Hornet Infestation in Toms River, NJ
Summer is not only a busy time for us, but for insects as well. This is time of year when many insects are most active. They are at their population peaks and working hard to expand their colonies. Hornets in particular rear their heads (and stingers!) in the summer. During the summer, we see hornets busily doing their construction work. They build their nests not only in trees, but often on man-made structures as well. We will find their perfect hexagonal chambers attached to soffits, inside garages, attics, on window sills and door frames, attached to exterior walls, and pretty much anywhere they can attach their nest “building materials.” Hornets make their own nesting material by mixing chewed-up wood pulp from tree bark mixed with their saliva, forming an enclosed nest around the comb where the queen lays her eggs.
Hornets nests can grow quite rapidly, with a surprising number of hornets living in what we would consider cramped quarters. Often, homeowners don’t even realize that they have a wasp infestation until the nest grows to a decent size, especially if the nest is formed in an area of the home or surrounding property that isn’t visited too often. Often, by the time a Cowleys tech is called out to the home, the nest has grown to the size of a melon. Once these guys get going building their nest, they mean business. Nest sizes can double in just a week!
These particular homeowners in Toms River, NJ called us after discovering a hornet's nest that was built, of all places, on the side of a raised playhouse in their yard. Fortunately, no one had yet been stung, but this was a potentially dangerous situation. Hornets usually don’t go out of their way to bother anyone. The problem is when someone unknowingly walks into the path of foraging wasps. With kids playing around this structure, there was a high risk of a swarm of wasps stinging children. This nest was not noticed immediately because it was built pretty high up on the playground— about twelve feet up a side wall of the structure.
To treat this hornet infestation, I used an aerosol pyrethrin application attached to an extension pole to access the nest. After spraying, I waited for about 20 minutes for the application to take effect. This product immediately knocks down the wasp population, and after waiting, there were no more visible wasps swarming around the nest. Now, with a nest that was substantially inactive (of course, there could always be a few live wasps still hiding in the nest), I removed the nest with a scraper attached to the pole. I then bagged the nest to take it off the property. Finally, I treated the area where the nest was attached that would help prevent the Hornets from trying to reconstruct the nest.
This type of stinging insect assignment is very satisfying to me. When finished, I knew that by removing this nest, I likely prevented some innocent kids from being attacked by a swarm of hornets just because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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