Without bees and beneficial insects, most plant and animal species would go extinct. But hornets have caused chaos for humans since the beginning. They tend to sting when aggravated and can also emit venom into the eyes of their foes, causing momentary loss of sight. And though it would take about 1,100 stings to endanger an average-sized human, they still bring trouble and overrun your own space by creating a nest in places like garages, attics, and eaves.
So how do we keep hornets away? Some of the most effective methods are setting up traps and making DIY hornet repellent sprays. There are also several preventative measures to eliminate a stinging insect, but everything starts by identifying their kinds and finding their habitats to solve your pest problem.
Types of Hornets
Hornets are the most prominent social wasps and are similar in form to their nearby yellow-striped kin, the yellow jacket, paper wasp, worker wasps, cicada killer, honey bee, and mud dauber wasp. Yet the most common classes of hornets in the United States are the American wasps and bald faced hornet, which are mainly black-colored, primarily white. This kind of hornet makes noticeable paper nests generally fastened to trees. An active bald-faced hornet nest is smooth, incredible looking, and conical. The nest of an average bald-faced hornet measures about the diameter of a grapefruit to the measurement of a beach ball.
Another hornet species is the European hornet, massive in size, within ¾ and more than 1 inch, and with brown with yellow abdominal lines and a pale face. These hornets produce paper carton nests that are frequently covered in a brown paper envelope as a shield. Commonly, the nests can be found in hollow trees, barns, and hollow walls of houses and buildings.
Both species of wasps are hazardous. If you encounter a wasp colony, avoid making sudden and excessive movements that may shock them. These hornets have a smooth stinger, which allows an army of wasps to sting until their perceived threat has been lessened continually.
Where Do Hornets Stay?
Hornets usually like to build their nests in attics, treetops, under roofs, decking, sheds, garages, hollow tree trunks, and other high areas. However, there are also other kinds of wasps that prefer contained spaces like old, discarded burrows for wasps in gardens, fields, and parks. There are also hornets that produce their nests in the terrain, causing real dangers to people. Hornet and yellow jacket nests formed in places highly populated by people run the risk of getting stepped on by chance, causing the hornets to attack innocent humans.
How to Keep Hornets Away
1. Hide Food and Cover Garbage Cans
Open containers of food and garbage can draw in hornets in search of food. It’s essential to get rid of what might draw hornets in your home. First, wrap your accessible food waste properly in the garbage bin. Then put it inside Nectar and bird food may also lure hornets in, so plan to remove these as well. Moreover, pick up fallen fruit to prevent the flying insect from coming.
2. Repair Fixtures and Improve Home Structure
Observe if any accessible spaces that need fixing like broken panels, gaps in soffits, and crevices are potential hornet nest dwellings. To avoid attracting additional queen wasps, make sure windows, doors, and screens are all in good shape so that no unwanted guests bond around. Inspect your yard if there are any rodent holes or potential burrows for hornets to make a home in, and fill them with debris and dirt. Meanwhile, common places that female hornets hibernate in are leaf piles. It’s important to clean your yard or just make the leaves compost to prevent any hornet infestations in your backyard.
3.Be Extra Careful When Going to Outdoor Spaces
Avoid wearing strong scents, fragrant flowers, and sweet fragrances and instead opt for unscented hygienic products when spending time outside. Generally, hornets are not attracted to perfumes, but if they smell something sweet, then they might linger near you. In addition, wear boots to protect and secure your feet from these aggressive wasps species, especially if you have an allergic reaction.
A few wasps you may find whirring around your outdoor living space are yellow jackets. These hornets are identified for their black and yellow bodies, yellow jackets have a standing for being one of the most aggressive wasp species, with the capability to bring painful stings to their enemy multiple times if imperiled.
4. Take Advantage of Fake Wasp Nests and Wasp Decoys
Wasps are known to be territorial insects. They build nests between 200 feet of another hornet nest, so putting decorative wasp decoys or fake nests helps deter any kind of hornets from coming to and breeding in your territory.
5. Set Up Hornet Traps
You can procure a wasp trap from a store to reduce overall insect populations in the yard or easily make it using:
- A two-liter bottle and a sweet liquid like soda, fruit juices, or other protein-based foods (sources of food bees and wasps are attracted to)
- Masking or duct tape
- Slice about a fourth of the container from the top off and flip it over. Set the upper part through the bottom so that there’s a passage going into the tiny opening.
- Carefully pour about an inch of a sweet liquid into a spot where hornets linger. You can also set it up near decoy nests to capture wasps.
6. Make Use of Repellent Plants
One of the best all-natural wasp repellents near your home is to plant eucalyptus, spearmint, wormwood, thyme, citronella, and other varieties of hornet-repellent plants along with a compost pile. Then, strategically put them in where you have seen hornets nest before. In addition, flowering plants like marigolds, geraniums, or pennyroyals make a beautiful display and deter hornets.
7. Make Your Own Soapy Water Spray
The soapy water solution is proven to be a hornet killer and a weapon against yellowjacket and mud dauber wasps. It is known to be as effective as chemical sprays and bug sprays. Just mix two tablespoons of dish soap into a bottle with water. Then, thoroughly spray a steady stream of the mixture on the hornet nest or yellow jacket nest to clog up their breathing pores and kill them immediately.
8. Make Use of Essential Oil Blends as Your Natural Wasp Repellent
Essential oils are proven to be an outstanding wasp repellent. Just blend a few drops of geranium, lemon grass, clove, and peppermint oil to repel hornets naturally. Next, mix essential oil blend into a spray bottle along with a few tablespoons of soapy water. Spray this solution on hornet nests under porch ceilings, porch roofs, eaves, and every corner where you’ve seen nests in the past. This is also an effective blend for removing other pests such as boxelder bugs and some types of ticks.
9. Keep Hornets and Wasps off Hummingbird Feeders
Hundreds of insects and bugs at hummingbird feeders may stop birds from visiting at all. Avoid a hummingbird feeder with yellow insect guards or flower accents to decrease the feeders’ attractiveness to hornets.Repaint the flower accents with red, non-toxic paint to avoid hornets from getting attracted to them. Consider buying feeders for hummingbirds with built-in ant moats. You can also find ingredients at home, like petroleum jelly or cooking oil to make the feeders slippery for the insects.
10. Make Use of Dryer Sheets and Mothballs
Wasps and hornets hate the odor of a dryer sheet and will stay far from it. So spread as many sheets of mothballs around your patio to keep the area pest-free.
11. Vacuum A Dead Hornet
To deal with just a single hornet, you can make use of objects that you can squash it with, such as fly swatters or rolled-up paper. However, killing a hornet this way signals to other hornets to come near it.
A more natural and lower-risk method is using your vacuum cleaner. First, use the extension pipe to absorb the pest into the vacuum. Put the hornet’s body inside a sealed bag or canister to prevent the smell from reaching other hornets. Then, dispose of the dead hornet.
12. Use a Bucket of Water Trap
For this, you’re going to need a bucket. Fill it with water and add some vinegar on it. Put a few drops of dish soap on the water and vinegar mixture. This will attract hornets that will then be trapped and drowned in the mixture. Be strategic with where you will put this bucket, and consider places where hornets will most likely settle. You may want to put this bucket under your eaves or near plants. It’s also necessary to replace the mixture every now and then.
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DIY hornet and active wasp nest removal during summer months, colder months, or warmer months may lead to dangerous and unpredictable results. Imagine the unbearable pain a hornet or wasp sting brings, notably by bald-faced and European hornets. This is why it’s always a wise option to seek help from trained and qualified pest control specialist in dealing with any type of wasp and unwanted insects. In selecting an animal control team, trust only Midway Pest Management, family-owned local pest solutions within your reach. Call us and get a free quote.
Learn More: How to Exterminate Wasps and Hornets