A female ground hornet will create a burrow that can reach up to 130cm deep with branches and many more cells coming of it when she is ready to lay eggs. She will then lay a fertilised egg into each cell she has created. Ground hornets prefer to burrow in sandy, dry soil and will avoid burrowing into a thick lawn. A burrow is recognised by a mound of dirt that has been excavated to create the burrow along with ground hornets being present.
Ground hornets are solitary wasps that pose a very small threat as they don't have a nest full of friends who can help defend their nest. Male ground hornets do not have a stinger but can be very aggressive if a person seems threatening.
Female ground hornets are less aggressive towards animals than they are to male ground hornets and can give a very painful sting. The female ground hornet would much rather use her sting for her prey and will leave people alone as long as they do not pose a threat. The female ground hornet will search for a cicada wasp to attack, once found, the hornet will sting the wasp paralyzing it. The hornet will then roll the wasp onto its back and carry it back to her burrow as food for her young. Each cell of her burrow will contain an egg that she will also place up to 4 cicada wasps in as food. Each cell is then sealed of to prevent predators getting to her egg and its food.
The ground hornets eggs hatch after a couple of days and the larvae begin eating the food provided. Once all the food has been eaten, the larvae spins a silk case and will pupate through the winter and spring. Only in the summer will a new ground hornet emerge to start the hole process again.
Ground hornets would prefer not to sting people making them a low threat to people. However, if their burrows are close to were people live and walk, they may become a problem and need getting rid of. Their are many products and ways in order to get rid of them. Many people believe in pouring a fuel over the ground and the nest and setting fire to it. This can work but can also be dangerous and unsuitable for certain places. Products are available for taking care of the problem and are recommended.
Did You Know?
Did you know the following facts about wasps - hornets?
- Fact One - Wasps are not bees.
- Fact Two - Wasps can create a nest out of wood or mud where bees make their nests from honey.
- Fact Three - Wasps are most aggressive from August to October.
- Fact Four - They eat insects, food and rubbish.
- Fact Five - Wasps become inactive at night.
- Fact Six - They are normally found in their nest.
- Fact Seven - They are very sensitive to light.
- Fact Eight - They eat caterpillars.
- Fact Nine - Male wasps don't have a stinger.
- Fact Ten - Females have the stinger and it is also their sex organ.
- Fact Eleven - Females protect the nest.
- Fact Twelve - Not all female wasps are fertile.