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hornetsThe Vespa crabro, the latin name for hornet is a pest that is mostly active from May to November. The majority of people consider hornets highly dangerous and their presence often causes fear and panic, however they will only attack if disturbed.

Hornets are closely related to ants and bees, and like most nest building insects, will defend their colony when they consider it threatened. If you encounter a hornet, it is important to avoid rapid movements, blocking the flight path, and vibrating or breathing on the nests.

The appearance of Queen hornets is about 35mm long and are dark brown with yellow bands on their abdomen.

Worker hornets are noticeably smaller than the queen, measuring between 18-25mm, but share the same coloring.

The lifecycle of hornet queens generally emerge from hibernation in May and will set about finding a suitable nesting site and laying the first batch of eggs. The first worker hornets will emerge from the nest following a period of twelve to fourteen days of being in their larval stage.

In the time between mid August and mid September, the hornet colony achieves its developmental peak, amounting to 400-700 animals and a 60cm high nest. The queen now lays eggs, which become males and young queens.

The appearance of the first sexually active queens and males indicates the decline of the colony. Once they have left the nest, they will collect on nearby trees and mate, after which the males will die. The young queens now hunt for a suitable hibernation place for the process to begin again next year.

Hornet pest control is a specialist field and should only be undertaken by trained professionals. If you find a hornets nest, you should keep well away as they can become very aggressive if threatened. If you suspect that you have hornets living in your home or garden, then do not hesitate to contact Northwest Pest Patrol and we will take care of this issue for you.