Pest Control

How To Remove A Hornet Nest

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Hornets are a member of the wasp family. The main distinction between hornets and other wasps like paper wasps and yellow jackets is size, with hornets being bigger and more robust in comparison. Furthermore, hornets are social insects, while other species of wasps can be solitary or social, depending on the species.

Hornets and other wasps are an extreme nuisance to have around. Whether you are allergic or despise the stinging pests that are wasps, you want to get rid of them. But how? There are many different ways to do this, and we will be discussing many of them. 

When it comes to killing hornets and removing their nest, it is relatively simple. You only need tight-fitting protective clothing when spraying pesticides or common household mixtures so hornets will not sting you.

Once the nest is free of wasps, use a broom or even a long stick to remove the nest from high spots like the overhang from your roof. Then sweep up the nest and dead wasps and throw them away. Remember that their stingers can still sting after death; all they need to do is pierce the skin. 

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With the most uncomplicated method taken care of, there are many other things to consider when ridding yourself of these pests. We will discuss many natural ways with no pesticides, from the store to prevention methods with fake nests or traps. Let us get rid of these wasps together! 

Firstly, Don’t Mistake Hornets for Other Wasps & Bees

Firstly, make sure you are dealing with wasps, yellowjackets, or any other stinging pest like these. Ensure you are not trying to exterminate a hive of bees. The bee population has been on a steady decline for many years and is beneficial to our environment. Wasps of any kind are long and skinny with long skinny wings. In contrast, bees are chubby and have hair. 

If you are dealing with honey bees, do not be afraid. Bees are much less likely to sting you unless you harm them or the nest. All you need to do is call one of your local beekeepers, and they would be more than happy to come out and safely remove the beehive from your property.

Most beekeepers will go out of their way to do it for free, as they are adding a hive to their collection, thus giving them more honey. However, some keepers may charge you a small fee to do the same. Be sure to discuss this when inquiring about removal. 

Protection From The Stingers With Your Clothes

As mentioned above, when looking to take care of a wasp nest, you want to protect yourself. Wearing tight-fitting clothing is critical. When you spray the nest, you will likely not be diffusing all of the wasps.

They are very defensive of their nest, and they can attack you. Having tight-fitting clothing will prevent them from crawling into your sleeves or pant legs where they are stuck and can sting away. 

Wearing a hooded jacket with strings tightly fitted to your face with a mask and sunglasses to protect your face will also be beneficial. If you do not have actual tight-fitting clothing, you can tape the openings in your apparel around your hands and feet to seal off entry points into your defenses.


1. Can Pesticide

With your “wasp armor” ready to go, it is time to discuss extermination methods. Most wasp spray you get in a can, like Raid, is very effective. They spray out with a jet stream of pesticide that foams on contact.

This stream is long-reaching, letting you stand a surprising distance away, keeping you much safer with the ability to get away from the nest quickly so wasps can not get to you in time to defend their home. 

The foam from these cans sticks to the surface you spray it on, sticking to the nest and the wasps. The foam does a few things for you:

  • It is an excellent transportation method for the pesticide itself.
  • The spray prevents wasps it comes in contact with from flying.
  • The pesticide spray also prevents the wasps from breathing, affecting their cognitive functions even further because wasps and all insects breathe through their exoskeleton while letting the pesticide kill them quickly.  

Put on your wasp armor, grab a can of pesticide of your choice and get ready. Stand about 15 feet away from the nest and aim at it.

Suppose your wasps, in question, have a dome-shaped nest with a main entrance to the inside. You will then point to that area. The wasps will pour out of that hole to defend the nest.

Aiming at the entrance will allow you to coat as many wasps as possible as they pour out. If the wasps have a wide-open nest, you can see the wasps themselves crawling all over; aim, but when spraying, try to coat the whole nest and as many wasps as possible. 

Spray the nest for about 5 seconds, then run for cover. The wasps you have coated with the foam will die pretty quickly. But wasps that did not get sprayed will be pretty angry. However, they will eventually leave the nest and your property within an hour or two and abandon the nest.

After this has happened, go ahead and get a broom or long stick and swipe the nest down. Sweep up the nest and any dead bugs you can see and throw them away.

Now, when talking about can pesticides, there can be some downsides. First off, it is a pesticide, and it is pretty poisonous. If you have any pets and do not pick up all of the dead wasps, there is a possibility they can eat one.

The dead wasp stinger can still sting, hurting the inside of your pet, and the lingering pesticide on the wasp will make them very sick, and you will need to take them to a veterinarian. 

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2. Dust Pesticides

As the name implies, you will use a dust version inside a liquid pesticide for this process. This is the best option if the wasp infestation is not a severe threat, even if the wasp nest is on the grass.

What you have to do now is rapidly spray the dust over the nest and the surrounding area before fleeing. Wear protective gear and follow the other safety procedures while using a spray insecticide.

The insecticide will need to be reapplied, and it may take days to weeks for the insecticide to destroy the whole colony using the dusting process. Find out can wasp powders are the most effective on the market for eradicating a colony.

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3. All Natural, Pesticide Free

If you do not want to use a can of Raid or any other name-brand can of wasp pesticide, you can make your concoction that will be almost as effective. The mixture will require four main ingredients:

  • A spray bottle with a stream option for distance
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • And peppermint oil or extract

When making this mixture, take your spray bottle, add about a half cup of dish soap and one or two tablespoons of peppermint oil and fill the rest with water. Just shake it well before using it, and it will essentially act the same way as a can of pesticide.

The soap will act like foam after you shake it, and the soap will coat the wasps, suffocate them, and act as a delivery system for the peppermint oil, which will deter the wasp and drive them away.

This mixture of liquids is not only a method of killing the wasps, but it also works as a deterrent. Wasps hate the smell of any solid mint smell and will avoid the area if possible.

The peppermint oil does not kill the wasps; it just drives them away. The soap is the only thing in the mixture that will kill the wasps, but even that is not guaranteed. At best, the soap can kill the wasps, and at worst, it will affect their ability to fly. 

Peppermint oil is available on Amazon, Walmart, and maybe your nearest pharmacy. We recommend using one that other customers highly rate.

Purchase A Natural Hornet Killer

EcoSmart’s Organic Wasp and Hornet Killer, which contains peppermint oil and is made entirely of food-grade ingredients, is available for purchase. When reading the instructions for this spray, you will notice that it is used similarly to a traditional toxic spray.

So, if you want to handle it the same way you always do but with a more natural mist, this might be the best option. It may have a strong scent that resembles essential oils, but this is not necessarily bad.

The same spraying methods apply. Stand about 10 feet away with your spray bottle and aim for the same spots as a can of pesticide.

However, your main goal is to coat the area with peppermint oil to prevent the wasps from returning and get back inside quickly to avoid getting swarmed and stung. 

EcoSmart Wasp & Hornet Killer 14 oz. Aerosol (2 Pack)
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06/06/2023 10:55 am GMT
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4. Wasps Traps

Traps are an excellent way to prevent wasps from setting up nests and are a slow way to kill the wasps. These traps are available in various styles and look very good on your outdoor table.

These traps operate by luring wasps and hornets with bait, allowing them to enter but not leave. Sugar water, a strong bait for wasps and hornets, is usually used as an inducement.

However, this bait can attract honey bees, which is undesirable. You may use something savory instead of sweet, such as a can of tuna instead of sugar water.

Wasps and hornets will always be attracted to this bait, but honey bees will ignore it. The critical thing to remember about traps is to stay on top of them.

Change the appeal every 2 or 3 days, particularly with the savory bait. If you want to use the sugar water, you must refill it nearly daily because it evaporates.

Create Your Own Trap

You can alternatively make your traps instead of buying one. All you will need are the following:

  • An empty 2-liter soda bottle
  • Some string or twine
  • A piece of lunch meat
  • ½ cup of soda
  • ⅛ cup of vinegar to act as bait
  • Scissors to cut the bottle and make a few holes.

Cut the neck of the soda bottle off where it starts to taper down to the mouth of the bottle. Place the meat, soda, and vinegar into the bottle’s body. Push the soda bottle’s severed neck inside the body, the bottle’s mouth facing inwards, and the cap unscrewed and off the bottle.

Use force when placing the neck into the bottle to ensure it is tight. Flip the whole thing over so the feet of the bottle are facing up. Take your scissors and cut or poke small holes in the bottle so you can lead your string through. Tie the ends together tightly and hang it up outside.

In a couple of days, the additives inside will attract wasps. They will slip on in and not get out because the head is twisted around. The vinegar in this recipe is necessary because it will drive bees away, which is essential. After all, we do not want to destroy honey bees who are not hurting us.

Keep an eye on the pit at all times. You must regularly dispose of the dead wasps and replenish the supplies in the trap as required.

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5. Fake Nests

Wasps have a strong sense of belonging. If they come across a nest, they will go out of their way to find another farther away location. You can buy fake wasp nests to help keep wasps away from your building. Some look like paper lanterns and realistic-looking nests that you can hang up.

The wasps will not walk in and use the fake nest as their own because these nests will not have accurate entrance holes. They would not do it in the first place, just in case you were curious. Furthermore, numerous reports have shown that hanging a brown paper bag can be effective.

If your neighborhood has a bad wasp or hornet problem, these fake nests will probably help out a lot. Nests work very well in conjunction with traps to keep wasps off of your property.


6. Gardening Can Help Too

If you have a reasonably decent green thumb, your gardening hobby can help prevent wasps from bugging you and your family.

You can grow strong-smelling mint plants, such as:

  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Citronella
  • Thyme
  • Eucalyptus
  • Some wormwood

These plants all have a strong aroma that wasps can not stand.

Grow these plants in your garden, and they will help deter wasps from nesting on your property while also providing a pleasant aroma to your garden if you like those kinds of scents.


7. Perimeter Spraying

Perimeter spraying is an important step for wasp control as it will help mitigate the number of wasps you are dealing with and prevent them from creating more nests around your house.

For this method, you can take the same insecticide you might have already used to drench a nest and spray it in the areas where you have seen the wasps flying.

Insecticides can harm plants, so it is not advisable to spray directly on them, but you can spray around the area if you have seen that wasps are attracted to sweet-smelling flowers in your yard.

Other good areas to pay attention to are near the entryways of your home so that the wasps are not likely to make their way inside. This is also an excellent method, even if you cannot locate the wasp nest.

While it will not eradicate them like drenching or dusting will, it will help ward the wasps off so you are in less danger, and it gives you more time to get a professional on-site who can successfully locate the nest for you.

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8. Professional Help

Calling a professional exterminator is the easiest option to rid you and your family of these stinging pests. You do not have to deal with the wasps and risk getting stung.

If allergic, call for help instead of doing the extermination yourself. If you can not afford an exterminator, call a friend, family member, or even a neighbor who is not allergic for help. 

Suppose you happen upon an enormous nest; back up slowly, not disturbing the horde of wasps lurking inside or on the nest. Do not attempt to exterminate the hive yourself. Call a professional exterminator and explain the situation. They will come out and handle the large nest for you.

Final Thoughts

Wasps are a nasty pest to have around your home whether you are allergic or not. Keep in mind that wasp stings are painful, so stay a decent distance away from nests when you are about to spray them. Make sure you clean up everything you can find from the nest. This should be everything you need to know to deal with stinging pests.

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Get FREE quotes from licensed pest control technicians in your area today. Whether you need spraying for ants, roaches, spiders, ticks, mosquitos, or bed bugs, We Can Help! All technicians are screened, licensed, and insured.

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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.
DISCLAIMER: The content published on is not professional advice. You should consult with a licensed professional and check local permit requirements before starting any project. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to We also participate in other affiliate programs with other affiliate sites. We are compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.