Alphabetical Plant Listing


Family Vespidae

Hornets are a type of wasp known for their large size and aggressive behavior. There are several different species of hornets found throughout the world, and they can range in size from small to large, with some species growing up to 2 inches in length.

If you have a hornet problem in your yard or garden, it is best to contact a professional pest control expert to safely remove the nest. Removing a hornet nest on your own can be dangerous and is not recommended.

Where to find them

Hornets are found throughout the world in a variety of different habitats. Some species of hornets are found in temperate regions, while others are found in tropical or subtropical regions.

In North America, some common species of hornets include the bald-faced hornet and the European hornet. The bald-faced hornet is native to North America and can be found in various habitats, from forests and woodlands to urban areas. The European hornet, on the other hand, is an introduced species and is found in more temperate regions of the United States.

In Asia and Europe, some common species of hornets include the yellow-legged hornet, the Japanese hornet, and the Asian giant hornet. These species are known for their large size and aggressive behavior, and they can be found in a variety of habitats, from forests and woodlands to urban areas.


Hornets are large, social wasps easily recognizable by their large size and distinctive appearance. They typically have a large head, with a pair of large, compound eyes and long antennae. Their bodies are slender and often brightly colored, with stripes or other distinctive markings.

The size of hornets can vary greatly depending on the species, with some species growing up to 2 inches (5 cm) in length. Some species are black or dark brown in color, while others have yellow or orange markings on their bodies.

Hornets live in large, social colonies and are known for their aggressive behavior. They feed on other insects and spiders, as well as nectar and other plant-based foods. Hornets are also known for their painful stings, which can be dangerous for people allergic to bee stings.

Life Cycle

The life cycle of a hornet consists of several distinct stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

  1. Egg: The queen hornet lays eggs in individual cells within the nest. The eggs hatch into larvae within a few days.

  2. Larva: The larvae are fed by the adult workers and grow rapidly, molting several times as they grow. The larvae are fed a mixture of chewed-up insects and regurgitated nectar.

  3. Pupa: Once the larvae have reached full size, they spin cocoons and pupate. During this stage, the pupae undergo metamorphosis and transform into adult hornets.

  4. Adult: After a few days, the adult hornets emerge from the cocoons and begin working in the nest. The adult workers feed the larvae and defend the nest, while the queen continues to lay eggs.

The entire life cycle of a hornet can take anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending on the species and the environmental conditions. The life cycle of a hornet colony begins in the spring when the queen emerges from hibernation and begins building a nest. The colony grows throughout the summer and reaches its peak in the fall when the new queens and drones emerge and mate. The old queen and the workers die off over the winter, and the cycle begins again in the spring.

Why a Beneficial Insect?

Hornets can be considered beneficial to some extent, as they play a role in controlling populations of other insects, such as flies, mosquitoes, and caterpillars. Hornets are also important pollinators, helping to pollinate crops and other plants.

However, hornets can also be a threat to humans, as their stings can be painful and potentially dangerous for people who are allergic to bee stings. In addition, hornets can damage crops and other plants by feeding on the sap and nectar of the plants.

Attract this Beneficial Insect to your Garden

There are several factors that can attract hornets to a garden, including:

  1. Food sources: Hornets feed on various insects, including flies, mosquitoes, caterpillars, and other pests. They are also attracted to sweet substances, such as nectar, fruit, and sap. If your garden has abundant food sources, it may attract hornets.

  2. Water sources: Hornets need water to survive, so if you have a pond, bird bath, or other source of water in your garden, it may attract hornets.

  3. Nesting sites: Hornets build large, paper-like nests usually located in trees, bushes, or other protected areas. If your garden has suitable nesting sites, such as hollow trees or bushes, it may attract hornets.

  4. Shelter: Hornet colonies are social insects that live together in large, organized communities. If your garden provides shelter and protection, such as dense foliage or another cover, it may attract hornets.

  5. Lights: Hornets are attracted to light, so if you have outdoor lights in your garden, they may attract hornets.

To minimize the risk of attracting hornets to your garden, it's important to keep food and water sources clean and to remove any potential nesting sites, such as hollow trees or bushes. If you have a hornet problem, it's best to contact a professional pest control expert to safely remove the nest and prevent potential harm to people or plants.

Guide Information

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

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