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Bald-Faced Hornet Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from bald-faced hornets by learning techniques for identification and control.

Bald-faced hornet illustration
Dolichovespula maculata
Black body
White markings on face
15 to 20 mm


How do I get rid of bald-faced hornets?

What Orkin Does

While bald-faced hornets do prey upon other pests and can prove beneficial, their nests should not be permitted to develop near a home. Workers are protective and aggressive when disturbed. Nests should not be handled without the assistance of a pest control expert.

Your local Orkin Pro is trained to help manage bald-faced hornets and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin Pro will design a unique treatment program for your situation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Bald-Faced Hornets


Bald-faced hornets are more closely related to yellow jackets than they are to hornets.

  • Color: The body of the bald-faced hornet is black in color, and its face is marked with white.

  • Length: Bald-faced hornets are larger than most yellow jackets, with workers ranging from 15 to 20 mm or more.

Bald Faced Hornet


Bald-faced hornets are most active during the day. They usually build aerial nests made of paper in trees or under overhangs.


Adults consume liquids, usually sugars like juices or nectar, but will bring back solids such as insects or carrion for the larvae to consume.


A colony begins in spring, when a queen lays a single egg inside each cell as she begins to build her nest. She puts insects and nectar into the cell with the egg. These eggs hatch into larvae, eventually becoming workers that help to further expand the nest.

A bald-faced hornet nest can grow to be as large as a basketball within a number of months. As many as 700 workers may live in the nest. Males appear late in the summer. The males fertilize some of the newly developed females.


Fertilized females look for places to hibernate as cold weather approaches. They will be the next season’s queens. The remaining members of the nest perish in winter.

More Information

Hornet Nests

Giant Hornets

What Do Hornets Eat?

Bees and Hornets

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