hornets - Knowledgebase Question

Mooresville, In
Question by howdeesmith
August 2, 2010
We have two places in our yard where hornets are nesting. How do we get rid of them without getting stung.


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Answer from NGA
August 2, 2010

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In defense of hornets and wasps, they're beneficial insects. They help pollinate flowers and they are great predators of other destructive garden pests. They kill caterpillars and flies to feed to their young. Admittedly, they are no fun to contend with when you're trying to garden or picnic outdoors. Here's an easy way to eradicate ground nesting hornets or wasps: you just need to locate the entrance hole to their nest and then place a glass bowl or mason jar over the top of the hole. Do this at night when the creatures are all at home and simply invert the bowl or the jar over the opening. In the daytime, when they try to leave home, they'll be confused - and won't be able to exit. They aren't smart enough to dig another exit hole so they'll buzz around the entrance and get stopped by the bowl. In about 10 days the colony will starve to death and you can remove the bowl. Then cover the hole up with soil, and your problem will be solved.

If they are not ground nesting but have built nests in trees or the eaves of your home, it might be best to hire a professional. There are some sprays on the market that allow you to stand back about 20', but they can be risky to use if the hornets hone in on the direction of the spray - they'll go after it! Spraying at night might keep you safer but don't train a flashlight on the nest or the hornets will head towards the source of light.

It's much easier to discourage them in the early spring when they first start to build their nests. Whenever you see them starting to build, hose the nest down with a strong stream of water from the hose. Repeat as often as necessary and eventually they will find a better place to build their nests.

Hope this information is helpful.

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