The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


         After a slow start during the relatively cool spring, ground-nesting yellow-jackets and bald or white-faced hornets have been busy building large hives this summer, according to Russell Lamp, an entomologist and owner of Integrated Pest Control.

        “They’re catching up. We’re finding some sizeable hornet nests up in the trees – basketball size and larger,” he said.

        Lamp is looking for the hornets and several species of the yellow-jackets to fill the demand for their venom which is used by pharmaceutical companies to manufacture a de-sensitizing vaccine.

        If nests are still active and haven’t been sprayed or damaged, Lamp will remove the nests for free.

        “We will probably be collecting between now and into October,” he said. “When you can see about 100 going in and out of the nest in about a minute’s time that’s when we’re interested in them.”

        A nest removed from a Millbury home last week was about the size of two basketballs.

        Lamp has been removing nests since 1980. The yellow-jackets are more common in areas with sandy soil, he said. Mulched areas and raised gardens are also popular nesting sites.

      The hornets usually grow to one-inch and have a distinct color pattern – the head, thorax, abdomen, and antennae are black and white. Females will defend nests aggressively with repeated stinging.

        Lamp says the hornets are beneficial in that they eat mosquitoes, flies and yellow jackets.

        Queens that were born and fertilized at the end of the previous season begin a new colony. After selecting a location for its nest, the queen begins building it, laying the first eggs and feeding the first larvae, which become workers. They then assume the work of expanding the nest.

        To contact Lamp, call 419-836-3710.



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