How to Get Rid of Ground Hornets

Ground hornets are the largest wasps in North America. Although they are important predators of other pests, they can also be a nuisance when they build their nests in or near homes.

These social insects live in colonies of up to 4,000 individuals and are known for their aggressive behavior. Hornets are likely to sting repeatedly if threatened.

They are a danger to you, pets, and even younger children once they build a nest. If you found a ground hornet nest on your property, this article compiles effective methods on how to get rid of ground hornets.

It can get tough to get rid of hornets but this guide will simplify all you need to do right to remove hornets permanently from your property.

What is a ground hornet?

Ground hornets are large, solitary wasps that are native to North America. They are one of the largest species of wasps in the world, with females reaching up to two inches in length.

Ground hornets have black bodies with yellow markings, and their abdomens are banded with black and yellow stripes. They are beneficial insects, but they can be a nuisance to humans if they build their nests near homes. Their stings are painful, and they can be aggressive if they feel threatened.

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How to Get Rid of Ground Hornets

Hornet nests pose a significant threat to humans and pets due to their aggressive nature and potent stings. Therefore, it’s important to approach hornet nest removal with utmost caution and proper preparation

Dealing with ground hornets can be tricky, but here are some steps you can take:

#1. Identify the Nest

Locate the nest during the day when hornets are active. Here’s a guide to help you identify hornet nests:

  • Appearance: Hornet nests are typically papery or cardboard-like, constructed from chewed wood fibers mixed with saliva. They have a grayish-brown color and can range in size from a small football to a basketball.
  • Shape: Hornet nests are usually oval or pear-shaped, with a single entrance hole at the bottom. The exterior may have a smooth or rough texture, depending on the species of hornet.
  • Location: Hornet nests are commonly found in sheltered locations, such as under eaves, in trees, shrubs, or even inside structures like attics or wall voids. They prefer areas that are protected from direct sunlight and rain.
  • Hornet Activity: Observe the area around the suspected nest. Hornets are most active during the daytime, so if you see hornets flying in and out of a particular spot, it’s a good indication that a nest is located there.

#2. Protect Yourself

Wear protective clothing, including long sleeves, pants, gloves, and a veil or hat. Hornet stings can be painful, and some people are allergic to it.

#3. Use Insecticide

Apply an insecticide specifically designed for hornets. You can use dust or foam insecticides that are made for ground-nesting insects. Follow the instructions below

  • Choose the right insecticide: Select an insecticide that is specifically designed for wasps and hornets
  • Apply the insecticide: Follow the instructions on the insecticide label carefully. Be sure to wear protective clothing and stand at least 15 feet away from the nest when applying the insecticide.
  • Saturate the nest entrance: Spray the insecticide directly into the nest entrance to ensure that all hornets are killed.
  • Retreat to a safe distance: Once you have applied the insecticide, quickly retreat to a safe distance and observe the nest for hornet activity.

#4. Block Entry/Exit Points

After applying the insecticide, it’s important to block the entry and exit points of the nest to prevent any remaining hornets from getting out. Use soil, rocks, or any material that can seal the opening effectively.

  1. Identify Entry/Exit Points: Carefully examine the nest to identify all entry and exit points. These are usually small holes or openings in the nest structure.
  2. Place Heavy Objects: Carefully position the heavy objects over each entry and exit point. Ensure they are securely placed and completely cover the openings.
  3. Apply Insecticide: Once the entry/exit points are blocked, apply insecticide according to the product instructions. Saturate the nest entrance(s) to ensure all hornets are killed.
  4. Retreat to a Safe Distance: After applying insecticide,

#5. Natural Remedies

Some people prefer natural methods to get rid of ground hornets. Pouring boiling water into the nest may also be effective in killing the hornets.

However, this method might not penetrate deep enough into the nest to eliminate all hornets and might not be as effective as insecticides.

Other natural methods to consider, keeping in mind that they may not be as effective as professional pest control services include:

  1. Soap and Water Solution: Mix a solution of dish soap and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution directly onto the hornet nest, aiming for the entry and exit points.
  2. Essential Oils: Mix a few drops of the essential oil with water in a spray bottle and mist the areas around the nest.
  3. Diatomaceous Earth: Sprinkle the diatomaceous earth around the nest entrance and any areas where hornets are frequently seen. The diatomaceous earth will cut the hornets’ bodies and dehydrate them, causing them to die.
  4. Homemade Hornet Traps: Create a simple hornet trap by filling a bottle with sugar water and a few drops of dish soap. Hang the bottle near the nest, and the hornets will be attracted to the sugar water. Once they enter the bottle, they will be unable to escape and will drown in the soap solution.
  5. Eliminate Potential Nesting Sites: Reduce the likelihood of ground hornets returning by removing potential nesting sites, such as woodpiles, overgrown vegetation, and old rodent burrows.

#6. Professional Help

If the infestation is extensive or if you’re uncomfortable handling it yourself, consider contacting a professional pest control service.

They have the expertise and proper equipment to deal with hornet infestations safely and effectively.

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How to make hornet Traps

To make DIY hornet traps, gather the following materials.

  1. Plastic Bottle:
  2. Sugar Water
  3. Liquid Dish Soap
  4. String or Wire
  5. Scissors


  1. Cut the Bottle: Cut the top third of the plastic bottle off, leaving the bottom two-thirds intact. You can use this cut-off top as an inverted funnel to fit into the bottom portion of the bottle.
  2. Create the Funnel: Insert the inverted top portion of the bottle into the bottom portion, creating a funnel-shaped opening at the top. Secure the two parts together with tape or glue if necessary.
  3. Fill with Sugar Water: Pour the prepared sugar water mixture into the bottom portion of the bottle, filling it about halfway.
  4. Add Dish Soap: Add a few drops of liquid dish soap to the sugar water mixture.
  5. Hang the Trap: Use the string or wire to hang the trap from a sturdy location away from direct sunlight. Choose a spot where hornets are frequently seen.
  6. Monitor the Trap: Observe the trap regularly and remove any dead hornets that accumulate.

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What are the signs of a ground hornet infestation?

Ground hornets can be a nuisance and a danger to humans and pets. Identifying the signs of a ground hornet infestation is important for taking appropriate measures to eliminate these pests from your property.

Here are the key indicators of a ground hornet infestation:

  1. Visible Ground Hornet Activity
  2. Presence of Ground Hornet Nests
  3. Distinctive Entrance Holes
  4. Hornet Swarms
  5. Cicada Remains
  6. Stinging Incidents

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How do you kill underground hornets?

Like most colony insects, getting rid of underground hornets can be a tricky task, as they are aggressive and their nests are often difficult to locate. However, with the right preparation and insecticide, you can safely eliminate these pests from your property.

To kill underground hornets, you must first prepare by gathering the right materials like protective Clothing, insecticide, application Tools, and escape routes.

Afterward, take the following steps below:

  • Locate the Nest
  • Nest Treatment
  • Nest Removal and Disposal

What kills hornets immediately?

Several methods can kill hornets immediately, but it is important to prioritize safety and effectiveness when dealing with these aggressive insects. Here are some options to consider:

  • Insecticides: Insecticides specifically designed for wasps and hornets are the most effective way to kill them instantly.
  • Soap and Water Solution: A mixture of dish soap and water can also be effective in killing hornets.
  • Essential Oils: Certain essential oils, such as peppermint, lemongrass, and clove oil, are known to repel hornets.
  • Homemade Hornet Traps: Creating a simple hornet trap can be an effective way to kill hornets over time.
  • Professional Assistance: If you are uncomfortable or unsure about using any of these methods, consider hiring a professional pest control service.

What is the best product to kill ground hornets?

Eliminating ground hornets requires a combination of safety precautions, proper treatment methods, and effective insecticides. The best products to kill ground hornets are these top-Rated Insecticides for Ground Hornets

  1. Ortho Home Defense Hornet & Wasp Killer: This foam spray insecticide effectively reaches and kills hornets deep within their nests.
  2. Terro Wasp & Hornet Killer: This foaming spray insecticide delivers a quick knockdown effect, paralyzing hornets on contact.
  3. Spectracide Wasp & Hornet Killer 2: This aerosol spray insecticide provides targeted control, allowing for precise application around the nest entrance
  4. Raid Wasp & Hornet Killer 24/7: This aerosol spray insecticide offers continuous protection for up to 24 hours, preventing hornets from re-nesting in the treated area.
  5. Black Flag Wasp & Hornet Killer 2000 Plus: This aerosol spray insecticide features a powerful formula that quickly paralyzes and kills hornets.

How to get rid of ground hornets nest

To get rid of ground hornets nest, observe hornet activity to identify the nest’s location. Ground hornet nests are typically underground, in old rodent burrows or under woodpiles.

Once the nest is located, apply the insecticide according to the product instructions. Saturate the nest entrance(s) to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Finally, carefully remove the nest from its location using a long-handled tool or a shovel to get rid of ground hornets nest permanently.

Can a hornet sting make you sick?

Yes, a hornet sting can make you sick. Hornet stings can cause a variety of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Some of the most common symptoms of a hornet sting include: pain, swelling, redness, itching, and warmth.

In some cases, hornet stings can also cause more serious symptoms, such as: Allergic reactions, anaphylaxis, and infection. If you experience difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, throat, or tongue, and rapid heartbeat, seek medical attention, immediately.

What do hornets hate the most?

Hornets, like many insects, have certain scents and substances that they find repulsive or harmful. The strong, minty scent of peppermint oil is known to repel hornets.

You can mix a few drops of peppermint oil with water in a spray bottle and mist the areas around your home where you’ve seen hornets. You can also plant peppermint plants around your yard to create a natural barrier.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs of a ground hornet infestation?

Seeing ground hornets flying around your property
Finding a ground hornet nest
Being stung by a ground hornet

What time of year are ground hornets most active?

Ground hornets are most active from late spring to early fall.

How long does it take to kill ground hornets after treatment?

It may take several hours or even days for all hornets to die after treatment. Do not approach the nest until all hornet activity has ceased.

Can I use homemade insecticide to get rid of ground hornets?

While homemade insecticides like soap and water solutions can be effective, they may not be as potent as professional-grade insecticides.

What liquid kills hornets?

A mixture of dish soap and water can also be effective in killing hornets. The soap will coat the hornets’ bodies, causing them to dehydrate and die

Are hornets aggressive?

Yes, hornets can be very aggressive, especially when their nests are threatened


Ground hornets may be formidable, but with the right approach, you can effectively eliminate them from your property and restore peace to your outdoor spaces.

While working towards this, prioritize safety, utilize appropriate methods, and seek professional assistance when necessary. This article compiles the most effective ways to get rid of ground hornets.



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