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How to Get Rid of Hornets Naturally

Updated on: September 29, 2021

Hornet species are the largest social wasps and are similar in appearance to their close yellow-striped relatives: carpenter bee, yellow jacket, worker wasps, honey bee, ground hornet, solitary wasp, and more. Hornets are frightening insect pests for many. They set up their nests near properties, fly quickly around doors and entryways, and pack a powerful sting if they feel threatened because you’re driving them away. 

How do you get rid of hornets naturally? There are several ways to eliminate a stinging insect, but everything starts by identifying and finding their nests to help you properly handle your pest problem. Although hornets are a subset of wasp species, there are different species of hornets and other wasps. 


Identifying Hornets’ Natural Habitat From Wasps’ Natural Habitat


Wasps Nest
Wasp nests are usually spherical in shape and grayish-brown in color. They’re made of chewed wood, pulp, and saliva. Hence they have distinctive papery walls. A wasp nest will begin very tiny in the early stage, just about the size of a walnut or golf ball, when the queen wasp begins to create a nest in the spring. During summer, the nest will grow as the number of wasps increases. It usually grows to the size of a football or larger.Wasp nests are typically made in sheltered spots with an easy way to the outside. You can find a wasp nest in roof spaces, wall cavities, bird boxes under eaves, sheds, or garages. To quickly find one, carefully watch the flight path of the returning worker wasps on your property.

One of the most common wasp species, the paper wasp (European paper wasp), likes to build large, exposed nests where the combs are visible. A paper wasp nest is often compared to an upside-down umbrella and is usually built-in in the dark, protected areas like the eaves of a house or the end of an open pipe. Other wasps you’re most likely to see in your property are the cicada killer wasp which nests near trees harboring cicadas; digger wasp, which typically digs a pit in the dirt or between the cover of plants and grass; mud dauber wasp which builds its nest under the eaves of houses, exterior walls, inside of barns, and garages; and spider wasp which commonly burrows in the ground.

Hornets Nest
A hornet's nest is made from saliva and wood pulp they chew and construct into a nest. Usually, hornet nests have a teardrop shape and can grow as much as the size of a basketball when finished. A common hornet nest has hexagonal combs and a single entrance.The nesting sites of a hornet depend on the species. Generally, hornets prefer to build nests in covered and secured areas. You’ll likely locate their nests in areas like tree branches and shrubs, crawl spaces, attics, and under the siding of houses. One of the most common hornet species, the bald faced hornet, tends to build its nest high above trees, while the European hornet likes to find a place protected from the sun and rain. Meanwhile, the Asian giant hornet lives underground in subterranean nests, making their hornet colony challenging to locate. 

Natural Ways to Repel Hornets

If you encounter a wasp colony, don’t make quick or large movements that could alarm them. These hornets have what’s referred to as a smooth stinger, which allows the wasps to continually sting until the threat they’ve perceived has been abated. Instead, try these methods in repelling wasps: 

Method 1: Vacuum

When a hornet reaches your place, you can use a fly swatter or rolled-up sheet, but remember that squashing the pest releases a chemical that can invite other hornets. This wouldn’t be a problem if there's only one hornet in your home, but it can invite more of them if there’s a nest in a nearby location.

A more natural and lower-risk method is your household vacuum cleaner. First, use the extension pipe to absorb the pest into the vacuum. Then, throw away the bag once the hornet perishes. 

Method 2: Make a Soap and Water Spray to Get Rid of the Nest

Soap and water solution is a good wasp spray, hornet killer, wasp killer, and protection against mud dauber wasps and yellowjacket. Get a spray bottle, add two tablespoons of dish soap, and fill the remaining bottle with water. After shaking well, thoroughly spray the soap and water mixture on the hornet nest or yellow jacket nest (aerial nests.) This will surely clog up their breathing pores, causing them to die instantly. 

Hornet nests are usually present in sheltered locations. These include attics, windows, leafy trees, or under eaves and rafters. Once you find the entire nest, there are various ways to eliminate hornets and their homes. 

We recommend spraying the nest entrance at dawn or dusk since this is when most hornets have returned home to sleep and aren’t as active. Then, soak the nest with insecticide and remove it after a few days; leaving it ensures that all hornets are dead.

Method 3: Use a Fake Wasp Nest 

You can purchase a decorative hornet decoy or fake nest from a garden or home improvement store. Hornets are known to be territorial. They tend to not build a nest within 200 feet of another hornets' nest, so a wasp decoy or fake nest on either side of your property should be able to deter any from moving in.

Method 4: Bag and Dispose of the Nest

Nests growing on low tree branches or bushes can be cut down and bagged. Protective gear can help reduce stings from angry hornets. Once you’re all set, open and place a heavy-duty plastic bag beneath the nest. Use long-handled hedge trimmers to trim down the branch so the nest falls directly into the bag.  Fill the bag with hornet insecticide, close it up, dispose of it, or burn it instantly.

Method 5: Use a Bucket Trap

Buckets containing vinegar, sugar water, and some mild dish soap can be effective in catching and drowning these pests. Put this in an area where hornets are likely to nest and replace the solution regularly.

How to Prevent Hornets From Coming Back

Of all the winged insects, hornets and wasps are right up there with mosquitoes in terms of inconvenience and threat. However, unlike pests that sprays can prevent easily, their nests must also be eliminated, and preventative actions should be taken. 

Unlike other stinging insects where you can spray an area and know they won't come back for a while, wasps are winged insects. This means that spraying a nest will only exterminate those that have touched that nest.

If you spray and eliminate the nest in a short time, wasps may come back but are unlikely to create a new nest in the exact location.  If you notice a nest in the same spot, it’s likely created by a different swarm.

Wasps that weren’t in the nest when the insecticide was applied will likely be back. Based on the product used when they enter, the pesticide will ultimately harm them. If they sense a threat or see the damage, they may not enter and look for another hive to take them. It’s not easy to tell if a wasp has come back and is alive in the nest, so be sure to exercise caution:

  • Wear protective coverings when removing a nest.
  • Remove and spray for nests regularly and as they show up.
  • Maintain a clean garden and backyard.

Use a wasp trap (This doesn’t remove your wasp problem if nests are on your premises. Wasp removal + hornet traps = wasp prevention).

Learn More: Guide to Wasp and Hornet Traps

What's the Biggest Risk of Removing Wasps at Home?

Removing a wasp nest by yourself is doable. Of course, you can, but should you? That’s a whole other question. Wasps can be risky if done wrongly. Most people try to get rid of wasps by using soapy water or fire. Those methods aren’t so effective and can cause damage to your property or yourself. 

The most recommended method to get rid of nests is to use a pesticide to guarantee that all the wasps are gone before you remove the nest. Just remember that this can take a while, depending on the product you use. Unluckily, most products you can buy aren’t as efficient as a pest exterminator.

While getting rid of a wasp nest yourself is possible, it can be risky and costly. We suggest having a pest control team get rid of the nest as they’re better equipped and help eliminate other pests on your property.

Trust Only PermaKill Exterminating for the Safest, Most Effective Wasp Control

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Do-it-yourself hornet and wasp nest removal are meticulous processes that may often lead to risky and unpredictable outcomes. Just imagine the excruciating pain hornet stings and wasp stings deliver, particularly by a bald faced hornet. This is why it's always a wise choice to seek the help of a properly trained and experienced pest control specialist in dealing with your wasp infestation problem.
We have the expertise and the needed tools to do the task safely and efficiently. When it's time to select a pest control team, trust only PermaKill Exterminating. We have a passion for pest removal, and this keeps us a leader in the industry. Call PermaKill Exterminating now and get a free quote.


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