Just How Dangerous Are Hornets In Opelika, Alabama?
August 28, 2020
Almost everyone hates stinging insects. If you have done any research, you might already know that hornets are a bit larger and more troublesome than your average wasp. The question is, how dangerous are they? Do these pests pose a serious risk to you, your family, and your pets, or are they less harmful than you might think? Here is everything you need to know about these scary-looking yard invaders.
What Are Hornets?
Several species of hornets live within the United States. However, only one is known for living and causing trouble here in Opelika. First introduced to the United States in the 1800s, European hornets are the largest and one of the more aggressive species of wasps in our area. They are ¾ to ½” long, brown, and yellow striped pests are best identified by their pale face and four wings.
European hornets are most common in late fall and live primarily on a diet of other insects including grasshoppers, yellow jackets, flies, and honeybees. To make a nest, these pests will use chewed up cellulose. You will find these paper mache like nests inside hollowed out trees, attics, outbuildings, and abandoned beehives.
Why Hornets Are More Dangerous
Just because something is bigger does not mean it is more dangerous, right? Although this is sometimes true, in the case of wasps, bigger is usually nastier. In the case of European hornets, the largest eusocial wasps here in Opelika, their venom is much more potent than your average stinging hornet. This means more pain, more danger, and more risk of fatality. If this wasn’t scary enough, hornets are able to sting their victims multiple times and are known for being overly aggressive.
A sting from a European hornet will hurt and can swell and itch for up to 24 hours. A single sting from one of these pests is seldom life-threatening unless the individual is allergic to insect venom. It is only in massive attacks, where an individual is stung hundreds of times, that there is a chance of fatality.
What Attracts Hornets To Properties
Steady sources of food and good locations to build nests draw European hornets onto properties. If your yard is populated with insects, filled with budding plants like flowers and fruit trees, or has hollow trees, easily accessible outbuildings, or improperly sealed attic spaces, hornets will be much more likely to invade.
10 Prevention Tips For Hornets
The good news is that hornets are preventable. With a bit of effort and knowledge, you might never have to worry about these pests again. To help with this, here are ten great tips you should be using to keep hornets off your property.
- Remove nests when they are still in their earliest stages when hornets are not around
- Make sure all of your trash cans have tight-fitting lids
- Keep your home’s windows and doors shut as much as possible
- Repair or replace window/door screens that are damaged
- Use a caulking gun to seal the exterior of your home and of outbuildings on your property
- Eliminate clutter and debris from around your yard
- Trim your grass and landscaping regularly
- Turn off exterior lights before going to bed or invest in insect repellent light bulbs
- Consider removing flowers and other budding plants from your yard
- Invest in high-quality pest control services
Our professionals at Prewett Pest Control are here for you! It is extremely dangerous to handle an existing infestation on your own, give us a call today to schedule an emergency service visit to have the hornets safely removed from your Opelika yard. We have great service options for you to effectively eliminate and prevent any future pest problems at your home.