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Trusted environmentally-friendly experts in Pest Control for Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall.

Pest Control experts in Hornet Nest Removal

Do you suspect you might have a hornet’s nest in or near your Devon property? Each summer we receive many calls to deal with unwanted hornet guests around Plymouth and beyond.

It is important to deal with these pests to prevent someone in your household being stung.

If you suspect a hornet’s nest (or indeed a wasp nest), contact a local professional pest control company immediately. 

Let’s look at the different types of hornets and how to identify them.

Native Species

European Hornet (Vespa crabro)

  • The only native hornet species in the UK.
  • Larger than most wasps, with yellow and brown colouration.
  • Generally less aggressive than common wasps but can sting if threatened.
  • Found in woodlands, parks, and rural areas.

Invasive Species

Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina)

  • Originated from Asia and has spread to various parts of Europe, including the UK.
  • Slightly smaller than the European hornet, with a dark brown or black body and yellow-tipped legs.
  • Known for its potential threat to honeybees and biodiversity.
  • Sightings should be reported to local authorities as they are subject to eradication efforts to prevent establishment.

Identification Tips

European Hornet

  • Larger, robust body.
  • Brown and yellow striped abdomen.
  • Characteristic loud buzzing sound.

Asian Hornet

  • Slightly smaller.
  • Dark brown or black with a yellow band on the fourth segment of the abdomen.
  • Yellow tips on legs and orange face.

Behaviour and Habitat

  • Both species are social insects, living in colonies with a single queen.
  • Nests are typically found in hollow trees, wall cavities, and occasionally in sheds or outbuildings.
  • They are more active during the warmer months and can be seen hunting for insects, which they feed to their larvae.
asian hornet nest

Reporting and Management

  • The Asian hornet is of particular concern due to its impact on native species and agriculture.
  • If you spot an Asian hornet, you should report it to the Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) or through the Asian Hornet Watch app in the UK.

Safety Tips

  • Avoid disturbing hornet nests.
  • If you encounter hornets, remain calm and move away slowly.
  • Seek medical attention if stung, especially if allergic reactions occur.

In addition to many calls to remove wasp nests from properties, we also receive many calls for hornet’s nests. It can be difficult to distinguish between the two for the untrained eye but both need addressing.

There are some key differences which should help you to distinguish between the two but in any circumstance, you should contact a local pest control company to rid your property of these unwanted pests.

Physical Differences between Hornets and Wasps


Hornets: Generally tend to be larger than wasps, with some species like the European hornet (Vespa crabro) reaching up to 35mm in length.

Wasps: Typically smaller, with common species like the common wasp (Vespula vulgaris) around 10-15mm.


Hornets: Often have a more robust and darker coloration. European hornets, for instance, are brown with yellow stripes.

Wasps: More vibrant and brightly coloured with distinct black and yellow bands.

Body Structure

Hornets: Thicker, more robust bodies. Their heads are generally wider, with a more pronounced separation between the thorax and abdomen.

Wasps: Slimmer and more streamlined bodies, with a noticeable narrow waist between the thorax and abdomen.

Behavioural Differences between Hornets and Wasps


Hornets: Generally less aggressive towards humans unless their nest is threatened. They tend to avoid human contact and are more defensive rather than aggressive.

Wasps: More likely to be aggressive, especially in late summer when food becomes scarce. They can be more persistent around human food and drinks.

Nesting Habits of Hornets and Wasps

Hornets: Prefer to build their nests in secluded, higher places such as hollow trees, attics, or wall cavities. Their nests are typically larger and more robust.

Wasps: Often build their nests in more exposed or accessible areas like under eaves, in bushes, or underground. Their nests are usually smaller and papery.

Hornet Nest Removal in Plymouth

Hornets in the UK include native species as well as invasive ones. You may have seen press articles about the invasion of Asian hornets, for example. 

Understanding and identifying these hornets can help protect local biodiversity and prevent potential ecological and economic impacts.

To discuss your pest control requirements and to report a hornet’s nest at your property, get in touch with the team at Falcon Environmental Services on 01752 929292.

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Kay Soppet
Kay Soppet
I was extremely pleased with Falcon Environmental Services. They were efficient, reliable, friendly and professional. I was happy that I found a local company to help with the problem of pests in my attic. They were always available to talk to explaining the situation to me and how they were going to deal with it. I really felt that they went over, above and beyond what I expected. Nothing was too much trouble, my calls and enquiries always returned with a friendly voice, care and consideration. I would honestly recommend them and use their company again if the need arises. It’s very comforting to find good, reliable professional people you can rely on. Thank you to everyone at FALCON.
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Steven Newton
I would definitely use this company again very professional.
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Marta Hawkins
Great service, super professional with a nice friendly touch. Always responsive and ready to adjust and accommodate extra needs. Highly recommend
Fast friendly and knowledgeable, Matthew understands your problems and discusses and explains what can be done to sort the problem, uses various ways to solve or remove whatever is causing the problem, from rats, wasps, bee's, feral pigeons, you name, it Falconry Environment will work hard to find a solution for you...
Sarah Wilkinson
Sarah Wilkinson
Great service, competitive pricing and friendly staff. Highly recommended
Falcon is the best. Matt is and always such a professional approachable man. We have had the pleasure of using Falcon for a few reasons that they have alway had expert advice and responses.
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John Adaway
I have had the pleasure of working with Matthew and his team and would highly recommend Falcon Environmental Services their friendly and professional approach to the work they do.
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Marc Payne
An excellent, professional and reliable service as always.
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Aaron Brian
Very professional service from every member of the team that I’ve dealt with. The team are extremely knowledgeable and always to willing to help when they can. Highly recommended company. Thanks Matt and the team.
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Tracy Phillips
Very happy with service that we received. High level professional advice and follow-up work was provided by the company. Communication with the office was quick and responsive and colleagues who attended were prompt, helpful and skilled. Would fully recommend the service if and when required.

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