Huge hornet?

Asked April 22, 2017, 9:08 AM EDT

This is the biggest hornet/wasp I have ever seen. (Gave my wife quite a scare flying around our basement)
Is this a queen European wasp or a more exotic species? Thanks

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

This is a European hornet, and yes, it looks like a queen.
The rest of her hive would have perished during the winter, with the queen taking refuge and wintering over to start a new nesting structure (in a new place) in the spring.
They fly at night and are attracted to lights. We can't say how she got in or when, but be sure any cracks or the places where utility wires or plumbing come into the house are tightly closed with caulk or extrudable spray foam, and that door sweeps and window screens are tight.