How to Get Rid of Hornet Safely and Quickly

How to Get Rid of Hornet Safely and Quickly

Having a hornet nest in your yard is terrifying! Here’s a quick guide to get rid of hornets effectively and safely.

Locate the hornet hive. In the evening, treat the hornet hive using a fast knockdown pesticide. Spray directly into the exit hole on the hive. Make sure you are wearing protective clothing. Once there is no more activity, scrape off the nest.

Continue reading to learn more.

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What are Hornets?

European hornet
An European hornet.

Hornets are giant wasps that resemble yellow jackets. Unlike yellow jackets, hornets are more aggressive. They would not hesitate to sting if they are disturbed.

Hornets are social insects. They live in a nest, and work under the command of a queen. Adult hornets consume nectar, sugary secretion, and overripe fruits. They also kill other insects like bees and grasshoppers to feed their larvae.

Hornets can recruit their nest mates quickly to attack their enemy and prey. When you kill a hornet, it leaves pheromone trails on your body or shirt. The pheromone will attract more hornets to attack you.

Hornets can inflict painful and venomous stings repeatedly. Stings from hornets may trigger a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylactic shock, and cause death. CDC recorded 62 deaths per year between 2000-2017 caused by a combination of hornet, bee, and wasp stings.

The European hornet is the predominant hornet species in North America. Its workers are about 1” in length. Another species, known as bald-faced hornet, can also be found in North America. It has a distinctive black and white coloration. It is technically a yellow jacket wasp, though.

Bald-faced hornet
Bald-faced hornet.

In recent years, the more aggressive Asian giant hornet (also known as the Japanese giant hornet) has invaded North America (NBC News). They seem contained in Washington for now. These hornets can grow up to 1 ¾” in length.

What Attracts Hornets?

Hornets are attracted to food, which includes overripe fruits and flowers. On top of that, they are also attracted to beehives, spiders, and other insects.

Once they find a beehive, the hornets will rally more nest mates to raid the hive. The hornets decapitate the bees, chew off the flesh of the bees, and bring it back to feed their young ones. 

What Does a Hornet Hive Look Like?

The hive of a hornet is covered by paper-like pulps, and appears in light brown or white color. It usually has only 1 exit hole. The hive can be built in tree holes, branches, bushes, underneath ceilings, and eaves. Asian giant hornets typically nest underground, utilizing animal burrows. 

Hornets obtain their nesting materials by chewing off fibers from dead plant materials. They mix the fibers with saliva to produce paper-like pulps to build their nest. These pulps are stronger than it seems.

The hive is often located outdoors, somewhere sheltered and inconspicuous. On rare occasions, they may nest indoors. I’ve heard of a case where the hive was built on a ceiling fan in a house, where the owner was away for a long time.


Hornets are not a big threat if they are just foraging in your yard. Treatment is generally not required. But if there is a hive in your yard, you would want to get rid of it immediately.

To treat hornet, you need a product with a fast knockdown effect, such as Stryker Wasp and Hornet Killer. It is a pressurized canister that allows you to spray at a safety distance as far as 20 ft away from the hornets. 

Never rely on essential oils or any other “natural” products. They are often not fast-acting enough! 

Always treat the hornet hive in the evening, because that’s when mostall the hornets are resting inside the hive. Simply spray directly into the exit hole to kill all the hornets. If you are doing this in the daytime, you need to face the wrath of foraging hornets nearby. 

Let the spray dry out, and scrape off the hornet hive once you are sure it is inactive.

For your own safety, please wear a full bee suit when treating the hornet hive. I do see many people (including service technicians) not wearing a bee suit when treating hornet hives. But please, never do that! It’s not worth the risk.

If the nest is too high, use a spray adapter. Attach the spray adapter onto a pole, and tie the canister to it. Activate the canister by pulling the cord on the spray adapter to treat the hive. With this, you don’t have to climb a ladder to treat the hive, making it even safer.


You can reduce hornet activities by clearing fallen fruits routinely, and replacing your flowering plants to non-flowering plants. 

You can also prevent the hornet from flying into your house by putting up window screens (affiliate link) or door screens (affiliate link), and seal up all entry points.

However, there is no way to prevent hornets from foraging or nesting in your yard. If you find an increase in hornet activity around your house, check around to see if there is any hive. Address the hive before it becomes too big to handle.

What if I am Stung by a Hornet?

Wash the wound, and apply a cold bag to relieve the pain. Use antihistamine cream to reduce itchiness, or anti-inflammatory cream to reduce swelling if required. The symptoms should subside in a few days. Seek medical attention if you suffer breathing difficulty, nausea, increased heart rate or other serious symptoms.

In most cases, hornet stings are not lethal. But if you know you are allergic to stings, please seek medical attention immediately. If you have a prescribed epinephrine, such as EpiPen, use it!

Final Words

Hornets are no doubt dangerous creatures. Despite the benefits it brings to the environment and ecosystem, you should get rid of them asap if you found a hive in your house. Engage a contractor from Networx, if you prefer not to do it by yourself.


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