Recently, I was sent to a home in Millstone Township, NJ for a periodic inspection and service visit that’s included in our residential home protection plans. These plans are valuable to homeowners because we often uncover pest problems that are overlooked by homeowners, especially outdoor infestations and infestations in their early stages.
During my inspection, I observed a hornet just starting to make a nest on an overhang of the front door. Hornets are highly territorial insects and a nest in any high pedestrian traffic area is a problem. If this nest was not removed, residents and guests of this home could easily be perceived as a threat to the nest and suffer the consequences. Hornets are a formidable threat since they often attack as a swarm. Their venom is especially painful because it contains high levels of acetylcholine, a chemical that stimulates our pain receptors. Also, a single hornet is able to sting multiple times because, unlike bees, its stinger remains intact and does not become lodged in the victim. Since hornets are large insects, they carry a good supply of venom, and release more venom per sting than any other stinging insect. Suffice it to say, I was glad that I was able to locate and treat this nest while it was still in its beginning stages of being formed. By removing this nest now, this household avoided a serious stinging insect threat.
Fortunately, since the nest was just starting to be formed it did not pose much of a threat to remove it. And that was just fine with me! First, I sprayed the nest with an aerosol foam to knock down any hornets in the nest. Once I saw that there was no more live activity, I safely removed the nest, bagged it, and carried it with me off the property. The homeowner was quite appreciative that I caught this problem early on before the hornets had a chance to form a mature nest.