How to Identify a Hornet Nest Around Your Home

There is a familiar and sometimes terrifying buzz that comes with a nest of hornets. It is a sound no homeowner wants to hear. These pests can set up with nests in the attic, in the eaves of your house, in a nearby tree or in just about any covered area. These nests can be dangerous to handle, which is why you should trust a professional pest control service like Signature Pest to make sure these angry insects never come back. Learn about the various pest control services we offer for further information. 

How to Spot a Nest 

A hornet nest is made of a paper-like substance that comes from saliva and wood pulp and the queen hornet will construct this nest to house her eggs. The nests are built in tiers and will grow as the colony expands. Some nests can grow as large as basketballs, but once a nest is used, the hornets will die off in the winter. The fertilized females will then begin a new colony as the weather warms. 

Once the eggs in the nest hatch into larvae, that larvae will develop into a sterile adult female hornet. These “worker bees” continue to build up the nest while the queen continues to lay eggs which will produce in late summer. The queen then begins to produce the male hornets which will ultimately mate with other queens who will then look for a warm hiding place during the cold winter months. 

It’s also important to know if you really are dealing with a hornet nest or if it is some other wasp species. There are some differentiating factors that can help you determine exactly what you are dealing with. If the pesky critters seem to be coming from a hole in the ground, from a building or from inside a tree, you could be dealing with yellow jackets. Yellow jackets can also be dangerous with one nest containing as many as 2,000 insects. 

If you are dealing with hornets, the nest will be round and is usually about the size of a football unless it has really gotten out of hand. There will be a single large opening and it will have the consistency of paper. 

If you are dealing with what are known as “paper wasps,” the nest will be large and have hexagonal combs and is usually hanging from what looks like a stalk. Some people refer to this nest as an umbrella because of its weird shape and the wasps as “umbrella wasps.” 

If the nest you find has yellow layers of tight hexagonal combs and looks waxy, then you probably have a honey bee hive. Honey bees are not typically aggressive and are actually a protected species. 

It’s important to remove these hornet and wasps nests quickly as they can become more aggressive as the summer fades. It is recommended that you do not attempt to remove the nest yourself. However, if you are thinking of attempting this yourself, you should attempt it after dark when most of the hornets have returned to the nest. 

Be aware that reactions to hornet stings can include intense pain, redness and swelling around the sight of the sting. And hornets can sting more than once. If you are allergic or stung multiple times, you can have serious reactions. Because of these risks, you should contact a pest control professional to investigate the nest and help you understand all your options for removal. 

Professional Pest Control Service

Signature Pest Control leads a team of experienced professionals that specialize in dealing with hard to remove bugs, insects, and rodents. We lead the industry with our immense knowledge, and customer service skills. With nearly 20 years of service as a professional pest control service, the pros at Signature Pest Control know exactly how to inspect and treat your home for all pests, including those dangerous hornet’s nests.