Hornet/wasp identification #869580

Asked May 22, 2024, 9:35 AM EDT

1.5-2 inches has adopted a wooden birdhouse

Howard County Maryland

Expert Response

This is a European Hornet, a very common species in our region. She is probably a queen, having just laid (or will soon) her first batch of eggs that will become workers for the colony. You can learn more on the linked page.

Since there are so few wasps (possibly only her) present at the nest right now, it will be easier to remove if you do not want it developing further. If the nests' location is not an issue (if it's in an area that won't be disturbed by people or pets, so the workers won't be motivated to sting in its defense), there is no harm in leaving it alone, since the nest will not be re-used next year after its members die out this autumn. Wasps visit flowers and other sources of sugar-water as adults, and hunt other insects to feed their young back in the nest, so they are considered beneficial in the landscape when they are not in direct conflict with people. This is a non-native species, but it's been in our area for so long that eliminating it for that reason won't affect much.


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