With a name like European Hornet, you would think that they would be exclusively in Europe, but they are present around the world including the US as well. In this post, you’ll learn some facts about the European hornet!
Where do they live?
The European hornet originated throughout parts of Europe, but eventually traveled all over the world. They ended up coming to the US in the mid 19th century and have since spread even further south. A few cases have sprung up even in Guatemala!
As far as the US is concerned, these pests roam from the Midwest to the East coast and as far south as Florida.
Where Do European Hornets Make Their Nests?
These hornets are a bit different than a lot of wasps and hornets you may run into. Many hornets and wasps will build external nests on trees and around homes, but these pests prefer to build their nests in cavities and voids.
They still build them in similar locations as other wasps and hornets, such as in trees and in wall voids. They build their nests with similar materials to paper wasps such as chewed up wood.
Since these pests tend to build nests in voids, you may only see a small portion of their nests peaking out through the openings of the void. If you do happen upon one of these protruding nests, be careful.
European Hornets are very large and tend to be aggressive like other wasps and hornets. Don’t seal over the openings prior to taking care of the hornets or they will make another way out. This could lead them into other parts of your home, which could further threaten your family.
These pests have also been known to create new nest exits when pesticides are applied to their nests. In general, with any type of wasp or hornet nests, we recommend getting a pest control service involved.
Without the proper products, tools, and training, hornet and wasp removal can be very dangerous, even deadly if you are allergic to stings.
European Hornets can damage your yard, property, and put your family in danger
European hornets will build their nests from chewed wood from wherever they can access it. This often means they end up damaging plants and trees around your home to build their nests. Most plants recover from the chewing and stripping of materials, but certain plants are more susceptible to damage due to type of plant or current health status.
This can lead to them to kill off plant life around your home. They also can damage other wood based products like furniture, sheds, decks, and siding to build their nests.
These pests also can eat other insects around your home. So if you have high pest activity already, it can attract these more dangerous pests as well. European Hornets have also been known to attack and eat Honey bees and other beneficial insects.
As with other hornets and wasps, European Hornets can be very aggressive in their search of food as well as with defending their nests. During the fall season, this behavior can become more pronounced as opportunity for food and shelter starts to diminish.
Wasps and hornets often sting and can even sting in large groups when threatened. European Hornets also have a smoother stinger compared to other wasps and hornets making it more likely to be able to sting multiple times.
These pests also tend to be larger than typical wasps and hornets making them even more dangerous. As with other stinging pests, their sting can be both very painful, as well as potentially deadly if you happen to be allergic.
Prevention and removal of European hornets
Like we briefly mentioned above, European hornets eat other insects and pests. This means you will want to start off by reducing other pest activity around your home.
You can do this in several ways. Certainly it can be beneficial to have your home protected with a general pest treatment to reduce the numbers of pests. Doing this can reduce overall pest activity as well as reduce food sources for the European hornets.
European hornets can also eat fruit and sugary substances. This means if you have fruit trees you’ll want to frequently pick up and throw away fallen fruit. You should also properly seal garbage and recycling bins to eliminate food sources for these hornets as well as other pests.
Sealing cracks and crevices around your home can be effective as well to eliminate entry points to voids where these pests can build their nests.
European hornets, like other pests, are also attracted to exterior lights. You may consider taking down excess exterior lights to avoid attracting these pests to your home or switching to bug lights which are less attractive to them.
As far as removal of European hornets are concerned, again, we recommend reaching out to a pest control service for help. Using the wrong pest control products can be both dangerous as well as ineffective for getting rid of these pests.
Add in the fact of increased aggressiveness and threat of stings into the mix, and attempting to remove nests on your own can be dangerous.
Bait traps can sometimes be effective in getting rid of small populations. Specific kinds of gels can be used where the hornets can bring the bait back to the nest and end up poisoning the other hornets. This can cause the rest to leave, or reduce their numbers enough to die off.
This bait strategy isn’t always effective and typically needs to be combined with other strategies to be 100% effective – yet another reason to reach out to a pest control service to remove European Hornets from your home.
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