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How Dangerous Are Hornets In Jacksonville?

October 02, 2021 - Stinging Insects

We all know that a hornet is not just a mascot for the professional basketball team. It is also a stinging member of the wasp family that you likely do not want infesting your Jacksonville yard. While they can provide a benefit to the environment, they can also be dangerous on your property.

Hornets are carnivores, which feed on other insects, sometimes making them helpful to humans. However, they will also sting people, causing pain and even death in some cases.

Hornet Species Found In The Jacksonville Are

Though you may encounter a variety of different types of hornets, here in Jacksonville, we mainly deal with mud dauber wasps, paper wasps, cicada killer wasps, and yellow jackets. 

  • Mud dauber wasps are about 1/2 of an inch long and often have yellow markings on their slender waist. They are solitary wasps meaning that they do not build group nests. They are not typically aggressive towards humans. 
  • Paper wasps are social and can be aggressive toward humans. They come in a variety of different colors, from dark brown to orange or red. Sometimes they have yellow stripes or spots. 
  • Cicada killer wasps are larger and can reach 1 1/2 of an inch in length. They are black with yellow markings on their abdomens and orange wings. They are solitary and typically not aggressive toward humans. 
  • Yellow Jackets are arguably the most concerning wasp species here in Florida. They are aggressive towards humans and will vigilantly protect their nests. They are social, with some nests containing tens of thousands of wasps. They earn their name as black wasps with yellow stripes on their abdomens. 

Hornets’ nests are commonly found in the ground or in hollow trees. Many Jacksonville residents may unknowingly discover such nests mowing or caring for your property’s plants.

The Dangers Of Hornets

Hornets are aggressive. While hornets will generally avoid human contact, they will become aggressive if a person or animal intentionally or accidentally threatens their nest.

A single sting from a hornet can be life-threatening if that person is allergic to the sting. The venom hornets inject contains a chemical called histamine. Depending on the person’s reaction, symptoms can be mild to life-threatening and vary from person to person.

While many believe that hornets are less active in the evening hours, the nest will still “assign guards” to watch a nest no matter the time, day or night.

Unlike certain types of bees, the hornet is capable of stinging multiple times. It does not die upon stinging its victim, and it does not lose its stinger, either. This makes a hornet’s sting potentially dangerous to even those who are not typically allergic, as it may repeatedly sting a person in one encounter.

Hornets communicate well with one another, making an encounter with one even more dangerous. Hornets will notify others in the nest that a danger is approaching. They will likely see any human approaching as a threat to their nest or food.

Hornets will perform an “alarm dance,” which consists of buzzing and darting, letting other nest inhabitants know of the potential danger. The pests also share pheromones and can sense the threat from one hornet to another.

Such pheromones can also stick to a person’s clothing. If you’ve had an encounter with an angry hornet, it is best to change clothing and not return to the space immediately, allowing such pheromones to dissipate.

Stop A Hornet Before It Can Start

Ideally, prevention methods to deter hornets from your property can assist any Jacksonville homeowner in getting ahead of the problem in the first place. Basic steps to secure your property, inside and out, will lower your risk of having to face an angry hornets’ nest in the first place.

Some prevention methods to eliminate hornets from your home include:

  • Remove All Trash and Food: Do not allow for food debris or trash piles to be kept on the property. These additions can attract hornets. Be sure to keep your land and home clear of such garbage.
  •  Fill Ground Holes: Because hornets also make nests in the ground, walk your home’s entire property. Look for any major holes, and be sure to securely fill them with dirt. Prevent future holes from being made on the property, allowing for less opportunity for a hornet to make its nest in your Jacksonville yard.Depending on the weather, you may also want to recheck such spots to ensure the filling has not washed away with rain.
  • Keep Hedges And Trees Trimmed: Do not allow plants on your property to become overgrown. Such growth, especially close to the house, provides an opportunity for a hornet to come into contact with the home’s inhabitants. Try not to overplant your yard, especially in spaces closest to the home. Overwatering plants on your land can also attract more hornets into your space. 
  • Watch What You Wear: From powerful perfumes to colorful clothing, hornets are attracted to people for different reasons. Strong-smelling soaps and shampoos can interest the pest, as it will become confused with the scents from its companions’ pheromones. Do not wear brightly colored or patterned clothing if you suspect hornets are near your home. Avoid strongly scented products.

Though you may do your best to implement prevention methods, hornets will likely still find their way onto your property. If you have a hornet problem, be wary of solving it on your own. Instead, it's best to partner with an experienced professional.

Leave It To The Professionals At Trad’s Pest Control

There are many products on the market to eliminate any hornet nest you discover on your property. However, allergic or not, it is advisable to allow professionals to handle any hornets you may encounter in or around your Jacksonville home.

Because of their ability to sting repeatedly and painfully, the hornet is not a pest you want to mess with alone. In other words, “don’t try this at home.” Call the pros.

Trad’s Pest Control knows how to remove hornets safely and permanently from your home or property. With one quick phone call, you can have peace of mind, knowing this pesky problem will be over soon.  Allow the professionals to remove hornets from your Jacksonville home today.

Trad’s Pest Control can remove more than just hornets. Trust the services to remove any stinging insect and their nests on an as-needed basis, year-round. Reach out to us today to learn more about our stinging insect control services. 

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