Bald-faced hornets

Asked August 9, 2017, 2:56 PM EDT

Hi, do you have an expert on bald-face hornets who could possibly respond to my question below please? I have a basketball size nest up at the corner of my house. (I just noticed it!) I’ve talked to the folks who are pest managers and have gotten their input but I would like input from another perspective, an ecological perspective sort of. I’ve read about them and learned they are omnivorous. I’m wondering about whether or not to have the nest removed now while they are still so active or wait until late fall or early winter when they have vacated the nest. The pest control people said they use poison on an active nest. I’m worried about that because of the possibility the fumes or whatever it is they use could filter into my house and adversely affect my cat. I’m not really concerned about being stung by one – they are pretty much minding their own business and continue building their nest into possibly a condo. I don’t have kids running around and no outdoor pets. So, is there any disadvantage to leaving the nest alone until the winter? Thank you!! Jane Dean O: 301-796-1202 (M-F)

Montgomery County Maryland insect issues beneficial insects hornet nest

1 Response

We are so glad you asked.
Bald-faced hornets are actually considered beneficial insects as they are predators of other pest insects in our landscapes.
As long as their nests are left alone, they don't bother anyone. It's not uncommon for people to realize they have a nest in the yard only after the leaves fall from the trees for the winter.
They don't reuse their nests from year to year, so we would just wait until the cold kills them off naturally, and then just knock it down or have it removed. They get to complete their life cycle, and less chemical pesticides are discharged into the environment.

Here is our page about them:
http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/bald-faced-hornets

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