Don’t Kick It: 5 Things to Do if You Find a Hornet’s Nest

Hornets are one of the most dangerous stinging insects out there. Their stingers are smooth with no barbs, allowing them to sting repeatedly. The amount of venom they can inject can be fatal.


“Murder hornets” are an incredibly terrifying species of hornet invading America. Their true home is in Asia, and they are several times larger than the North American hornet. Their sting has been compared to being stabbed with a hot metal pin.

Typically, hornets are not aggressive if you leave them alone. If you find a hornet’s nest, keep reading to find out what to do with it.

1. Identify the Nest

The first step to dealing with a hornet’s nest is locating and identifying the nest itself. Observe the hornets you see and where they are flying. You can even leave out bait, like an apple, and observe where they take the food.

Once you find the nest, look for identifying hornet features. Hornet nests look like swirls of grey paper mache and are shaped like a teardrop. Small nests are the size of a ping pong, but they can grow to the size of a basketball.

When you find the nest, place a marker nearby to make sure you can find it again.


2. Spray the Nest

Next, head to the hardware store to purchase an aerosol flying insect spray. It should be a long-distance type of insecticide so you can stand away from the nest.

You should also purchase some protective gear, like rubber gloves and goggles. No skin should be showing, and clothing items should be secured with a rubber band to ensure hornets don’t fly into them.

Spray the nest at least two hours after sunset (or just before sunrise for European hornets) when hornets are home and less active. You can use a flashlight with red cellophane taped over it as a light source. Hornets cannot see red light.

3. Remove the Nest

Before removing the nest, observe it the next day for any signs of life. If there are still hornets, you must respray the nest.

Afterward, use a stick or a pole to dislodge the nest and put it in a trash bag to dispose of it.

4. Take Precautions

You can take precautionary measures to prevent another hornet’s nest from forming. These include caulking any openings on the home’s exterior, tightly sealing waste bins, checking for and filling holes in your yard, and eliminating outdoor access to food or drinks.

5. Contact a Professional

If the hornet problem persists, it’s time to contact a pest professional, like the ones at If you have a hornet phobia, they can deal with the hornet’s nest removal themselves.

Dealing With a Hornet’s Nest

Dealing with a hornet’s nest is not a fun task—it can even be dangerous. However, it needs to be handled immediately to prevent injury to those around it. You can always skip the DIY steps and go straight to calling a professional.

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[All images were downloaded from unsplash]