A number of different hornet species call Western New York home. Often hornets are social insects, living in large colonies of hundreds of other individuals. How much of a nuisance they are depends on the species and where the nest is located. Since hornets often prey on wasps, having certain species of hornets around your property may be beneficial.
It’s important to note that hornets can sting, and these stings can cause an allergic reaction. Certain species may also damage trees and shrubs.
Occurrence of Hornets in Western New York
One of the most common species of hornets in our area is the European hornet. These are social hornets, nesting in hollow trees, barns, houses, and outbuildings. These nests will often have 200-400 individuals. Unlike many other species of hornets, bees, and wasps, European hornets can be active at night. You might notice them banging on closed windows, as they are attracted to light.
Your Personal Hornet Prevention Plan
There are some steps you can take to prevent your home from being attractive to certain species of hornets, and to keep yourself and family members from being stung:
- Stay away from active hornet nests. Be careful when working around trees and shrubs, as hornet nests may be hidden.
- Use yellow bulbs in exterior lights, as this doesn’t attract European hornets.
- Some species of hornets feed on fruit, so make sure you remove any fruit that falls from trees.