Pest Control

5 Ways To Get Rid Of Hornets Naturally


You might notice a wasp nest or two when you are outside mowing the lawn, doing some gardening, or even playing with your kids. Whether you or your children, even pets, are allergic or not, wasps are a pest that needs to be controlled. They are aggressive, territorial, and agitate easily, making them come after you to defend their nest.

You may want to go the easy route and buy a can of wasp pesticide, but this can be harmful to you, your family, and your pets if you breathe in the chemicals and if your pets eat the poisoned wasps after they die. So, what can you do to get rid of hornets naturally? 

The cheapest way to rid yourself of a wasp problem is peppermint oil. You can do any strong-smelling mint. You can take a squirt bottle, fill it with water, add about a half cup of liquid dish detergent and a tablespoon of peppermint oil and spray away. The water acts as a delivery method for easier spraying.

The soap acts as a binding agent to get the peppermint oil to stick to the wasps while also serving as a safe way of killing wasps. Wasps and yellow hornets hate strong-smelling mint, so the peppermint aroma will deter future wasps and yellow jackets from showing back up.

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This is just one way of repelling and killing wasps and yellow jackets, which are much safer than using harsh pesticides that can harm your family and pets. There are other methods of killing and deterring wasps from showing up and making nests around your home. This article will discuss a few more ways to get rid of these hornets without pesticides.

How To Get Rid Of Hornets Naturally

Below we will go over the main ways of getting rid of wasp problems with natural means; we will discuss bees for a small snippet to ensure you are dealing with wasps and not bees and what to do if you are dealing with bees.

1. Natural Insecticides

As mentioned above, the concoction of water, dish soap, and peppermint oil works wonder for killing and deterring wasps and yellow jackets. However, this combination can also kill honey bees. If you do not know, the honey bee population is in decline and has been for some time now. It would be best for you to identify the stinging pests and make sure they are wasps or yellow jackets before you start spraying away.

Suppose they are honey bees (which are slightly smaller, chubby, hairy, and typically unaggressive, while all wasps and yellow jacket species are somewhat more large, skinny, and have no hair on their bodies.) In that case, you should call your local beekeepers and inform them of the situation.

A local beekeeper would be happy to come out and safely remove the bees from your home for free or for a small fee; this ensures the bees are unharmed and can be used to make honey. 

Back to the wasp issue at hand, the wasp-killing deterrent we have discussed is a great way to rid yourself of these pests. The soap in the solution binds the peppermint to their body, and the soap will soak its way into the exoskeleton of the bugs and essentially drown them.

Wasps hate the smell of any strong mint, so you can use this solution to spray in the areas around your home where you have found wasps or yellow hornet nests in the past.

Instead of making your own, which is SUPER cheap, the peppermint oil can be bought on Amazon, Walmart, or even your local pharmacy might have. You can buy EcoSmart’s Organic Wasp and Hornet Killer, which uses 100 percent food-grade ingredients and peppermint oil.

When reading the guidelines for this spray, you may see that it is used in the same manner as a conventional toxic spray. So, if you want to treat it the same way as usual except with a more natural spray, this might be your best bet. It may have a heavy aroma, similar to essential oils, but this is not always bad.

Here is a demonstrative video on how you can make your spray in a few simple steps:

2. Gardening

You can grow some peppermint, spearmint, citronella, thyme, eucalyptus, and wormwood in your garden if you are into gardening. These are all strong-smelling plants that can help act as a deterrent for stinging pests while also looking lovely in your garden.

3. Fake Nests

Wasps are very territorial. If they see a nest, they will go out of their way to look for another spot further away. You can purchase fake wasp nests to help deter them from coming near your home. There are ones that look like paper lanterns that you can hang up, and there are also realistic-looking nests.

These nests will not have actual entrance holes, so the wasps can not just waltz in and use the fake nest as their nest. They would not do this anyway, just in case you were wondering. On top of this, numerous reports have shown that simply hanging up a brown paper bag can work.

If your neighborhood has a bad wasp or hornet problem, these fake nests will probably help.

4. Traps

Up next on this list are traps. These traps come in many styles and can look nice sitting on outdoor tables. These traps attract the wasps and hornets with bait; they can get in but can not. Typically you would use a sweet inducement, like sugar water, which is a good bait for wasps and hornets.

However, this bait can also attract honey bees which would be bad. Instead of using sugar water, you can use something savory instead of sweet, like a can of tuna. This will still attract wasps and hornets, but the honey bees will have no interest in this bait. The main thing with traps is that you must keep up with them.

Change the appeal every 2 or 3 days, especially with the savory bait. If you still decide to use the sugar water, you will need to refill the water almost daily due to evaporating water.

Along with the fake nests, traps are a great addition to your toolset if your area has a bad problem with these types of pests. Having both would be even better.

5. Professional Help

If you are allergic to stings from wasps and hornets, this should be the only route you go. Calling an exterminator to come and kill the wasps can also set up some deterrents to keep them away. You can ask them if they have some natural method of exterminating the wasps. If not, they clean up any leftover bugs on the ground that they do not sweep or pick up. 

Exterminating The Pests Yourself

If you are allergic and cannot afford an exterminator, you can still do it yourself, but it is not advised. Whether you are allergic or not, you can outfit yourself with essentially a suit of armor. Wear tight-fitting clothes and gloves. Make sure no part of your body is uncovered, and the clothes are tight enough so these stinging pests can not climb into your wasp armor. 

Now that you are adequately outfitted for the situation, whether you choose to use the natural non-pesticide route or not, make sure you stand reasonably far from the nest and hose it down. Ensure to cover the whole nest, and keep in mind to continue spraying the nest’s entrance. As the wasps or hornets come out, they will be coated with whatever you spray on them.

 If it is the soap peppermint solution, make sure the spray bottle is at that halfway point where it sprays in a stream and has a little spray to it for an added area of effect from a distance. The soap will make the hornets inert, and they cannot fly. If they do, it will only be for a short distance before they fall to the ground. The peppermint should make the other hornets that you do not spray fly away from the smell. 

With the pesticide method, most cans do not have a typical sprayer; they shoot out a stream of the liquid inside, letting you stand quite a distance away. The same rules apply, coat the whole nest and aim for the main entrance. This time the liquid inside the can will cause pain to the wasps or hornets.

The pesticide will stick to them with foam causing them to stop flying immediately. The foam acts the same as the soap in our homemade concoction, sticking the pesticide to the stinging pests and drowning them while also allowing the pesticide to kill them. 

Final Thoughts 

Allergic or not, wasps and hornets are pests that should not be in or around your home. Their sting hurts, and unlike honey bees, they do not disembowel themselves after stinging, which lets them sting multiple times for more inflicted pain. Here are five good ways to naturally get rid of hornets: natural insecticides, gardening, traps, professional help, and fake nests. Hopefully, with the guide above, you can exterminate the wasps with little to no issue, all while using natural means.

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Hubert Miles

I've been conducting professional home inspections since 2002. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Professional Inspector (CPI), Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.
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