Baldfaced Hornet, Bald Faced Hornets
How to Kill Wasps, Hornets
Pest Control Products for Hornet Nests
This article deals with Baldfaced Hornets but elimination
methods suggested can be streamlined for paper wasps or other visible nests of
stinging insects. For information for hidden nests (usually made by
yellowjackets) go to our Yellow Jackets page.
(Horntail or Wood Wasps information page; wood
wasps are not considered a stinging threat as are hornets, yellowjackets or
The Bald faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) is sometimes called the
white-faced hornet, but is actually a yellow jacket. It's easy to spot since
it's our only black and white yellow jacket. Its nest is a gray
"paper" envelope with several layers of combs inside. A mature nest is
bigger than a basketball, but pear-shaped, with the larger end at the top and an
entrance hole near the bottom.
A single, over-wintering queen begins building the nest in the spring. She
lays eggs and tends the first batch of larvae that develop into workers. These
workers tend new larvae and expand the nest throughout the summer. A mature
colony can have several hundred workers by the end of the summer. In fall,
workers die and next year's queens find over-wintering sites.
Baldfaced hornets are beneficial, capturing insects (often including other
yellowjackets) to feed to their larvae. Though larger than other yellowjackets,
Baldfaced hornets are generally more docile. But they can become aggressive and
will sting when their nest is disturbed or threatened.
A Baldfaced nest is usually constructed high in a tree. In these cases the
nest is best left alone. In fact, Bald Faced hornet nests are often first
noticed in fall when leaves drop, exposing the nest. By this time the hornets
are dead or dying, and the nest will not be reused.
Occasionally you will find a Baldfaced nest built on the side of a
building, in low shrubbery, or even in an attic or shed. Nests in these sited
will probably need to be eliminated.
Treat the hornet nest as late in the evening as possible. Remember
that all wasps, hornets and bees are at rest when it is dark. Not only will
all the hornets be in the nest for you to exterminate (instead of foraging
for food some distance away) , you will be at far less risk when they are
resting. No one wants to treat a hornets' nest with hornets dive-bombing
When approaching the nest, move slowly so as not to disturb the
sleeping pests. If eliminating the nest in late evening is not possible
(forcing you to work in broad daylight), avoid crossing the obvious flight
path. You also do not want to cast a shadow across the nest while you work.
For initial "knockdown" or quick kill, use a professional wasp
freeze aerosol. This will enable you to attack the nest from a distance
or reach higher areas without the use of a ladder. The wasp freeze should
first be directed at the entrance of the nest to eliminate any guard wasps.
Next, thoroughly soak the remainder of the nest. For the average size nest
(or larger) you will need two cans of wasp freeze. These types of aerosol
are not very expensive and you do not want to run out of product in the
middle of the job!
You can now finish the hornet elimination. This is best done using Delta Dust. Ease the tip of your
Crusader Duster, (filled with Delta Dust) into the entrance and quickly squeeze three or four times. This will
send the pesticide dust far into the galleries, where it will remain long
enough to kill all hornets.
The Crusader Duster, Delta Dust and 2 cans of Wasp Freeze are available in a
Look at Wasp and Hornet Kit.
This pest control kit contains items needed to destroy existing wasps or
hornets. To prevent new infestations of stinging insects and other
household pests, use Cypermethrin
products for long term control and prevention.
After 24 to 48 hours, all hornets should be dead. (If not, you simply
repeat the dust application). You can now safely remove the empty nest.
To save money, order
our Wasp & Hornet Kit. This kit contains a Crusader Duster, a 1 pound
container of Delta Dust and 2 cans of Wasp Freeze.
The Wasp & Hornet
Kit costs $59.00.
Cypermethrin concentrates can often be
a good add-on with the kit. Individual products can be purchased if entire
kit contents are not needed for the job. For more information, go to Wasp
and Hornet Kill Products page.