Are hornets beneficial insects?
Hornets living in Europe are Vespa crabro. They are considered dangerous insects, often referred to as pests. They feed mainly on fruits, tree sap, and other insects. Furthermore, they build their nests between tree branches, in tree hollows, and the ground. Because of the shrinking of their natural habitat, they regularly build their nests in places inhabited by humans, e.g., under roofs and in attics.
Hornets eat other insects – mostly flies, which are treated as pests. This is the beneficial function they serve. But it’s a small benefit considering hornets bite into fruits in orchards, gnaw on young plant roots, and can even damage wooden constructions.
Despite several benefits from hornets, you can safely say they are pests. It’s worth mentioning they are particularly dangerous to humans. Sensitive people may die from their venom.
Is a hornet’s nest a big threat?
Hornets are usually calm and don’t pose an immediate danger. But the situation may change when a person gets closer to their nest. It makes them feel threatened, and prompts them to deter the unwanted guest – that’s when they might use their stings.
A hornet sting is no more dangerous than a wasp sting. They inject about 0.2 ml of venom at once, while a lethal dose is 10-90 mg per one kilogram of body mass. In practice, it means multiple hornets would have to sting you to seriously harm you. Nonetheless, a hornet sting is much more painful than a wasp sting.
Hornets are larger, and their stings go deeper. Hornet’s venom contains much more toxins, and the stung spot gets painfully swollen and red. It might cause:
The symptoms might occur after a single sting, and may last from a few hours to days. If they remain longer than several days, you might have to see a doctor. Hornet venom is also extremely dangerous to people allergic to it – who might not be aware about their sensitivity. The insect’s sting injects a relatively large dose of toxins, which might be lethal in some cases.
How to keep hornets out of your house?
Hornets are attracted to light. For this reason, the insect might fly inside especially during a warm night, when the lights are on and the balcony door or a window is open. Note that unlike wasps, hornets aren’t attracted by the smell of sweets or meat. They like intense colors, the smell of flowers, preserves, and ripe fruits.
A special net is the best way to protect your interiors from hornets. How to repel hornets if they manage to get inside? Anti-hornet insecticides are the best option – you can get them in most garden stores.
Fighting with a single insect is not problematic. An entire hornet’s nest built e.g., under the roof is much more difficult to deal with. In such a case, you might have to call services or a special hornet control company.
How to keep hornets out of your garden?
Hornets are large insects that produce characteristic, scary buzzing. If you often see them in the yard, it might mean there’s a nest somewhere nearby. How to repel hornets in your garden? Some smells are irritating to hornets and scare them off.
If you want to get rid of hornets in your garden, you can use the smell of plants these insects don’t tolerate. If there are hornets flying around the area, you might want to plant several plants that will discourage them from visiting your yard.
Consider planting these species:
What does a hornet’s nest look like?
A hornet’s nest is easy to identify. You won’t confuse it with anything else. It resembles a large paper ball – measuring up to 50 cm (ca. 20 in) in width and length. A single nest always contains one queen and up to 700 workers. To build the nest, the insects use wood mixed with saliva.
How to find a hornet’s nest? Just follow one of the insects you noticed. It will reveal its location upon coming back to the nest. We don’t recommend approaching it, though, as the hornets will fiercely defend it. After you locate the nest, make sure to call appropriate services or a company that deals with removal of such insects.
A small hornet’s nest – get rid of it yourself
If the hornet’s nest is small with few insects living inside, you can remove it yourself. Regardless, if you decide to do it, exercise extra caution, so you’re not exposed to the insects’ stings. Hornets aren’t very active in winter, and become energized in spring.
Night is not the best time for a hornet’s nest removal. That’s when the insects are more lively than during the day. When do hornets sleep? They become the least active during an early and cold morning. That’s when you can decide to get rid of the nest.
Don’t remove the nest mechanically. It’s very dangerous and might anger the insects, making them more aggressive.
Using a special extinguisher pesticide is an effective method for killing hornets. When applying it, make sure to cover your face with a mask – so you don’t inhale the harmful substance. The extinguisher allows you to spray the nest from a few meters apart. The product takes an immediate effect by damaging the insects’ nervous system. The hornets that weren’t in the nest during the spraying, will get exposed to the substance upon return and will die as well.
A large hornet’s nest – where to report it?
A large hornet’s nest with hundreds of insects living in it should be reported to relevant services. Trying to remove it by yourself is extremely dangerous. In case of hornets posing a direct threat to humans’ lives, a local fire department might remove their nest. Otherwise, when a large nest is located nearby, and you want to have it removed, you need to hire pest removal services.
📍 How is a hornet's nest made?
Hornets build their nests based on paper mass they produce. They use decaying wood and their own saliva. Hornet's nests are typically located on trees, in tree hollows and in attics. You may also encounter a hornet's nest in the ground.
📍 Where to report a hornet's nest?
Are you wondering where to report hornets and their nest? Depending on the area you live in, you might have to call the fire department or pest control services. They will take necessary measures to locate and get rid of a dangerous nest, if it poses a serious threat to human health or life.
📍 Who is obliged to remove a hornet's nest?
Depending on the country and the region, the fire department might be the service that deals with hornet's nest – especially if the pests pose a serious threat. Otherwise, you might have to hire professional pest control services, or try to repel the insects yourself.
📍 Hornet control – how to deal with the problem?
Destroying a hornet's nest yourself might be dangerous. Utilizing certain preventive measures is a better option. You can try repelling hornets using lavender, geranium, or garlic. This way, the insects won't build their nest in the area.