How To Remove A Hornet Nest

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. All you need is 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. Keep in mind their stingers can still sting after death; all they need to do is pierce the skin. 

With the most uncomplicated method taken care of, there are many other things to consider when ridding yourself of these pests. We will be discussing 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 with 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 now 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 are harming 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 you are looking to take care of a wasp nest yourself, you will want to protect yourself. Wearing tight-fitting clothing is critical. It is likely when you spray the nest that you will 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 start talking about 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. This is because the wasps will come pouring out of that hole to defend the nest.

Aiming at the entrance will allow you to coat as many of the wasps as possible as they pour out. If the wasps have a wide-open nest, you can see the wasps themselves crawling all over, again aim, but when you start 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 to using them. 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. 

2. Dust Pesticides

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

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 as you can 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.

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 a tablespoon or two peppermint oil and fill the rest with water. Just shake well before you use it, and it will essentially act in 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 and 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 is highly rated by other customers.

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 using this spray, you will notice that it is used similarly to a traditional toxic spray.

So, if you want to handle 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.

Taking this into account, the same spraying methods apply. Stand about 10 feet away with your spray bottle and aim for the same spots as you would a can of pesticide.

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

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 a variety of styles and can look very good on your outdoor table.

These traps operate by luring wasps and hornets in 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 that you have to stay on top of them.

Particularly with the savory bait, change the appeal every 2 or 3 days. If you want to use the sugar water, you will have to refill it nearly every day because it evaporates.

Create Your Own Trap

You can alternatively make your own 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 body of the bottle. Push the soda bottle’s severed neck inside the body with the bottle’s mouth facing inwards and the cap unscrewed and off the bottle.

Use a bit of force when placing the neck into the bottle to ensure it is in there tight. Flip the whole thing over so the feet of the bottle is 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 will need to dispose of the dead wasps regularly and replenish the supplies in the trap as required.

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. To help keep wasps away from your building, you can buy fake wasp nests. There are ones that 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, but just in case you were curious. Furthermore, there have been numerous reports that are simply hanging a brown paper bag can be effective.

If your neighborhood has a pretty lousy 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 on you, your gardening hobby can also 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 to take 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 be harmful to 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 to use, 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.

8. Professional Help

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

If you’re allergic to wasps or yellowjackets, call for professionals 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 to disturb the horde of wasps that will be 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.

Photo of author

Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, 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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