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Horrible Hornets

Hornets are among the most troublesome pests that homeowners can encounter. Their stings can be extremely painful—even deadly for those who are allergic to their venom. If you find hornets on your property, take these steps to help get rid of them safely.

Eliminate protein sources. Hornets are attracted to protein-rich food sources such as pet food and compost. Don’t give hornets free snacks! Keep your pet’s food in sealable containers, put compost materials in a bin and securely fasten garbage can lids.

NEVER swat a hornet. While it’s tempting to stomp on a hornet or swing at it with a fly swatter, a threatened insect will release a pheromone to warn other hornets of danger. This could cause them to attack you as a group.

Vacuum hornets indoors. If a hornet makes its way into your home, vacuum it up. Even if it survives, it will succumb to dehydration or starvation after a few days of being trapped in your vacuum container.

Kill the nest. You can exterminate a colony of hornets using aerosol insecticides developed for killing these pests. Wait until evening when most of the hornets are inside the nest and less active. As a precaution, put on a jacket, long pants tucked into socks, a hat and gloves. Spray the nest’s entrance first, then totally wet the nest with the insecticide. Most sprays kill hornets on contact, but repeat the next day if you notice activity. After about two days of no activity, the nest can be removed. Hornets nests can be difficult and dangerous to remove. If you don’t feel comfortable removing the nest, call a professional exterminator.

Keep them away for good. Once you have removed the nest, wipe down the area with an enzyme cleaner. This destroys the hornets’ pheromones, which could otherwise attract new hornets to the spot. Another option: Put up insect mesh to deter hornets from nest-prone spots such as under household eaves.

Be sure to review our other articles for great information on other summer specific pests & maintenance!

Pest Prevention Tips

Here are a few easy steps you can take right now to stop pests and termites from invading your home:

Pest Tips

  • Seal cracks in your home’s exterior to help keep pests like ants, spiders and cockroaches from getting inside.
  • Be sure all doors and windows are properly sealed with tight-fitting screens and weather stripping.
  • Don’t leave uncovered food sitting out. It can attract flies that might land on it and spread harmful bacteria.
  • Consider storing clothing in plastic boxes or pouches to prevent fabric pests from getting to them.
  • Ensure that the attic and crawl space have sufficient ventilation. Proper ventilation creates an environment unsuitable for cockroaches and other pests. It also improves the heating and cooling efficiency of the home.
  • Do not allow pet food to sit out overnight, indoors or outdoors.
  • Remove any piles of debris, stones, bricks, etc., around your home. They serve as a harborage for pests, especially rodents.

Termite Tips

  • Repair any roof or plumbing leaks as soon as possible. These leaks can allow termites to survive above ground in a house.
  • Eliminate any wood-to-soil contact around your foundation and remove wood debris near your home.
  • Prevent mulch and soil from touching the siding of your home. They make it much easier for termites to enter.
  • Store firewood away from your home.
  • Use mesh screens on all windows and doors, as well as in ventilation openings for attics and crawl spaces.
  • Seal nail holes and cracks in exposed wood to help prevent easy access by drywood termites.
  • Contract with a professional pest control company to regularly inspect your home. This will help detect termite activity and allow for prompt and proper treatment.