Recently, I was sent to Manalapan, NJ to remove a large, active hornets nest. The nest happened to be built between two homes, both with children. Both families had a strong mutual interest in having this nest removed for safety reasons. Even with dropping fall temperatures, the nest was quite active and there was a large number of hardy hornets that were not yet done for the season. These aggressive, territorial wasps had plenty of life in them to protect their nest to the bitter end.
Bald-faced hornets are large wasps, about three-quarters of an inch long. They are easily identified by ivory markings on their faces and abdomens. These wasps are close relatives of yellow jackets, and they are just as mean and ornery, often stinging without much provocation. While yellow jackets are typically ground-nesters that build their nests inside rodent burrows or other cavities, bald faced hornets typically build distinctive grey aerial nests a few feet off the ground. A mature bald faced hornet nest is a sight to behold. These nests, made of a mixture of chewed wood and saliva, can grow to basketball-sized proportions. Bald faced hornets are physically strong insects that can pierce through a layer of thick clothing to deliver a painful sting. Also, because a single wasp can sting multiple times, a swarm of these insects poses a serious medical threat, especially for children.
Any loud noises or sudden movements around a nest can trigger a swarm of attacking wasps. Suffice it to say, children at play around a hornets nests is trouble waiting to happen. These homeowners did the right thing by contacting Cowleys before anyone was stung. A mature nest can house hundreds of stinging insects! Please consider having an experienced pest control technician handle a hornet nest removal. DIY removal can easily turn into a DIY trip to the nearest emergency room.
To resolve this infestation, I first used a foaming-action residual solution that I sprayed directly into the nest opening and around the surrounding area. As a residual application, it stays active to kill any foraging wasps that later return to the nest area and stops them from attempting to rebuild. I also applied a dust to eliminate any returning wasps. After waiting until the wasp activity slowed down, I removed the nest and bagged it so I could take it with me off the property. With the wasp nest gone, the colony eliminated, and the area cleaned up of any nesting debris, these homeowner will not have to worry about their kids having an unwanted encounter with a small army of angry wasps. I was glad to help out and make this area safe again for outdoor play.