. The white bald-faced head is the reason for its name. These are found in North America including Canada, in Rocky Mountains and along the west coast.
Habitat and dangers
These build their nest in dense branches, high in canopy of trees, hedges, on side of houses, underneath carports, Inside houses, attic and even underside the sturdy patio furniture. Do not let children or pets play or go near these nests. These are their easy targets.
Bald Faced Hornets can feed on meat, spiders, fruit and insect. Often found to be beneficial predators in removing flies, caterpillars and spiders. These move from flower to flower, drink flower nectar to feed their larvae and as such to some extent are considered pollinators but because of bald nature of the body are not as efficient as honeybees.
Stay away from their nest as far as possible. Worker Hornets are very protective, aggressively attack and able to sting repeatedly because of their bald natured body. Even these can spray their venom in other dipterans eyes and temporarily blind them. The venom is a complex mixture of proteins that can stimulate pain nerve endings. These proteins can also trigger inflammatory and even allergic reactions in their targets (both human and pets), which can often be severe and may require medical attention.
Bald Faced Hornet Control
Never try to remove if you are not fully trained or prepared. Don’t endanger yourself and never allow children to attempt removal. You have to wear a proper protective gear, cover the exposed parts of your body including face before any endeavour. The Bald-Faced Hornets have to be killed before the removal of nest. The smoke or aerosols used to control flies, mosquitos and flying insects won’t work. The pesticides with knock down capabilities are specifically recommended for wasps and hornets. Aerosol or dust products are most effective and provide the best control. Fully trained and licensed professional Bald-Faced Hornet exterminators from Advance Pest Control are only a phone call away for your help.