Hornet Nests

Image of a Hornet

What Are Hornets Nests?

Hornets construct their homes from saliva and wood pulp they chew and fashion into a nest. The insects build these paper-like structures in areas that have plenty of shade and protection from the elements. A typical hornet nest consists of hexagonal combs, an outer covering, and a single entrance.

Types of Hornet Hives

The only species of true hornet in the U.S. is the European hornet. However, other common wasp species bear their name, such as bald-faced hornets. These two pests have several differences when it comes to their nesting habits.

Bald-Faced Hornet Nests
Bald-faced hornets nest in trees or large bushes at least three feet from the ground. The pests may also hang their nests from the eaves and roofs of buildings. A bald-faced hornet hive is egg-shaped and can be up to two feet in length. Overhangs and soffits are typical sites for this kind of hornet nests.

European Hornet Hives
European hornets nest in wall voids or tree cavities and often take up residence in attics or sheds. The pests conceal their irregular nests within a dark, hollow space, and only a small part may be visible. Unlike the bald-faced hornet, the European variety typically builds the entrance to its home more than six feet above ground.

Can Hornets Nest in the Ground?

Some homeowners may see what appears to be a hornet’s nest in the ground. While hornets usually construct their homes well above the soil, close relatives such as yellow jackets and other ground nesting wasps sometimes construct their subterranean nests in old animal burrows. It is most likely that homeowners with flying, stinging insects in the lawn are dealing with yellow jackets or ground wasps.

Hornets around Houses

When these insects nest near homes, they become a problem for property owners. Unexpected encounters with hornet nests in wall voids, attics, and crawl spaces often result in painful stings. People allergic to the pests’ venom may need immediate medical care.

How Big Are Hornet Nests?

The size of a hornet nest grows in proportion to the size of the colony. Nests may grow to be as large as basketballs through subsequent generations of workers. However, nests are only used once; worker populations perish in winter, leaving only the fertilized females to begin new colonies in the coming warm seasons.

Hornet Nest Removal

An active hornet nest in a wall void or attic can be dangerous. Homeowners should not attempt to get rid of one on their own. Instead, call the experts at Orkin for safe, efficient hornet nest removal, regardless of where the nest is located.