Hornet Nest Removal
A Quick Guide To Hornet Nest Removal
Hornet nest removal can be an intimidating process. Hornets are social wasps, and their ability to mobilize the entire nest to attack when aggravated is what makes them so dangerous. However, hornets are rarely aggressive toward people if not threatened, so it is actually best to leave the nest alone if it is not in a highly trafficked area. Hornet colonies die every winter, and the nest can be easily and safely removed at that time. Hornet nest removal is only necessary if the nest is in a location that makes aggravation of the hornets by people or animals likely. If the nest is in such a location, you can either remove the nest yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.
If you decide you can tackle the problem yourself, the best approach is to use an insecticide spray that is designed specifically for hornet nest removal. A can of hornet spray can be used from a distance of 15 to 20 feet, so there is no need to get extremely close to the nest. Some people recommend raising a trash bag over the nest, sealing it, and then detaching the nest. This method is not recommended, as you risk aggravating the colony while in close proximity to the nest, and hornets can escape through even a very small opening in the bag. The bag method of removal is best left to the professionals, who have the experience and appropriate protective gear.
Any exposed skin is a potential target for an angry hornet, so you will want to cover up as much as possible with thick clothing, eye protection such as goggles, and thick gloves. To keep hornets from flying into your clothing, wear items with elastic cuffs or apply tape around the bottoms of pant legs and sleeves to secure them close to your skin. Don't worry about style - your goal is to protect as much skin as possible.
Although it might seem like asking for trouble, you will need to spray the nest while the hornets are all home. If many hornets escape the destruction of the nest, they will simply return and rebuild. The best time use the hornet spray is at night, when the hornets have returned to the nest and are at their least active. If you need extra light, be sure to use indirect illumination or cover your light with a red filter - shining a white light directly on the nest will disturb the hornets and make you job more difficult and dangerous.
Hornet nests have a single opening that is usually located toward the bottom of the nest, and you will need to spray directly into this opening. Spray from as far away as possible, and don't stand directly beneath the nest - the hornets will begin to drop through the opening as soon as the spray makes contact, and you don't want to be in their path. Be very careful not to break the nest, as that will aggravate the hornets and allow them to scatter.
The spray you use will have instructions about how long to wait to ensure that all the hornets have been destroyed. If you continue to see live hornets, you will need to repeat the above procedure again before removing the nest. It is only safe to remove the nest once you are sure that all the hornets have been killed. At that point, destroy the nest and dispose of it in a secure trash bag.
Hornet nest removal is a relatively simple procedure, but has the potential to be quite dangerous. Only attempt it yourself if you feel confident you can complete the above steps and know with certainty that you are not allergic to wasp venom. If you have any doubts, it's best to contact a pest control professional to remove the nest for you.