Size: 1/2 to 1 inch or longer
Color: Black with whitish gray stripes
Where found: Under eaves, benches and decks
Potential treatment: Exterior Spray
Hornets are the largest of the eusocial wasps, meaning they take care of their young and have a division of labor in the nest. Hornets can be more than an inch and a half long, have two sets of wings and have black bodies with whitish gray stripes. The bald-faced hornet, which is closely related to the yellow jacket, is the most common hornet in the United States.
A hornet nest is identifiable by its paper composition and its many cells. They are found anywhere that is protected, such as under eaves, benches and decks, or under a tree branch. The cells accommodate eggs laid by the queen in late summer.
Colonies are generally in the hundreds, and may grow to 1,000. Workers forage for food, which includes tree sap, but also includes other insects, such as flies and spiders.
Like all wasps, hornets can sting multiple times. Bald-faced hornets tend to be more aggressive than other wasps and yellow jackets, and seem to need little provocation to attack. Like any bee or wasp that stings, their venom can be dangerous to those who are allergic. Nest removal should be left to a professional.