The Q&A Archives: Ground Nesting Hornets

Question: For the past two years giant hornets make big holes in my lawn and borrow down into the soil. I have tries spraying down in the hole with hornet spray but they only make another hole in another area. How do I get rid of them?

Answer: That's a really difficult situation! In your region, I suspect you're dealing with groundnesting bald-faced hornets. These critters are extremely vicious if threatened and can sting repeatedly if provoked, so you'll need to approach with caution. Bald-faced hornets excavate areas and build underground nests that are similar in appearance to wasp nests that you see hanging from eaves. The nests have many chambers and can become quite extensive if undisturbed. Hornets generally build their nests in areas that remain relatively dry so you might try discouraging them by watering the area well enough to flood the soil every day or two. If that doesn't make them leave the area you might want to locate the entrance hole (after dusk when they're all inside) and place a glass bowl over the hole. In the morning, when they try to leave the nest they will not be able to get out, will become agitated and will attack one another. They're not smart enough to dig an exit hole, and eventually the nest will die out.

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