Identifying Hornets and Hornets Nest

If you think you have a hornet’s nest problem in your backyard, you will first want to make sure that it is in fact a hornet’s nest. The first step you will want to take is to identify the hornet. A hornet looks very similar to other kinds of wasps. Therefore, hornet identification is not always easy. This type of wasp is extremely aggressive and it is not scared of attacking you.

A hornet has a very thin waist between its upper body (called the abdomen) and its lower body (called the thorax). This is what makes it look very similar to the common wasp. On the other hand, all insects belonging to the bee family have thick waists. The abdomen of the hornet is also much more rounded than that of the wasp. They are more black than any other species, with touches of white or yellow depending on the kind of hornet. The yellow hornet could be dark yellow to an orange like color.

How to Identify?

If you can properly identify the hornet, identifying the hornets’ nest is a much easier task. Hornets make their nests above ground and they will be high up in trees. Occasionally, you may find hornets’ nest in smaller shrubs. The shape of the nest is similar to the shape of a football or an upside down teardrop. They are also made of paper that the hornets build using wood. The nest is built in vertical layers, therefore look for vertical lines on the nest. In the inside of the nest, hornets use the first layers of the nest for food and for breeding their eggs.
hornets nest
Just because the nest is high up in a tree, it doesn’t mean it is a hornets’ nest. Other types of wasps such as the North American bald-faced hornet and the Australian hornet also build their nests up in the trees. While those two species are called hornets, they are in fact more of a wasp than a hornet. For this reason, it is crucial to first identify the hornet before identifying the hornets’ nest. If you can first properly identify the hornet specie, you will have a much easier time identifying the nest as well as dealing with the issue of removing and control the hornets.

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