Bald Faced Hornet
Summary: Bald faced hornets can be very aggressive if their nest is approached. When removing the bald faced hornet nest it is strongly advised to wear protective clothing and to attempt the removal of the nest only at night when the hornets are at rest.
Rebecca B; St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada asks: My pussy willow tree has a wasp or bee nest. The wasps look like yellow jackets, but they are black with white rings. What are they and how can I get rid of them?
Dear Rebecca: You are most likely looking at a Bald Faced Hornet nest. I'm going to assume you want to remove the nest from the willow tree, so here are some tips for your adventure.
Tip number one: Nest removal should only be done at night when the hornets are all tucked in for the night. And, I don't mean you should do it when the sun is about to set. I mean it needs to be total darkness or you are in for a fight.
Tip number two: Make sure you can easily reach the entry hole of the nest. You'll need a can or two of wasp killer such as Wasp Freeze, which you can purchase from most hardware stores. Wasp Freeze shoots a steady stream of "knock down" insecticide from more than fifteen feet away from your target. Have both cans ready to go. You don't want to run short and have to run around searching for the second can.
Turn a flashlight on the nest and you will see a couple of "guard" hornets. Thoroughly shoot the outside of the nest then immediately start shooting directly into the entry hole. You'll have to move in pretty close to the nest to really get the Wasp Freeze to saturate. By this time your heart should really be pumping.
Tip number three: Don't stand there looking at your handiwork. Turn off your flashlight and run for cover. Don't come back until the next morning to see if the nest still has activity. Even if you don't see anything, shoot the nest again. New hornets could have hatched overnight.
Once you have confirmed that the nest is inactive you can cut down the branch and put it into a plastic garbage bag for disposal.
Pest control professionals will do these types of jobs wearing full bee suits that can be purchased on the web for about seventy dollars. It is definitely the safe way to do this.
Tip number four: Ignore everything you learned in tips one through three and pick up your phone and call a professional to do the job.