• Michael Perrino

How to Exterminate Wasps and Hornets



Wasps and hornets are in some ways different, and in other ways similar. Although they're often referred to as separate types of insects, wasps and hornets are actually both social wasps, meaning they live in colonies compared to solitary wasps like thread-waisted and digger wasps. While wasps and hornets both play crucial roles in pollination, they can be dangerous to you and your family, especially to those with wasp or hornet allergies. If your home is infested with wasps and hornets, then it’s best to get rid of these insects.


So how do you exterminate wasps and hornets? Start with inspecting your house and its structure, and make use of repellents like sprays and homemade concoctions, insect traps, and even nest decoys. Although you have to check first whether you’re in the right condition to take down those pesky wasps and hornets in your area. For best results, call your trusted hornet and wasp exterminator for pest control & removal services.


Identifying Hornet Nests from Wasp Nests


It's challenging to know what you're dealing with when you see a nest. Most people lump many hornets and wasps into the same category due to their similar attributes. Some may even think that since hornets are more common, wasps are somehow more of a threat. What they don’t know is that both can be dangerous if not dealt with properly. Proper identification and classification of the insects will determine the most suitable treatments for them. To do this, it’s important to look at their nests. Species of wasps and hornets create nests that look somewhat distinct from one another:

  • Paper wasp nest: Paper wasps (also called umbrella wasps) construct open, exposed nests that often resemble upside-down umbrellas.

  • Yellowjacket nests: Yellowjackets build nests covered in a papery material and are frequently seen within cavities in the ground or wall voids.

  • Bald-faced hornets: This species also creates papery-covered nests located in natural cavities like a tree branch, bark from trees, or cavities within buildings. (Bald-Faced Hornet Hives aren't hornets but a distinct species of wasp and cost the same as any other type to exterminate.)

  • Murder hornets, otherwise known as Asian giant hornets are a non-native species in the US, and coverage so far all centers on a few sightings of the hornets in the Pacific Northwest. However, they made a splash in the news in 2020, and, at first glance, they're terrifying.

  • The European paper wasp (also known as Giant European Insect) is not native to our country, but they have made their way to both the United States and Canada.

  • Honey bees are not exclusive to just one part of the world, as they are found everywhere. As social insects, they work cooperatively if they sense any threat or danger to their territory. Their nests are hives: the distinct hexagonal walls and odd, droopy shape.

Effective Methods to Get Rid of Hornets and Wasps


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. Always dispose of food waste properly in the garbage bin. Nectar and bird food may also lure hornets in, so remove these as well.


2. Repair Fixtures and Structure at Home

Observe if any accessible spaces need fixing. Broken panels, gaps in soffits, and crevices are potential hornet nest dwellings. To avoid attracting more wasps, hornets, or any other stinging insect, make sure that windows, doors, and screens are all in good shape: closeable, lockable, and hole-free. Inspect your yard if there are any rodent holes or potential burrows for stinging insects like cicada killers or spider wasps to make a home in, and fill them with debris and dirt. Depending on the species, they create their nests high in attics, eaves, and trees or abandoned rodent burrows or underground nests.


3. Take Extra Care When Going to Outdoor Spaces

Wear protective clothing and avoid wearing strong scents like floral or fruity fragrances. Instead, opt for unscented hygienic products when spending time outside. In addition, wear protective gear such as boots to protect your feet from these angry wasp species, especially if you have an allergic reaction.


A few wasps you may find whirring around your outdoor living space are yellowjackets. They have a standing for being one of the most aggressive wasp species, with the capability to bring a painful sting to their enemy multiple times if imperiled. Always watch out for these tiny killers.


4. Make Use of Wasp Decoy, Dryer Sheets, and Mothballs

Wasps are territorial insects, and they build a wasp nest between 200 feet of another hornet nest, so putting decorative wasp decoys or fake nests helps deter anyone from coming in. Meanwhile, wasps and hornets also hate the odor of dryer sheets and will stay far away from them. Make use of dryer sheets to drive away unwanted stinging insects from your area. Another thing that these pesky insects don’t like are sheets of mothballs. If they dwell on your patio or whichever part of the house, put it there to keep the area pest-free.


5. Set Up A Hornet and Wasp Trap

You can procure a wasp trap from a store to reduce overall insect populations in the yard or easily make one using:

  • A two-liter bottle/soda cans and a sweet liquid(soda, fruit juices, or other protein-based foods), Masking or duct tapes

What you need to do is to 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.

Then, 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 hornets and wasps.


6. Repel Hornets and Wasps using Repellent Plants

People often associate hornets and wasps with the late summer months, but wasps are known for looking for warm conditions to spend the winter. One of the best, all-season, and all-natural wasp repellents for your home is planting 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.


7. Pesticide Spray

You can buy store-bought insecticides to deal with stinging insect issues. However, concentrated insecticides formulated for smaller insects like ants may not be potent enough to kill the pests. These nests have open cells, and you can look up and see the baby wasps in the nest. It would be best if you aimed at the nest entrance with a reasonable spray distance. Let the spray last overnight. A day or two after the treatment, check the wasps' or hornets' nests from a safe range. Keep in mind that all sprays include formulations with residual effects, killing any wasps that may return later in the day.


Some of the most effective and popular aerosol-based products in the market today are:

  • Bonide Wasp

  • Bayer Delta Dust Insecticide

  • Ortho Home Defense Hornet & Wasp

  • Terro Wasp & Hornet Killer

  • Stryker Wasp & Hornet Killer PT Wasp

8. Do It Yourself Soapy Water Spray

The soapy water solution is proven to be a hornet killer and effective against mud dauber wasps, sphecid wasps and other types of stinging insects. 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 mud nest or yellow jacket nest to clog up their breathing pores and kill them immediately.


9. Essential Oil Blends as Natural Repellent

Essential oils are proven to be a great wasp repellent. Just blend a few drops of geranium, lemongrass, clove, and peppermint oil to repel hornets naturally. Next, mix your essential oil blends 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 dangerous pests such as boxelder bugs and some types of ticks.

10. Keep Hornets and Wasps off Hummingbird Feeders

Hundreds of abundant 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 insects, which hornets prey on. Instead, repaint the accents with red, non-toxic paint if additional feeders have yellow accents like impatiens, fuchsia, trumpet vine, bee balm, and cardinal flower.


11. Make Use of Your Vacuum

When a single hornet gets its way into your place, you can use a fly-swatter or rolled-up sheet, but squashing the pest releases a chemical that can draw in other hornets. This isn't fundamentally a problem if there's only one hornet in your home, but it can lure more pests if a nest is hidden in the attic or another nearby location. They may even gather back-up wasps to help in their attempt to protect their home.


A more natural and lower-risk method is using your household vacuum cleaner. First, use the extension pipe to absorb the pest into the vacuum. Get rid of the bag or leave the canister alone once the hornet perishes.


Dangerous Remedies for Hornet and Wasp Removal


If you have a hornet or wasp problem especially at home, it's tempting to perform a nest removal on your own. But before you decide to grab a can of chemical-filled insecticide or try to do physical removal by yourself, take some time to think and consider the following conditions:


1. If you know that you are allergic to stinging insects of any kind, don’t try to remove hornets or wasps yourself.


2. Try to identify hornets & wasps to figure out which species you're dealing with and their individual traits and behaviors.


3. A pest control expert should always handle nests bigger than a fist. Nests that are large, visible, and exposed are usually removed by the team of pest control professionals on the first day, unless they figure it’s too dangerous, in which case they will analyze the nest first and come up with an approach that wouldn’t put you and your loved ones in harm’s way.


4. If you still decide to take care of the nest or the angry hive yourself, remember never to spray inside your place. More so, ensure to spray at night or early in the morning when wasps and the bee population are known to be least active.


5. Dispose of the nest properly by tying it securely with a sturdy bag and put it inside a garbage can. Don’t forget to cover it with a heavy lid.


Remember: Wasps & hornets are unpredictable, and some can be very aggressive species. If you don't know the species you're dealing with, don't take any chances to use humane methods. Instead, call professional hornet and wasp exterminators.


Call the Best Hornet and Wasp Exterminators at Midway Pest Management


Need a pest control estimate from a control expert? A detailed wasp removal report? Hornet removal services? At Midway Pest Management, professional hornet and wasp exterminators and removal experts will answer all your questions about insect infestations, and give advice and recommendations regarding hornet and wasp control methods. Our experienced team knows how to handle your hornet and wasp concerns, and fix it in the most efficient way possible.


Don't compromise your peace of mind. Avoid future infestations and put your trust in our pest removal experts. Contact us today.


Learn More: How to Keep Hornets Away

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