Are hornet nests really that bad?

We have bats (serotine) in the loft, and while I was out at dusk watching for them to appear from the eaves, I noticed a few hornets buzzing around up there. Same again tonight, so I’m wondering if there’s a nest. Google just comes up with pest control companies telling me to kill anything that moves, but I’m generally okay with sharing my space! I find hornets quite fascinating and I spotted one buzzing around the pond yesterday. Just wondering if they might be causing any kind of damage to either the loft or the bats?

  • Not an expert on bats or hornets but from what I have read hornets will only attack (sting) if they feel under threat or nesting area is disturbed; as for bats, I would have thought the hornet was on their menu list ! As you say they are fascinating insects and it is not always necessary to bring in pest control for hornets/wasps if you are happy to give them their own space and are at safe distance from their nests. Wouldn't like to be stung by a hornet as they are pretty painful so I am told. Must be interesting to have bats around and they'll keep the insect numbers down. It's good to hear from people who's first reaction isn't to call pest control !

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • How lucky you are to have Serotine roosting. They hunt over my garden and roost in the close by church. European hornet are quite 'docile' if left alone but it's worth getting a proper id on them just to make sure- I'm assuming you are in Southern England. Any attempt at removal could affect the bats and as they are Red Listed that could lead to all sorts of issues

    Cin J

  • Discussed this with Mrs. CH yesterday evening.

    We were both raised to have a mortal fear of hornets: they sting you and you're dead.
    But we now don't actually know anyone who thinks that.

    We disturb several small nests each year (don't know about species/varieties) as they squat in some of the nesting boxes we control as volunteers. We just close the box and leave.

    There was a nest in Mrs. CH's folks' attic last year. Her brother was stung on the head while examining it with a view to removal, and went to A+E. Personally not sure I'd like a nest in the roof space, but that would depend too on if I had to go up there for any reason. Our attic is also bat territory, and also gives us access to nesting boxes for Common Swifts. So, if we had a nest up there I'm fairly sure, with regret, we'd have it removed.

    I've just mailed an acquaintance, a biologist specialized in bats. Will post here when he comes back with an opinion.

    All the best -
    Dave
  • We sre lucky enough to have bats in the roof space and enjoy watching them, I'm not sure how Chris would react to a Hornets nest up there as it is pretty close to our bedroom and their nests can be quite noisy

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • We sre lucky enough to have bats in the roof space and enjoy watching them, I'm not sure how Chris would react to a Hornets nest up there as it is pretty close to our bedroom and their nests can be quite noisy

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • Same for Pete, it's a pleasure to have them here. Common Serotine and Pipistrelle; but only the males.

    News from our Batman:
    If both bats and hornets use the same entry/exit aperture, it can be a problem.
    You'll "want" (yes, of course) 5 to 10 meters of space between the roosts and the nest, or at least that they are on opposite sides of the roof space.
    Basically, they are active at different times, but if they are too close to one another (the nest and the roost) and/or use the same entrance/exit, there could be problems.

    Translation mine.

    Hope this helps a little -
    Dave
  • Looks like the hornets and the bats got together, and got Isy...

    Dave