Types of Hornets in Tennessee

Finding a hornet flying around your home or business can be a harrowing sight. What are hornets, and what makes them different from wasps? Essentially, hornets are a type of wasp—wasps consist of insects within the broad order of hymenoptera, while hornets are specifically within the genus Vespa. These are some of the hornets you’ll find in Tennessee and can learn to distinguish them from wasps.

European Hornet

The only true hornet by taxonomy that can be found in the United States, European hornets are large, yellow-and-brown stinging insects that are about an inch in length. They tend to be primarily carnivorous and prey on honey bees, mantises, dragonflies, and the like. European hornets are known to hover by honey bee hives and attack them as they return.

You can identify a European hornet nest by its paper-like appearance constructed from chewed up wood and plant matter. Like other hornets and wasps, European hornets do not actively seek out humans to sting. However, they are aggressive when threatened and are defensive of their nests.

Bald-Faced Hornets

While not technically hornets, as they aren’t within the genus Vespa, bald-faced hornets are nonetheless colloquially referred to as hornets. Bald-faced hornets are usually just under an inch in length and can be easily differentiated from European hornets by their distinctive black coloring and their white head. They are similar to European hornets in their construction of a large paper nest and their aggression in defending it. Each bald-faced hornet can use its stinger multiple times, unlike a bee, making it more dangerous.

When to Contact U.S. Pest Protection for Hornet Control

Finding a singular hornet around your home is not necessarily cause for concern, as they are hunters that seek out insects to consume and bring back to their nest. However, if you repeatedly see multiple hornets or spy a hornet nest near your home or business, you could have a problem that won’t go away any time soon. Hornet stings can be painful and potentially cause allergic reactions, and provoking an entire nest is a recipe for disaster. Thankfully, you can contact the pest control experts at U.S. Pest Protection for tips, recommendations, and environmentally conscious hornet pest control.

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