How to Destroy a Hornets' Nest

Written by megan hippler
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How to Destroy a Hornets' Nest
Do not disturb hornets' nests in treetops. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Because stinging insects may strike terror into your heart, properly destroying a hornet's nest eases fears, frees up your yard and lessens the chance of anyone being stung. The bald-faced hornets typically found in the United States build grey paperlike nests, where they live in colonies of 300 to 400 hornets. Crucial to the ecosystem, hornets eat a variety of insects, including houseflies, and other animals depend on the hornets for food. If the hornet's nest is out of the way, leave the nest alone until the hornets die after a hard frost.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Protective clothing
  • Hornet Spray

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  1. 1

    Determine if the hornets' nest needs to be destroyed. It should be destroyed if it is in a high traffic area, especially if it affects children, pets or innocent passersby.

  2. 2

    Acquire two cans of hornet spray from a home and garden store. If it the nest is high off the ground, find a pressurised spray that shoots far enough for you to remain on the ground.

  3. 3

    Don protective clothing, particularly long sleeved shirts and gloves.

  4. 4

    Approach thenest after the sun has set. All the hornets return to the nest but remain inactive at dusk.

  5. 5

    Sweep the spray under the nest to kill any hornets not yet in the nest.

  6. 6

    Douse the nest with the entire can of hornet's spray, focusing especially around the opening.

  7. 7

    Return the next night and repeat the dousing with the second can of hornet spray.

  8. 8

    Remove the nest or fold the nest in on itself to block the entrance and wait until after the first frost to remove the nest.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use a flashlight, floodlight or other source of light, as these will attract the hornets.
  • Do not burn the nest or douse it with gasoline, as this excessive method causes serious environmental contamination.
  • Do not attempt to destroy a hornet's nest near people especially vulnerable to their stings, such as children or people with bee allergies.
  • Be prepared to run if the hornets turn hostile.

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