Found a Hornet Nest? Here’s How to Protect Your Home

By Bridget Ambrose

The last thing you want to see in your yard or home is a hornet nest. These pesky insects are known for their aggressive nature and can deliver a painful sting. 

Unlike yellowjackets, these pests build their nests above the ground, making them easier to see and handle. However, what is your next steps after you spot a hornet nest on your property?

Dealing with these wasps may seem daunting, but there are methods you can rely on to destroy a hornet nest and prevent future infestations from taking root. 

What Hornets Live in the United States?

Most species of hornets exist in different regions in Asia, and only one hornet species lives in America. Carried to the United States in the early 1800s, the European hornet is found across the country. 

While the bald-faced hornet’s name suggests otherwise, this black and white wasp is actually a yellowjacket that builds an out-of-the-ground nest. 

Reports of the Asian giant hornet hit the newsstands in early 2020, but this species isn’t common in North America. Dubbed “murder hornets,” these wasps can potentially kill a human if stung multiple times. 

Asian giant hornets have been sighted in Washington state and other areas on the west coast, but the European hornet is still the primary hornet species in the United States.

What do Hornets Look Like?

Bees are often mistaken for yellowjackets or hornets because of their similar colorations. Most yellowjackets and bees have a distinct yellow and black pattern that can be difficult to tell apart upon first glance. 

European hornets are primarily yellow with brown or black markings. While these wasps are usually larger than your average bee or yellowjacket, it isn’t easy figuring out the insect you’re dealing with from a distance. 

Wasps have small and slender abdomens with longer wings. Bees have bulky hairy bodies that are much shorter than wasps. Watch this video to learn more about the differences between bees, wasps, and hornets.

Yellowjacket Nest Versus a Hornet Nest

Yellowjackets typically build their nests underground. European hornets prefer to nest within hollow trees, and you could find a nest in any trees on your property with open cavities. However, both types of wasps build under porches, attics, or inside wall cavities. 

Because their nests are often well secluded, you may have no idea you have a yellowjacket problem on hand. A hornet nest is typically easier to spot. Because the European hornet nests above-ground, you’re unlikely to stumble upon their home accidentally.

Hornet nest on tree

What Should I do if I see a Hornet Nest?

Don’t panic if you spot a hornet nest on your property, but avoid approaching the area. Like yellowjackets, hornets are a very antagonistic species. They may attack you if they believe you are encroaching on their space.

While the European hornet isn’t as deadly as the Asian giant hornets, you should still keep your distance. Their sting is similar in pain to a bee sting, and hornets can attack you multiple times.

Remember the location where you spotted the hornet nest, and only try to remove it during the night. Wasps are more active in the daytime, so never attempt to destroy the nest during the morning and afternoon. 

Preventative Measure to avoid a Hornet Nest

Like most wasps, hornets prefer areas with adequate food sources. European hornets eat insects like flies, yellowjackets, and other garden pests. While this may benefit your garden, hornets can attack honey bees and bumblebees.

These pollinators have a significant purpose for local ecosystems. If hornets on your property are destroying beehives, you should consider taking the necessary steps to get rid of the hornet nest. 

Try making your home inhospitable to common outdoor pests. Mild pesticides can reduce the number of bugs, and there are many options you can choose from in stores and online. If you’re planning to combat insects in your garden or flower beds, pick products that are safe for plants. 

Some plants even help keep these pests away. If you’re already an avid gardener, try adding thyme, garlic, or cucumbers to your garden. Take a look at this article to find more plants that can repel wasps from your yard.

Also, avoid leaving food out for hornets, like sweet fruits, drinks, or leftovers. Keep your trashcans securely closed, so these pests can’t crawl in to find more food. 

Yellowjackets are more likely to visit your backyard hangout, but you should still keep your outdoor area clean to prevent a hornet infestation. Are you interested in more preventative measures to keep hornets or yellowjackets at bay? Check out this article for more information!

Destroying the Hornet Nest

To get rid of hornets, you ultimately have to destroy the nest. However, this is often easier said than done. Because these pests are highly aggressive, it may be best to leave this job to a professional. 

If you feel secure in your pest control capabilities, follow these recommendations:

  • Only attempt to eliminate the nest during the evening or night
  • Wear proper safety gear to protect against stings
  • Plan a quick escape route once the hornets become disturbed 
  • Carefully use a spray that can quickly immobilize the wasps or use a dust that can slowly kill them
  • Immediately leave the area if the hornets begin to emerge from their nest

Watch this video for an in-depth tutorial on using sprays and powders to eliminate a hornet nest. Using a DIY method for hornet removal is highly dangerous, so we recommend that you contact a pest control company to stay on the safe side. 

Call a Pest Control Agency 

Consider your safety before trying to solve a pest problem alone. If you cannot remove the insects without avoiding any danger to yourself, don’t attempt to engage with the insects. 

It’s easier and safer to turn to a trusted pest control agency for your problem. Hornets can be unpredictable, and a knowledgeable technician can easily remove the nest without endangering you or your home. 

Give proof. a call if you’re struggling with a persistent hornet problem. With our trained pest technicians, we can successfully remove any wasps on your property and save you the hassle of dealing with them yourself. 

Call proof. pest control at 888-291-5333, or send us a message online.

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