You definitely want to avoid a hornet attack at all cost
We’ve all been there before — you’re minding your own business when you hear that unmistakable buzz float past your head. Your heart stops, your stomach drops, and you dive into the woods as your friends look at you like you’ve finally lost your mind.
But did you know that hornets are more than just the ultimate tiny killing machines? Here are the top 5 things that’ll help you survive your next hornet encounter, or avoid one altogether.
1. Hornets aren’t as mean as they seem
Fun Fact: Did you know that hornets are actually not aggressive? It’s true! Most bees will usually only attack if they feel that their colonies are under attack. So if you’re trying to get rid of a beehive, you might want to be aware of this, otherwise, the old saying is true; “it’s more afraid of you than you are of it.” If you do your best to ignore them, they’ll probably give you the same courtesy back.
2. Hornets can nest underground
You’ll often either find hornet’s nests in high areas, or in the ground. These are typically easy to spot. What’s most dangerous, however, is when hornets create their nests in the ground. These nests can be built in old rodent burrows or other holes in the ground and can be more difficult to spot.
A careless step can result in several painful hornet stings. Always be aware of lumps in the ground when walking around. This issue makes hornet nest removal – especially nests underground – a real problem. Usually, store-bought sprays don’t work too well for these nests. It’s best that you rely on trained professionals with bee removing equipment to get the job done.
3. Mother Nature’s natural pesticide
Hornets are often given a bad rap, but did you know that they’re actually very effective pesticides? It’s true! They prey on insects that are usually harmful to gardens and vegetation. So what do they eat?
- Sweets – If you could be a bee dentist, you’d never have a shortage of patients. Hornets have a real sweet tooth and are attracted to sugary things (especially sugary drinks).
- Sap – Hornets love tree sap. In fact, they’re strong enough to land on trees and peel back the bark to get to that sweet, sweet tree juice. So if you’re thinking that Marvel’s new movie Ant-Man and the Wasp is bogus, just remember that a bee really is strong!
- Protein – Hornet babies live off of the protein in the form of other dead insects. This helps the young grow up to be big and strong.
4. Something stings!
Although the chances of getting stung by a hornet are pretty small (unless you’re bothering their hive), their sting can actually be fairly dangerous. Hornets carry venom in their stingers, so when they decide to attack, it has been known to be deadly.
Hornet stings are especially painful because of the large amounts of acetylcholine; an organic chemical that functions in the brain as an especially powerful neurotransmitter. So when you get stung by a hornet, you feel it!
This is a popular question: Does a bee die after it stings? The first thing to know is that bees and hornets are not the same things! If a bee stings an insect, it probably will be fine. But if it stings something with elastic skin like a human’s, it often can’t pull it’s barbed stinger free and ends up ripping the bottom of its torso off. In that case, yes – it will die.
But that’s just a bee, Hornets are different. Hornets don’t die after they sting because they can easily pull their stingers out of their victim. In fact, a hornet can in sting multiple times in a row. So although one hornet sting may not be serious, multiple hornet stings can end up being a real problem.
All of that to say, be careful around hornets. You don’t want to deal with multiple stings from multiple insects.
5. The Schmidt Pain Index
When we discuss hornet and bee stings, we have to mention the Schmidt pain index. It’s just too good not to discuss. A scientist by the name of Justin Schmidt was kind enough to subject himself to several types of insect stings and mark their pain ratings, on a scale of 1 – 4. Please revel in his pain as you read through his descriptors of the pain level of different types of stings.
- Pain Level 1 – “Some insects at the pain level of one may only cause slight pain or skin irritation. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm.”
- Pain Level 2 – “This has a similarly debilitating feeling of a migraine contained in the tip of your finger. It’s hot and smokey, and can disrupt your entire routine.”
- Pain Level 3 – “Hornets fall nicely into pain level 3. It feels like… after eight unrelenting hours of drilling into that ingrown toenail, you find the drill wedged into the toe.”
- Pain Level 4 – “Torture.”
Do you have a bee or hornet related story? Do you have any tips for dealing with hornets that we left out? Contact us now with your ideas and story and you just may be published!
Are you finding bees or hornets near your home or building? Don’t wait until someone has an unfortunate accident with a stinger. Call Summit Environmental Solutions today for hornet removal and hornet prevention.