Will a Bald-Faced Hornet Sting Me?

By Allison Clayton

The bald-faced hornet is an easy insect to spot with its black and white markings. Unlike other wasp species, the bald-faced hornet lacks the traditional yellow and black hue of other yellow jackets and hornets. 

Like most other wasps, these pests are highly aggressive, and you could suffer from a bald-faced hornet sting if you venture too close to a nest. 

Check out our article for the best ways to treat and prevent bald-faced hornet stings!

Are Bald-faced Hornets Yellowjackets?

Despite what their name suggests, bald-faced hornets aren’t hornets at all. These black and white wasps are technically within the yellowjacket genus Dolichovespula, even if they lack the yellow coloration. 

The European hornet is the only hornet species in America. European hornets are brown and yellow insects that traveled to the United States in the early 1800s. These pests live around the country, primarily on the east coast. 

European hornets are bulkier than the typical yellowjacket or paper wasp. Most can reach an inch, while queen hornets are greater in size. Bald-faced hornets can grow to similar lengths but are usually around 2 centimeters.  

Can a Bald-faced Hornet Sting? 

Like most other wasp species, these pests can leave a painful mark, and bald-faced hornets are hostile to anything that threatens their hive. 

Unlike honey bees, wasps retain their stingers after attacking, and a bald-faced hornet can sting its target multiple times. Because these social wasps tend to stick together, they can leave their nests in droves to pursue their prey. 

Bald-faced hornets are relentless, too! While most insects won’t follow after you, wasps will take chase when bothered. If you accidentally disturb their hive, you could have a bald-faced hornet sting to care for afterward. 

How to Treat a Bald-Face Hornet Sting

A bald-faced hornet sting isn’t dangerous unless you’re allergic to its venom. However, these tiny insects can still pack quite the punch. 

Wash the area with soap and water after you’re stung. Apply a cold compress or icepack to the sting to reduce the swelling. If the wasps leave a stinger on your skin, you can remove it by scraping it with your fingernails or a credit card. 

Avoid scratching the stings even if they begin to itch. If you irritate the wounds, they could become infected and cause more harm. To prevent itchiness, apply an anti-itch cream or mix a meat tenderizing powder with water to create a paste. 

If you’re allergic to wasp venom, head to an emergency room quickly. A medical professional can help you from experiencing anaphylactic shock if you act swiftly. If you have an epi-pen on hand, use it before going to the hospital. 

Even if you’re not allergic to wasps, visit a doctor when you’re stung by more than twenty bald-faced hornets. While one bald-faced hornet sting shouldn’t cause any lasting damage, multiple could be fatal. 

Where do Bald-faced Hornets Nest?

To avoid a bald-faced hornet sting, keep an eye out for their hives. Other yellowjackets create intricate underground living quarters, but bald-faced hornets craft aboveground ariel nests.

Bald-faced hornets build their hives in the tall branches of trees or within low-hanging limbs. These pests will also create nests in bushes or on buildings. With some nests reaching lengths of two feet, bald-faced hornets can pack in around 400 colony members to Texas A&M’s Agrilife Extension. Most of these insects are the infertile female workers that forage for food, care for the queen, and protect the nest. 

Are Bald-faced Hornets Destructive? 

Having wasps on your property can be a recipe for disaster. While wasps eat many problematic garden pests like aphids, caterpillars, and beetles, they can cause more problems than solutions. Bald-faced hornets are carnivorous, but they’ll also snack on sweet nectar and fruit, even nesting within fruit trees and bushes. 

Bald-faced hornets may even attack bees. Because bees play such a significant role in pollination, disrupting bee populations could have dire consequences for local ecosystems. Wasps can aid in pollination, but their smooth bodies cannot distribute pollen like honey and bumble bees. 

Not only are wasps a nuisance to your backyard biome, but bald-faced hornets can cause trouble as your try to enjoy time outdoors. These pests may take a sip of your soda or eat fresh fruit during a picnic or cookout.

No one wants to suffer from a bald-faced hornet sting as they try to enjoy the summer sun! Bald-faced hornets cannot destroy anything on your property besides some fruit and bee hives, but they can be a dangerous addition to your home. 

Should You Remove a Bald-faced Hornet Hive? 

When you have a bald-faced hornet hive, it’s often better to get rid of the offending nest rather than letting the insects stick around. Of course, wasps have their purpose, but you should stay safe if they nest too close to your home.

However, never attempt to knock down a hive alone. While possible, dealing with wasps can be highly dangerous. If you aren’t careful, you could suffer from more than one bald-faced hornet sting!

Primarily active during the day, bald-faced hornets head inside their nests as the daylight fades. Wasps are easier to handle when the sun goes down, but they can still angrily exit their hive when bothered.

Check out this video of a drone getting close to a bald-faced hornet nest. After the hornets hear the high-pitched whirring of the drone’s propellers, many angrily exit the hive. By the end of the video, dozens have slipped outside to defend themselves.

As you can see, bald-faced hornets are no joke and can swiftly group together to attack anything threatening their home. Never attempt to remove a hive without professional help!

Let a Professional Pest Control Agency Help! 

Don’t struggle with pests alone. Let us lend a hand! We cover different types of wasps and know how to remove a nest safely. 

Instead of worrying about a painful bald-faced hornet sting, rely on our highly trained technicians to get the job done for you. Covered under our Pest-Free Guarantee service, we can remove the wasps on your property and prevent them from building again. 

If you have bald-faced hornets, don’t hesitate to contact us today! 

Call proof. pest control at , or send us a message online.

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