Hornets, like paper wasps and yellow jackets, are social wasps that prey mainly on other insects. As with other wasps, hornets are not a threat to humans unless disturbed. Unfortunately, the black and white bald faced hornet has a tendency to build nests close to places where we like to spend time.
Here are seven easy ways to rid your home of hornets, whether it’s a single pest or a full nest.
WARNING: Do not attempt hornet removal if you are allergic to hornets or wasps.
Method 1: Remove a Single Hornet
Occasionally, a single hornet finds its way into your home. You can use a fly-swatter or rolled-up newspaper, but squashing the pest releases a chemical that can attract other hornets. This isn’t necessarily a problem if there’s only one hornet in your home, but if there is a nest hidden in the attic or another nearby location, it can bring out more pests.
An easier and lower-risk method is your household vacuum cleaner. Use the extension hose to simply suck the pest into the vacuum. Dispose of the bag or leave the canister alone once the hornet is dead.
Method 2: Spray and Remove the Nest
Hornet nests are typically found in sheltered locations, like leafy trees, under eaves and rafters, in attics, or on windows. Once you locate the nest, there are a number of ways to get rid of both the hornets and their home, including wasp and hornet insecticides.
It’s best to spray the nest at dawn or dusk, when most hornets have returned home to sleep and are less active. Soak the nest with pesticide and remove it after a few days; leaving it ensures all of the hornets are dead.
Method 3: Bag and Dispose of the Nest
Nests growing on low tree branches or bushes can be cut down and bagged. Wearing protective gear to limit stings from angry hornets, open and place a heavy-duty plastic bag under the nest. Use long-handled hedge trimmers to cut down the branch so that the nest drops into the bag. Fill the bag with hornet insecticide, close it up, and dispose of it or burn it immediately.
Method 4: Use a Vinegar Trap
To create a vinegar trap, cut the neck off a 2-liter soda bottle, turn it upside-down, place it back into the base of the bottle like a funnel, and staple the two halves together. Pierce holes in either side of the trap and thread string though the holes so that the trap can be hung.
Fill the trap with a cup of apple cider vinegar and a drop of dish soap, and use string to hang a small piece of raw meat inside the trap to attract the hornets. Hang the trap where hornets have been spotted. If this is done in early spring, it can capture hornet and wasp queens, preventing colonies from forming.
Method 5: Use a Bucket Trap
Buckets filled with sugar water, vinegar, and a small amount of mild dish soap are also effective in trapping and drowning hornets. Place where hornets are likely to nest, such as under eaves, and replace the solution regularly.
Method 6: Discourage Hornets from Nesting
Traps can be useful in discouraging hornets from nesting in and around your home, but there are several other simple prevention methods:
Keep trees and bushes trimmed
Paint or repaint walls, eaves, or other possible nesting areas
Hang sun-catching mobiles, old CDs, or mirrors near old nesting areas
Hang an artificial nest. Territorial hornets are less likely to build a nest if they think the area is already home to another colony. Artificial nests can be purchased at the hardware store