There are two types of hornets we have in the NJ & PA areas. Balded Faced Hornets and European Hornets.
Bald Faced Hornets
This atypically large black-and-white relative of the yellow jacket gets its common name from its largely black color but mostly white face. It is named a hornet because of its large size and aerial nest.
Bald-faced hornets build paper nests at least three or more feet off of the ground, usually in trees, shrubs, on overhangs, utility poles, houses, sheds or other structures. They are found throughout the United States, Canada and north into Alaska.
Bald-faced hornets are aggressive and will attack anyone or anything that invades their space. They have smooth stingers, so they can sting over and over again. Their stings also carry venom that makes the stings hurt, itch, or swell for about 24 hours. Humans are at the same risk of allergic reactions from a Bald-faced hornet stings as with other insect stings.
This hornet (also called Giant hornet) gets its common name from its introduction from Europe into the New York area in the 1800’s. European hornets are much larger than yellow jackets and unlike most stinging insects, can be active at night.
European hornets are social insects and live in colonies that may contain between 200-400 members at their peak. They usually appear in late summer. They prey on a variety of large insects such as grasshoppers, flies, yellow jackets and honeybees. They also eat tree sap, fruit, and honeydew. European hornets are attracted to light and are known to repeatedly bang on lighted windows at night.
European hornets nest in hollow trees, barns, out buildings, hollow walls of houses, attics, and abandoned beehives. Unprotected nests are usually covered in a brown envelope made of cellulose from decayed wood.
Prevention and Control
If you find a hornet nest on your home or property, do not attempt to treat it on your own as this will aggravate the colony and cause them to attack. Contact Drum Pest Control to treat the nest.