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Pest Control/Bell Hornets?


Sunny wrote at 2008-09-07 05:17:15
I also live in Virgnia and we have TONS of what are locally called "bell hornets."  They are incredibly busy at night, will find a way in to your house if you have, as we do, a screened porch with a few utterly unfindable holes, and are extremely attracted to light sources.

The good news is, we have had only one sting in five years of being out here... and that was when my daughter stepped on one that had been swatted down but not completely killed, and then wandered back out onto the kitchen floor.  Said daughter is not allergic, and it did hurt like the dickens, but there was no prolonged effect.

My experience with these made me do a lot of research and they appear to be Scoliid wasps... and they are a tree-nesting species, so this seems to fit with the other questions I've seen here.  My experience also tells me that they are very NON-aggressive, even when you swat them. I've never had one come at me when I did so (which I hate to do, because they generally leave us alone and are supposed to feast on other, more annoying pests).  They pretty much leave you the h-e-double-chopsticks alone if you don't step on them, and they are beneficial insects. They do scare people, and I do have to kill them sometimes just to restore balance here, but they are gentle giants.  If you can, let them be.

Willie wrote at 2014-05-05 23:15:17
On the contrary, hornets have already killed two of my river birch trees. I am at a loss how to control them.

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Insect identification and control is my area of expertise.


I have a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Entomology and pest management. I have been collecting insects for 23 years. I work for the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

National Association of County Agricultural Agents International Scoiety of Arboriculture National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Epsilon Sigma Phi

International Society of Arboriculture monthly trade magazine (Plant Health Care) Gardening State by State Rockdale Citizen (newspaper) Indoors Outdoors weekly column

BS State University of New York College of Environemtnal Science and Forestry MPPPM University of Georgia

Awards and Honors
Distinguished Service Award in two professional associations

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