Recently, we went on a service call for one of our commercial clients, a condominium association in Parlin, NJ. One of the residents had reported a wasp nest forming above their second story bedroom window. As we inspected the property, we noticed hornets circling around a particular area on the soffit. In order to safely examine the nest in question without disturbing the hornets, we used the camera on our phone to get a closer look. After examining the nest, it turned out to be the beginning stages of a bald-faced hornet's nest.
A bald-faced hornets body is black in color and their face is white. They are larger than most yellow jackets, with workers as big as 20 mm or more. Their common nesting areas include tree hollows and on dense shrubs and trees. A queen looking for somewhere to spend the winter may move indoors through gaps in roofing or around eaves. Bald-faced hornets are protective of their nests and will aggressively attack and sting people and animals they deem a threat.
When they “zone in,” they will often attack in very large numbers. This means the insects may inject a large amount of venom, increasing the likelihood of painful swelling or a far more serious allergic reaction. Their nest is constructed of paper-like material made from chewed wood fibers mixed with saliva.
Fortunately, we caught this nest at its beginning stages. These nests can grow to the size of a basketball or bigger. Using my extension pole, I carefully removed the nest. Nests should never be handled without the assistance of a pest control expert. Then, to prevent the bald-faced hornets from rebuilding their nest, we applied a liquid residual along the soffit area. This is a great example of how a pest problem was immediately identified by a homeowner and resolved in a timely manner without any time for the infestation to grow.