Hornets may play an important role in the environment, but with the ability to dish out harmful stings, they can be dangerous, too! Here in Vancouver BC, the most common species of hornet that people encounter is the bald-faced hornet. Although they are related to yellowjackets, bald-faced hornets differ due to their aerial nests and larger size. Still, wasps and hornets are often confused for each other.
Hornets are usually larger, slower, and insectivorous. They are defensive of their nests, typically about as aggressive as yellowjackets. Hornets almost never nest at ground level, though—they prefer to build their shelters high in trees or in the attics and eaves of our homes. When they build nests on or near your home, it’s important to get help from a professional hornet exterminator.
Bald-faced hornets are often mistaken for wasps. Although they are closely linked by size and body structure, they lack the distinguishing yellow colouring. These hornets grow to a size of averaging 2-3 cm long(adults) and can become extremely territorial. You can tell apart hornets from other wasps and bees by their rounded gasters, the part of the abdomen behind the wasp’s waist, and the width of the vertex, the part of the head behind the eyes. Their stingers are not barbed like some bees, meaning that they are capable of stinging repeatedly. Because it can be so difficult to tell apart hornets and wasps, it’s best to enlist the professional eye of a hornet control expert for help.
Worker females will aggressively defend the hive with their stingers. However, they seldom attack humans unless they are provoked or their hive is threatened. Hornets normally won’t attack without reason, especially outside of the hive. Studies have shown that hornet stings are no more dangerous than other wasps and bees, but you should still try to avoid agitating them. If you swat at hornets, you are more likely to be perceived as a threat and be stung. Three things should be avoided when near a hornet or hornets’ nest: blocking the flight path, moving or breathing on the nests, and any rapid movements like running or swatting.
If hornets are living around your home, they can be a threat to your safety and the safety of your family and friends. They are extremely skeptical of anything foreign to them, especially if they consider it a threat to the hive. Once they sense a threat, they will attack anything that comes near. To make matters worse, they will attack in the hundreds. This is why it’s safe to hire a professional hornet exterminator as soon as you spot hornets on your property.
When dealing with a large hive or multiple hives, it is best to call in professionals to handle the hornet control for you. It is easy to get rid of a handful of them, but it’s a whole different story when dealing with a hive full of hundreds of hornets. The hornet exterminators at Rentokil, formerly OnSite Pest Control have the years of experience needed to get rid of nests around your home quickly and safely. To learn more about our hornet control, removal & treatment services, contact our team today!
Serving the Vancouver & Abbotsford BC area