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Baldfaced Hornet

Baldfaced Hornet - Baldfaced hornets are large, black insects about 7/8 of an inch long with white to cream-colored markings on the front of the head and at the end of the abdomen. Hornets are beneficial predators that feed on other insects, particularly filth flies and blow flies.

The hornet colony is contained inside the nest constructed of paper-like material made from chewed wood fibers mixed with saliva.

The nest is composed of 3 or 4 tiers of combs within a thick, multilayered outer shell. A single opening at the bottom allows the hornets to fly in and out. Hornet nests are usually located in wooded areas, attached to a tree branch, but may be attached to shrubs, utility poles or house siding. The size of a hornet\'s nest and the hornets\' reputation is often sufficient to alarm people.

Fortunately, the aggressiveness of hornets does not match their appearance, although disturbing a nest or threatening an individual wasp will result in stings. Hornets are very protective of their colony and will usually attack if someone approaches within 3 feet of the nest. A nest located in a \"high traffic\" area such as along walks or near doorways justifies control to reduce the threat of being stung.

Nests away from human activity should be left undisturbed.