Headlines about hornets have circulated in the media since the 1970s, and people cannot help but feel afraid of these giant bees. But what makes people from the US and all over the world scared of hornets? This guide got your back!
What Are Hornets?
Hornets are wasps of Vespa that resemble yellow jackets. They are large and have a black-banded orange body.
On average, hornets can grow up to 1.5 or 2 inches long. But queens are larger with a wings span of 3 inches. They have broad heads with dark eyes.
Hornets are native to East Asia, including Japan and Korea. They are also found in North America, Africa, and Europe.
Commonly called murder hornets, these wasps are not as aggressive as everyone thinks. Experts say hornets are passive creatures, especially when outside their nest area. They are shy.
But when threatened, hornets are always ready to attack to defend their colony. Apiarists also warn people not to get close to their nests. Although you do not have any intention to damage their hive, they may attack. So, stay away from their nests.
Hornets build their homes out of wood pulp and saliva. Usually, they construct their homes in areas with plenty of protection from the sun, rain, cold, and other elements. They have a teardrop shape that can grow up to the size of a basketball. Yes, it is huge.
Like other bees, the queens dominate the hives. They are the ones who can lay eggs. The rest are workers. Some build the nest while others gather food and protect the colony. All of them are asexual females.
There are also male hornets, and their function is to mate with the queen. After copulation, they die.
When it comes to diet, hornets eat a tree sap and other insects like bees and flies.
Are Hornets Dangerous?
Hornets are dangerous. They are called murder hornets for a reason. When provoked, they squirt venom into the eyes of an intruder, causing blindness. The sting is painful. The sting site may start to feel itchy and warm. Typically, it bleeds and swells.
A hornet sting may also lead to an allergic reaction like anaphylaxis as its venom contains histamines. Anaphylaxis is a serious condition that can put one’s life in danger. Common symptoms are hives, sweating, flushed skin, vomiting, coughing, nausea, wheezing, and chest tightness.
It is estimated that approximately 50 people die from hornets every year, according to studies.
Signs of Hornets
It is not hard to know when your yard is infested with hornets. When you see a teardrop shape nest and hornets scraping away a layer of wood, be alarmed and do not relax.
Ways to Get Rid Of Hornets and Hornet Nests
Getting rid of hornets can be challenging and life-threatening at the same time. Here are some steps on how to get rid of hornet from your home:
Spray the Nest with Insecticides
Hornets tend to be aggressive when they feel any threat within 2 to 3 meters. That means you cannot come nearer their hive as hornets may sting you.
That’s a hassle when removing a hornet nest. But you can spray the hive with dust insecticides and aerosol pesticides.
Even if you are too far from the nest, you can spray it without any trouble. If the nest is above the ground or on a downspout, an aerosol pesticide is an excellent choice.
With a lot of aerosol pesticides on the market, experts recommend those products with propellant systems and special nozzles as you can spray them up to more than 20 feet away.
While some have ingredients that freeze the hornets right away, other sprays are packed with a foaming agent to spread the chemicals throughout every part of the hive.
Sometimes, hornets build their home on the ground. You can use a dust insecticide as liquid pesticides may not make their way to the nest.
Dust insecticides are also rich in chlorpyrifos or carbaryl that can get rid of hornets more effectively than expected. Although dust pesticides take a few hours to work, they are not disappointing to use.
The best time to spray insecticides is at dusk or dawn while the hornets are sleeping and less active. Do not remove it yet after applying the pesticides. Get rid of it after a few days to ensure they are all dead.
Cut Down the Tree Branches With Hives
Hornets make their home on tree branches that you can cut down. Before that, place a sturdy bag under the nest. Once secured, use hedge trimmers to cut down the branch or bush. Pour some aerosol insecticide into the bag and burn it right away.
But do not climb the tree unprepared. Wear any protective gear you have at home to avoid a hornet sting. Also, be careful when climbing the tree.
Prepare a Bucket Trap For Hornets
A hornet bucket trap is also a good way to get rid of hornets. Get an empty bucket. Pour some water. Add some sugar, some amount of dish soap, and vinegar. Mix them well and put the bucket near the hives. Make sure to replace the mixture regularly.
How to Prevent Hornets?
Suppose you have removed the hornets around your property. Do not feel at ease, though. These wasps are tougher than you think. They may come back, and homeowners do not want that to happen again.
To prevent hornets from returning, trim your bushes and trees late winter, early spring, or even after flowering.
Aside from that, repaint the areas where hornets may build their nests. It could be your walls or eaves.
You can also hang artificial hives. Take note that hornets are territorial. They won’t build a nest to areas already home to a colony.
Artificial hives are available offline and online.
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