Do I Have An Infestation?
Look around your property. Bald Faced Hornets construct aerial nests which can be attached to tree branches, shrubbery, buildings, sheds, utility poles etc. Nests are enclosed and constructed of gray paper. They can be quite impressive with sizes larger than a basketball.
Do They Cause Damage?
Not to the structure, however the nest may leave paper residue on siding after it is removed. WARNING: Nests will be guarded and defended vigorously if disturbed. All nests should be approached with caution as attack can occur without warning quite some distance from it. Stings can cause a life –threatening emergency for individuals who are allergic to bee stings!
What Can Masters Touch Do?
Nests that are low to the ground (under 15’ high), attached to buildings or in areas where close contact with people is likely should be removed by a professional for safety. Proper protective equipment is a must. Nest that are higher than 15’ don’t generally pose a threat unless intentionally disturbed and are best left to die off in the winter.
How Can You Help?
Not much can be done to actually prevent a nest from being built. The best course of action is early detection. Nests start in the spring and are about the size of a golf ball so spotting them can be difficult.
Nests begin with one fertilized queen which overwintered from the previous season. In early spring, she seeks a place to build her nest, after about 30 days, the first workers emerge and take over all the duties in the nest except egg laying. By late summer, nests can contain as many as 100-400 workers. As the season wanes, the nest will produce a number of queens which will mate and overwinter to the next season. Nests are not reused from season to season.