Bald-Faced Hornet

Actual Size: 12 to15 mm

Characteristics: Black with a distinctive white pattern on the face.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Builds papery nests, generally at least three feet off of the ground in trees or house siding.


  • Most active in the late summer months.
  • Colonies typically have between 100 and 400 members.
  • Are aggressive and may sting unprovoked.

Bald-Faced Hornets in North Jersey

Though bald-faced hornets look similar to yellowjackets, they have distinctive ivory-white markings across their faces. These hornets are fairly large and aggressive, and they are known for viciously defending their nests whenever they feel threatened. While bald-faced hornets are considered beneficial because they can help control insects such as flies and mosquitoes, the danger often outweighs the benefit – particularly because these wasps often build nests near human structures. They tend to construct their papery nests in places like structural wall voids, attic spaces, and landscaping features that are near human activity.

Bald-Faced Hornet Habitat

Bald-faced hornets are known for building large, gray, and egg-shaped nests. When fully built, the nest can measure up to 24 inches in length and 30 inches in diameter – about the size of a basketball – making it a real shock to come across on your property. These nests have a papery appearance because they are made from chewed-up wood fibers, and they are usually located in trees, under eaves, and sometimes even in old playground equipment. In the spring and summer, bald-faced hornets will scavenge around your property for ripe fruit, trash, or spilled food outdoors. As temperatures drop in the fall, however, these wasps may become more aggressive, and they may try to seek shelter in your home to get away from the cold.

Bald-Faced Hornet Behavior, Threats, or Dangers

In addition to being notoriously aggressive, bald-faced hornets have a painful sting that can cause swelling for up to 24 hours. Individuals who are allergic to bee stings may also experience a severe reaction. Particularly if you have young children who are more likely to stumble across a nest while playing outdoors, it’s important to call a professional hornet control at the first sign of an infestation. Bald-faced hornets are the last pest you want to try to remove on your own but rest assured that the experts at Eastern Pest Services will make the process easy. We have the tools and expertise needed to get rid of them safely and prevent them from returning in the future.