We have large yellow jackets...over 2 inches long. They are attracted to lite...

Asked October 6, 2013, 9:47 AM EDT

We have large yellow jackets...over 2 inches long. They are attracted to lite and fly at nite. They buzz loudly and seem to be aggressive if anyone walks near them, near a light. Are these European hornets? do we need to be concerned? I have read, on line, that Japanese hornets have also been released in the USA. I have lived here, in Lake County, for 66 years and never seen these super sized hornets until this year.

Lake County Ohio bees yellow jackets

1 Response

Yes, these are most likely European hornets, which resemble large yellow jackets, and unlike almost all other bees, wasps, and hornets, are active at night and attracted to light during that time. They can cause some occasional damage to plants and they do sting, although reports of their level of aggression differ considerably. If they are found in an area where you wish to remove them, any aerosol hornet and wasp spray should do the trick. However, since they are active at night it will hard to find a time when you catch them all in the nest, thus several sprays will likely be necessary to completely remove them. If spraying at night, do not use a flashlight, as they may be attracted to it and sting.

Here are a few articles which might be of additional help:

http://bygl.osu.edu/content/european-hornets-cause-stem-damage-0
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/Urban/eurohornet.htm
http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/european-hornet