Maryland's Most Wanted: European Hornets!


Bees & Wasps    Beneficial Insects   

European Hornets

These very large brown and yellow hornets are most active at night. European hornets, lovingly referred to as “yellow jackets on steroids” by American Pest entomologists, can sting multiple times and will do so without hesitation, especially when they feel their nest is threatened. European hornets build their nests in voids where they feel safe. The queen finds a suitable void in a building or hollow part of a tree and begins the nest there. All available workers in the colony will attack automatically when a threat is detected. This means that many enormous hornets will attack relentlessly if anything disturbs the nest, accident or not, the hornets will not stop stinging until they no longer feel threatened.

Hornets’ size alone is enough to strike fear into anyone. While they are not the most dangerous hornet in the world, they are the only true hornets in the United States and a serious problem when they find themselves in areas frequented by people.

Pain and swelling from stings has been known to last a few days and can be a danger to those with severe allergies.

The pain of the stings has led to myths about the potency of European hornet attacks. Some believe that “three stings will kill an adult and seven will kill a horse.” While hornet stings are nothing to ignore (especially for those with allergic reactions) these numbers are not based in fact.

This is a hornet best left alone until American Pest professionals and our “bee suits” can arrive to get the situation under control. American Pest has the right tools and expertise to identify and answer a European hornet problem near your Maryland, DC or Virginia home or business.


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