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    Database title

Baldfaced HornetBaldfaced Hornet

Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Vespidae
Scientific Name: Dolichovespula maculata L.
Color: Black-and-white yellow jacket
Legs: 6
Shape: Oval; bee shape
Size: 5/8-3/4+"
Antennae: Yes
Flight: Yes

Queen overwinters and emerges in the spring to select a nest site: shrubs, vines, tree branches, roof overhangs, utility poles, sheds, etc. A mature nest can be as large as 14" in diameter and 2 feet in length. Nests are not reused from one season to the next.

Baldfaced hornets are social insects which live in areal nests. Nests are made by the queen chewing up cellose material to build a paper nest of multiple ceels coverered by a paper outer skin. Eggs are laid in cells as they are cunstructed with the queen attending to the developing larvae, feeding them protein-rich foods and nectar.As the nest grows, newly and emerged workers take over the rearing and nest building duties. A mature colony may contain as many as 100-600 workers.In the fall, newly emerged queens and males mate and the queen leaves the nest to find a place to overwinter. The founding queen, the males and all of the workers die as winter arrives.

These wasps aggressively defend their nests and can inflict multiple stings.

Protective equipment should be worn. Simply destroying or removing the nest will not solve the problem since the wasps will build a new one. Insecticidal dust is very effective if properly injected into the nest, killing wasps on contact and as they pass over it. Since dust formulations are residual, returning workers are killed as they enter the nest.

(Source: National Pest Management Association, et. al.)