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Pest Control/Bell Hornets

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Craig wrote at 2008-08-11 01:47:46
Dear Jessica,



 We are having the same problem in Appomattox VA actually Spout Spring at Paradise Lake. I do not know how far the species has reached through America and it does not sound like this gentalman knows much of them.  However what they are is what is known as the European Hornet or Vespa crabro.  Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_hornet  for more infor.  I believe the "Bell Hornet" name maybe an area common name for them.  Also I know killing the is HARD.  Wasp and hornet sprays really make them mad and they could be inside the tree nesting.  It is what is happening here with us and I am debating gassing the nest regaurdless or ecostructor or what not.. I do know they hurt when they sting.  I hope this helps some and good luck our simpathies are with you..


mike a.k.a hornet killer wrote at 2009-07-27 17:02:22
I FOUND THESE CRITTERS BUZZING MY PORCH LIGHT AT NIGHT.AS I STUDIED THEM I NOTICED THAT THEY WERE EATING ALL OF THE OTHER CRITTERS FLYING TO THE LIGHT.I TOOK AN OLD WASHTUB,FILLED IT WITH 2 INCHES OF WATER AND THREE CAPFULLS OF DISHWASHING LIQUID AND A MIRROR 6X6 IN THE BOTTOM OF THE TUB. I THEN TOOK A FLOOD LIGHT,ATTACHED IT TO THE SIDE OF THE TUB POINTING TOWARDS THE MIRROR AND TURNED IT ON AT DUSK.IN THREE HOURS I FOUND 26 DEAD HORNETS IN THE WATER.NEXT NIGHT I FOUND 34. I HOPE TO ELIMINATE THE NEST BY KILLING ALL THE WORKERS,OR AT LEAST KEEP THEM IN LOW NUMBERS.DON'T GET STUNG. THEY HURT




CATZZ wrote at 2009-09-02 19:31:40
YES!!!BELL HORNETS HURT VERY BADLY! MY 8 YR OLD SON JUST GOT STUNG 5 TIMES YESTERDAY(4 IN FACE/HEAD 1 ON ARM)HE WAS IN SO MUCH PAIN, & HIS WHOLE FACE SWELLED UP, THE DR. HAD TO PUT HIM ON PAIN MEDICINE AS WELL AS ALLERGY MEDICATION. THESE TYPE OF HORNETS ARE KNOWN TO BE VERY AGGRESSIVE IN THE AREA WE LIVE IN(NEAR CH'VILLE VA)MOSTLY COMMON IN FARM/WOODED AREAS. YOU SHOULD BE VERY CAREFUL DEALING WITH THESE HATEFUL HORNETS, DO NOT DO ANYTHING TO IRRITATE THEM, THEY ARE ALREADY VERY AGGRESSIVE & THAT ONLY MAKES THEM WORSE. ALTHOUGH, THEY WILL SOMETIMES STING WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING TO THEM. TRY TO GET RID OF THEM THE FASTEST WAY POSSIBLE, I'M STILL NOT QUITE SURE WHAT WORKS COMPLETELY...THEY KEEP COMING BACK!!  GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU WHO UNFORTUNATELY ENCOUNTER BELL HORNETS!


John wrote at 2009-11-06 00:48:11
Bell hornets are active at night and can be attracted to a light source, I used an auto work light, hanging over a trash can with several inches of soapy water. I used dish soap. They will fall into the trash can while buzzing around the light and drown. There were too many drowned hornets to count the morning after. The soapy water breaks the surface tension. I have seen them nest in hollow trees 20 feet up and at the base of  hollow trees at or below ground level. I have also heard them called Japanese hornets.


C wrote at 2010-03-04 02:10:04
Regarding George Manning being unable to identify the hornet - I'm pretty sure it's a European hornet.  I live in Virginia and have heard the name bell hornet used for a particular type of hornet for years, only to eventually discover that the term is apparently not widely used; based on pictures I've seen online, I am nearly certain that what I call a Bell hornet is in fact a European hornet.


Matt Anderson wrote at 2010-05-03 13:28:13
I live in Richmond Virginia, we have them too they are called European Hornets... Very nasty sting they pack too!


Kadie wrote at 2010-08-09 11:06:23
I live in rural Virginia and also had a problem with this creature. The bee you are referring to is called a European Hornet but in the south has earned the nickname "Bell Hornet or Bell Wasp" although I have no idea why. They are no more dangerous sting wise than a regular bee (which for those of us who are allergic is more than enough) and they are less aggressive than most wasps or hornets...as long as you don't get near their nest. Thats the tricky part because they do not make their nests readily visible so destroying them is not as easy as it would seem in a rural area. These bees are attracted to the sap of the tree in your yard (they did the same thing to mine until I had the tree removed which cut back on number greatly) and they love outdoor lighting at night. I have only seen them on rare occasions during the day but they frequently attack my motion sensor lights at night which makes it difficult to get in and out of the door.

If you are seeing an abundance of them, you may want to check for a hive because they are known to be very aggressive and attack in numbers if they are defending their hive in which case anyone who is allergic (and allergies to bees can show up as an adult too) will be in big trouble. As for the dog, my Lab has eaten several and other than a sting to the tongue, which still doesn't dissuade her, she has suffered no effects from her occasional bee treat.


Dave wrote at 2010-10-01 01:54:18
Mike - Big thanks for the tip!  I took a washtub filled with 2 inches of water and a little dishwashing liquid and hung a lightbulb over it on a hook.  Within 2 hrs, I have 30+ dead european hornets.  I'm looking forward to doing it again tomorrow night!  (Goochland, Virginia)




Ballowe5 wrote at 2012-09-08 20:06:40
The tub with mirror and soapy water and light really works. I did this last night and this morning I found around 15. We were on the porch this morning drinking coffee and happened to look out by the play ground and playhouse. We have an old poplar tree about 100 Ft. tall and 4 Ft. round at base. We saw them flying around that. I walked around the back side and found a hollowed out area about 15 ft up in the air. The nest is inside. I have started spraying the nest and soaking with hornet killer. Then in a few days I will start digging it out of the tree.  


Owen wrote at 2013-10-12 23:56:48
In the mid 60's in Montpelier, Va. we encountered a nest of these things.  the hotter it got the more agressive they got.  Eventually one of them stung my father.  His arm swelled up as if it were a balloon.  That was the last straw. They nested in a hollow tree about 30 feet from our front door.  1 quart of gas and boom it rained these things for minutes.  Had to call the fire department to save the tree but that took care of these nasty insects...I dont care what you call them they are nasty...


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George Manning

Expertise

I welcome any pest problem questions that you have, and will answer in a way that will direct you to proper solutions. See if you can stump me!

Experience

I am educated in the field of Entomology. I graduated from Purdue University and have owned and operated a pest control company in Chicago for over 40 years. I am frequently quoted in both of Chicago's newspapers and have appeared countless times on local television, primarily in the area of rodent control.

Organizations
Illinois Pest Control Association

Publications
Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Magazine

Education/Credentials
Bachelors of Science Entomology Purdue University

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