Discovering a nest of papery insects in your yard can be unnerving, especially if they turn out to be hornets. While these creatures play a role in the ecosystem, it’s essential to know how to eliminate them for the safety of your family, pets, and anyone with allergies. Let’s delve into identifying hornets, understanding their characteristics, and exploring effective removal methods.
Identifying Hornets: Know Your Enemy
Before diving into removal methods, it’s crucial to distinguish hornets from other stinging insects. Two main types of hornets may inhabit your yard: European Hornets and Bald-faced Hornets.
European Hornets: Typically 1 to 1.5 inches in length, with yellow rings around the back and a yellow face. They build nests at least 6 feet above the ground, active both day and night.
Bald-faced Hornets: Smaller than European Hornets, identifiable by black rings around their eyes. Their nests can reach up to 2 feet in length and resemble papier-mâché. Both species are aggressive and release more venom than other stinging insects.
Apart from hornets, it’s essential to differentiate between other common stinging insects:
Wasps: Including hornets and yellow jackets, with paper wasps being a common American species. Red wasps are aggressive and may require professional removal.
Yellow Jackets: Dangerous wasps resembling bees but more aggressive. Their nests are often found underground.
Bees: Beneficial pollinators with round, fuzzy bodies. Consider hiring humane services for nest removal and relocation.
Materials Required for Hornet Removal: DIY or Professional
Depending on your chosen method—synthetic insecticide hornet spray or a chemical-free trap—you’ll need specific materials. Here’s a breakdown:
For Hornet Spray/Insecticide Removal:
Protective clothing (long sleeves, thick socks, safety goggles, face mask)
For Hornet Trap Removal:
2-liter soda bottle
Bait (overripe fruits, juices, pet food, or soda)
Or opt for a store-bought hornet trap or wasp trap if DIY isn’t your preference.
Hornet Spray: Effective and Immediate Removal
Hornet spray offers a straightforward and efficient method for eliminating hornets. Look for self-propellant aerosol sprays labeled as “long-distance” and effective against flying insects. However, for severe infestations or nests in high places, professional pest controllers may be necessary.
Steps for Hornet Spray Removal:
Safety First: Identify the nest, and if it’s too high, seek professional help. Wear protective gear, including long sleeves, pants, gloves, goggles, and a face mask.
Approaching the Nest: Nighttime is optimal, but daytime works well too. Avoid spraying directly under the nest’s opening to prevent aggression.
Spray and Go Away: Apply the spray thoroughly, mindful of wind and escaping hornets. Leave the nest undisturbed for several hours.
Recheck the Removal: Return later to ensure all hornets are dead. Knock down the nest and dispose of it according to spray instructions.
Hornet Trap: Pesticide-Free Alternative
Hornet traps offer a chemical-free approach to eliminate hornets. Whether homemade or store-bought, these traps can effectively reduce hornet populations without harming beneficial insects.
Steps for Hornet Trap Removal:
Gather Materials: Decide between DIY or store-bought traps and gather the necessary materials, including a 2-liter soda bottle, masking tape, and bait.
Make Your DIY Hornet Trap: Cut the top of the bottle to create a funnel, place bait at the bottom, and re-insert the funnel upside down. Seal with masking tape for a homemade trap.
Position the Trap: Place the trap near the nest but away from your home. Leave it for 24 hours and check for hornets.
Get Rid of Hornets: Seal the trap, dispose of it in a bag or freezer, and wait until the hornets are killed by the cold.
Large hornet nests may require multiple removals. Ensure proper sealing before disposal to contain the hornets.
Preventing Hornets from Returning
After successful hornet removal, take preventive measures to avoid future infestations:
Eliminate Food Sources: Regularly maintain fruit trees and flowers, keeping them away from high-traffic areas.
By following these steps, you can safely and effectively rid your yard of hornets and create a secure environment for your family and pets.
This post was written by a professional arborist at Arbor Wise Professional Tree Care. Robert Miller is the owner of Arbor Wise Professional Tree Care, a locally owned and operated tree service company that offers superb lawn care by the most experienced Arborists. Arborwise Tree Services is a tree removal company that offers stump removal, tree trimming services largo fl, stump grinding, fertilization, and tree restoration. We have an extraordinary lawn care industry notoriety covering the Pinellas county area.