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Types of Hornets in the Area

Hornets are common nuisance insects in the wasp family. These pests occur throughout the country in diverse habitats, including the Mid-Atlantic states. Two hornet species live locally, nesting in abandoned animal burrows, under the eaves of homes, or in trees and sheltered spots.

European Hornet

The most prominent hornet species in the United States is the European hornet. This pest is not native to the country but has become well established on the East Coast and as far west as the Dakotas. Homeowners may find nests inside attics and hollow walls or on the sides of homes and barns.

Because they seek out protected places near houses, the pests often come into contact with humans. This type of hornet is not overly aggressive but will attack to defend its nest. European hornets can sting their victim repeatedly, resulting in swollen, painful bumps. Those with wasp allergies may have more serious symptoms.

Bald-Faced Hornet

More closely related to the yellow jacket, the bald-faced hornet is not actually a true hornet. The pest has a unique black and white coloration and is considerably smaller than the European hornet.

Bald-faced hornets usually colonize shrubs or trees at least three feet above the ground. These insects make football-shaped paper nests that house hundreds of individuals. Like other types of hornets, the pests will turn hostile towards people or pets who threaten their colony.


Regardless of the hornet species in the home or yard, a prompt response is essential. However, removal of these pests is not a good DIY project. Hornets sting at the first sign of trouble and nests in confined areas or high above the ground can be tough to reach safely. For expert help getting rid of any kind of hornet nest, call on Western Pest Services.