How to Remove a Hornets Nest

How to Remove a Hornets Nest: A Comprehensive Guide Introduction [April-2023]

Dealing with hornets can be a daunting task, especially when you discover a hornet nest on your property. In this article, we will discuss how to remove a hornets nest safely and effectively, as well as provide helpful tips on how to prevent hornets from returning. Understanding the risks and best practices can ensure that you protect both yourself and the environment while resolving this common issue.

Understanding Hornets and Their Nests

How to Remove a Hornets Nest: A Comprehensive Guide Introduction

Hornets are a type of wasp that builds nests made from paper-like material. These nests can often be found in trees, shrubs, or the eaves of buildings. 

Hornets are social insects that live in colonies, and their nests can house hundreds or even thousands of individual hornets. While these insects play a crucial role in the ecosystem, they can become a nuisance or a danger to humans when their nests are built too close to homes or other frequented areas.

Assessing the Situation

Before attempting to remove a hornets nest, it’s essential to assess the situation carefully. First, identify the exact location and size of the nest. A smaller nest with fewer hornets may be easier to handle, while a larger nest can pose a more significant risk. 

Additionally, determine whether the nest is active or abandoned. An abandoned nest will show no signs of hornet activity and is generally safe to remove without additional precautions. However, an active nest requires a more cautious approach.

Safety Precautions Before Removing a Hornets Nest

If you decide to remove a hornets nest, it’s crucial to take the necessary safety precautions. Hornets can be aggressive when they feel threatened, and their stings can be painful or even dangerous for those with allergies. Here are some safety tips to follow:

  • Wear protective clothing, including gloves, long sleeves, pants, and closed-toe shoes. A beekeeper’s suit or veil can also provide additional protection.
  • Avoid working on windy days, as it can make hornets more aggressive.
  • Plan your escape route in case the hornets become agitated during the removal process.
  • Inform your neighbors about your intentions to remove the nest, especially if they live close by or share the property.

Methods for Removing Hornets Nests

Using a Hornets Nest Removal Spray

One of the most common methods for removing a hornets nest is using an insecticide spray specifically designed for the task. These sprays typically have a long-range nozzle that allows you to apply the product from a safe distance. To use the spray, follow these steps:

  1. Wait until nighttime when hornets are less active and more likely to be inside the nest.
  2. Stand at a safe distance from the nest and carefully spray the insecticide onto the entrance of the nest.
  3. Allow the insecticide to work overnight, killing the hornets inside the nest.
  4. The following day, check the nest for any signs of hornet activity. If the nest is no longer active, you can safely remove it.

Calling a Professional Pest Control Service

If you’re uncomfortable removing a hornets nest yourself or if the nest is located in a difficult-to-reach area, it’s best to call a professional pest control service. These experts have the expe, training, and equipment necessary to safely and effectively remove hornets nests from your property. They can also provide you with advice on how to prevent future infestations.

Natural Removal Methods for Hornets Nests

If you prefer to use natural methods to remove hornets nests, several environmentally friendly options can be effective without resorting to chemicals. These methods may require more patience and persistence, but they can be a safer alternative for people who are concerned about the impact of insecticides on the environment and human health. Here are some natural removal methods to consider:

  1. Smoke: One of the most effective natural methods for removing a hornets nest is by using smoke. Carefully create a small, controlled fire or use a smoker beneath the nest, taking care not to create a fire hazard. The smoke will disorient the hornets and force them to leave the nest. Once the hornets have abandoned the nest, you can safely remove it.
  2. Soapy Water: A solution of dish soap and water can be an effective way to kill hornets without using harsh chemicals. Fill a spray bottle or garden sprayer with a mixture of water and a generous amount of dish soap. Thoroughly spray the soapy solution onto the nest, ensuring that it is completely saturated. The soap will clog the hornets’ spiracles, causing them to suffocate. Once the hornets are dead, you can safely remove the nest.
  3. Essential Oils: Some essential oils, such as peppermint, eucalyptus, or tea tree oil, have been known to deter hornets. Create a solution by mixing a few drops of the essential oil with water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution around the nest and the surrounding area. The scent will discourage hornets from returning to the nest, and they may eventually abandon it. This method may take longer than others and may not be as effective for larger nests or more aggressive hornet species.
  4. Traps: You can create homemade hornet traps using a plastic bottle, sugar water, and a small amount of dish soap. Cut the top off a plastic bottle and invert it, placing it inside the lower part of the bottle to create a funnel. Fill the bottom with sugar water and a drop of dish soap. Hang the trap near the hornets nest. Hornets will be attracted to the sugar water, enter the trap, and become trapped in the soapy water. This method can help reduce the number of hornets around the nest, making it easier to remove.
  5. Decoy Nests: Hornets are territorial creatures and will avoid building a nest close to another one. You can take advantage of this behavior by hanging a decoy nest in the area where hornets are a problem. You can purchase a commercial decoy nest or make one yourself using paper and string. This method can help deter hornets from building their nests nearby.

When using natural removal methods, it’s essential to exercise caution and prioritize your safety. Hornets can become aggressive when they feel threatened, so always wear protective clothing and have an escape plan in case they become agitated. If you’re unsure about the process or concerned about the risks, it’s best to consult with a professional pest control service to handle the situation.

Tips for Preventing Future Hornets Nests

To prevent hornets from building nests on your property in the future, follow these tips:

  1. Regularly inspect your property for signs of hornet activity, especially during the spring and summer months when they are most active.
  2. Seal any cracks or gaps in your home’s exterior, as hornets often use these spaces to build their nests.
  3. Keep trash cans tightly sealed and clean to avoid attracting hornets searching for food sources.
  4. Remove or trim overgrown vegetation and trees, as hornets often build their nests in these areas.
  5. Install hornet traps or decoy nests to deter hornets from building their nests nearby.


Removing a hornets nest can be a challenging and potentially dangerous task, but with the right knowledge, tools, and precautions, it can be done safely and effectively. Always prioritize your safety and the safety of others around you when attempting to remove a nest. 

If you’re unsure about the process or concerned about the risks, it’s best to consult with a professional pest control service to handle the situation. By understanding how to remove hornets nests and taking preventive measures, you can keep your property hornet-free and create a safer environment for you and your family.

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