Recently, I went out on a service call for a homeowner in Sea Girt, NJ. This homeowner's daughter spotted a hornet's nest in a tree high above her bedroom window. Once I arrived, I inspected the area and located the nest in question. As I began examining it a number of angry bald-faced hornets emerged from the nest.
Bald-faced hornets are social stinging insects that have black bodies and a predominately white face. In the insect world, there is a distinction between “solitary” insects and the so-called “social” ones. Solitary insects go through life alone without the interdependent support network of a colony. The stinging insects responsible for the most pain and misery are “social” ones. They may be social to one another but they view us humans as party crashers. They are territorial about their nests and if you venture too close and they feel threatened, they will attack --- often in droves. The best way to avoid painful stings is to stay cool and avoid confrontation — no sudden movements and slowly back away from the danger zone. To a wasp or hornet, waving your arms around or swatting at them is a threat — and they don’t take threats lightly.
I used my extendable pole, to treat the nest from a safe distance, attached an aerosol flusher to it, and began treating the nest. This aerosol application immediately knocks down the bald-faced hornets on contact. After a few minutes, I cut down the nest and the attached tree branch and properly disposed of the nest.