a hornet nest in a tree

How to Deal With a Hornet Infestation

March 01, 2023

Are hornets dangerous? Removing them from your home can be!

As Georgia starts to creep out of the winter chill, insects will begin reemerging as spring rolls into town. If you're outside enjoying the warmer weather and you notice a swarming insect, you will quickly be reminded of how important it is to protect your home from flying insects like hornets. Are hornets dangerous? They can be. Do you have to use a pest control service to get rid of hornets? Not necessarily, but there may be situations where it is safer to bring in a professional. Read more about hornets and how to get rid of them below!

hornets building a nest under a wooden deck
Photo by Ante Hamersmit on Unsplash

Where do hornets usually build their nest?

A hornet colony's main goal is to expand, and in order to do that, they need to be able to reproduce in a safe place. This is why you will most often find hornet nests in bushes or trees, somewhere away from foot traffic and possible non-flying predators. Hornets may also build their nests in garages, attics, inside exterior walls, and sometimes underground. All of these locations offer protection from the elements and little chance of being disturbed, as the nests remain largely hidden.

Do hornets have any predators?

Surprisingly, there are many animals and even other insects that will happily chow down on a hornet. Birds are incredible adept at being able to snag hornets (even mid-flight!) and will use their beaks to get inside a hornet's nest to eat the larvae stashed there. Lizards also seek out nests and will actually eat through the exterior of the nest to get to the hornet larvae. There are varieties of ants and flies that will kill hornets and eat their larvae. Mammals that are considered predators to hornets include black bears, badgers, raccoons, and in some countries, even humans!

How do you deal with a hornet infestation?

If you find a hornet flying around your home's interior, you can either try to let it fly back outside via an open door or window, or if you want to have one less hornet in the world, you can suck it up with a vacuum. Be careful not to squish the hornet, as the hornet will emit a chemical signal to nearby hornets to come attack its murderer.

large hornet nest with many hornets on it on house exterior
Photo by Bee Safe on Unsplash

If you come across a hornet nest, you can try to get rid of it but you need to plan your attack very carefully. Hornets are most calm at dawn and at dusk, and that is also when the majority of a nest's hornet population will be inside the nest. There are many sprays available to consumers, but read the instructions carefully and make sure you wear proper eye and mouth protection. Once you have let the spray go to work on the nest for the number of days recommended, you again wait until either dawn or dusk before removing the nest from your home or tree. Make sure to wear full protection like a beekeeper suit and have more spray ready to douse the nest once it's contained in a trash bag. You can either throw away the bag or, if your neighborhood allows it, you can also burn the bagged nest to ensure that the hornets don't just relocate to the dump.

Dealing with a hornet infestation is a serious task with a heavy risk of potential injury. If you find a large hornet's nest around your home or if it's located somewhere that will be tricky to maneuver, it's in your best interest to contact your local pest control company to come take care of the situation. For homeowners in the metro-Atlanta area, BREDA Pest Management will gladly come to your home and remove all traces of hornets from your property. You can watch an example of one of our hornet nest removals in this news story featured on WSB. This neighborhood was frequently dealing with attacking hornets swarming out of a 5-gallon bucket sized nest on the exterior of an abandoned home, so we stepped in to provide relief!

If you find yourself needing pest control and want it handled thoroughly, don't hesitate to give us a call. The BREDA Guarantee promises to fix your pest problem and keep it fixed—no matter the circumstances. Schedule a consultation online or give us a call at 770-466-6700.