Louisiana’s hot and humid climate makes the state an ideal home for all kinds of insect pests. Surprisingly, some insect pests in the state are partly beneficial to residents, as they kill other insect pests. While most insect pests within the state do not provide this free pest control service, but the bald-faced hornet happens to be one insect that is both dangerous and beneficial due to its habit of preying on other dangerous wasp species.
Despite being called a “hornet” the bald-faced hornet, and all other hornets, are actually just a particular group of wasps. The same is true for “yellow jackets,” as all yellow jacket insects are wasps. In fact, some wasps are considered both yellow jackets and hornets, and this is the case with the bald-faced hornet. The bald-faced hornet is related to the yellow jacket, and they are often categorized as such, but they are not “true” hornets, as their bodies are stout and lightly colored. These hornets are considered by experts to be beneficial due to their habit of hunting flies and other yellow jackets. However, experts are also quick to point out that bald-faced hornets are also extremely aggressive, and there have been reports of this species attacking people without provocation.
Adult bald-faced hornets capture and chew flies to pieces before feeding them to their larvae. These hornets can be found in just about every location of Louisiana including forests, backyards, meadows, gardens and urban areas. These hornets are, like most hornets, extremely aggressive and they will not hesitate to attack when they perceive a threat or when their nest becomes disturbed. Although bald-faced hornets can be found in most US states, they are particularly numerous in Louisiana, as the subtropical climate in the state allows these hornets to easily overwinter by hiding away within hollow logs and plant matter. This wasp species’ nest resembles a grey football and they are often found attached to tree branches, shrubs and the corners of a building’s exterior. If a nest is spotted, a pest control professional should be contacted for its removal in order to prevent attacks.
Have you ever sustained a sting from a hornet?