European Hornets – Description
European Hornets are very aggressive and simply passing within 10 feet of a nest may cause an attack. The nests, which can hold thousands of hornets, are typically gray, and large ones can resemble papier-mache footballs. They are usually built around tree branches or on the side of a house. In a tree the nests may easily go unnoticed until an attack.
Hornets may be noticeable around compost piles and garbage cans. If you see them you should begin to carefully look for the nest or call for expert assistance. Many times nests are high in trees, out of reach, and therefore best left to professionals.
Biology of the European Hornet
All wasps and hornets fall under the beneficial insect category in that they pollinate flowers and are predators of flies, caterpillars, aphids, and other insect pests. However, for people who are allergic to the stings, the problems far outweigh the benefits, and proper means must be taken to avoid being stung. This is not to say for those of us who are not allergic should be unconcerned about getting stung. Even if you are not allergic you will most likely experience quite a bit of pain after a sting. It is best for people who are known to be sensitive to stings to consult a professional to rid homes, businesses and yards of pests.
In order to identify these pests it is helpful to understand each of the following pest’s nature and lifecycle. The social wasps (i.e. Yellow Jackets, Hornets, and Paper Wasps) are ones that we see most frequently. The easiest way to distinguish the difference wasps is to look at the size of the wasp and the pattern on the abdomen. Most workers will survive only a season while reproductive wasps will survive over winter and start up each spring depending on weather conditions.
European Hornets – Removal & Control
Stinging insects such as Wasp, hornets and bumblebees can be a serious pest problem for some customers if the nest is located in an area where there is pedestrian traffic. A trained pest management professional is crucial to resolving your stinging insect problems. Comprehensive stinging insect service includes three steps:
- Inspection. A thorough inspection and interview with the customer can determine the level of activity in and around the structure as well as specific location(s) of nesting sites. Based on the technician’s findings and information from the customer we can make a proper diagnosis of the treatment strategy as well as recommendations for prevention in the future.
- Treatment. Typical treatment options may include outside application and/or removal of the nest to alleviate immediate concerns from pest pressures in and around the structure as well discourage infestations in the near future.
- Follow-up. Treatment for wasps, hornets and other stinging insects can be very effective. However, due to the relatively short lifespan of environmentally friendly products, regular follow-up treatments are recommended to protect the home against future infestations. Every other month perimeter treatments around the exterior of the home are a great way to ensure your home stays free from infestations as well as help with other pest issues in and around your home and/or structure.
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