How to Get Rid of Ground Hornets

A hornet eating a dead crab on a beach.
Avoid disturbing a hornet's nest, except it poses a problem. Luis Diaz Devesa / Getty Images

Ground hornets may build nests in rotted tree stumps and spaces in walls or ceilings, but they usually build their nests in rodent burrows. These nests are usually inaccessible and can't be removed. It's best to leave hornets alone unless they pose a threat -- but if they do pose a threat, ground hornets must be trapped or poisoned.

The easiest and safest way to get rid of a hornets' nest is to call a professional. If you decide to take care of the problem yourself, locate and mark the nest entrance during the day, but take all action at night when the insects are likely to be inside the nest and less active. Wear protective clothing like boots, coveralls, heavy gloves and veiled headgear when approaching a hornets' nest. Tape down your collar and the cuffs of your pants and sleeves [source: Pest Control Canada]. Set up any lighting you plan on using some distance from the nest because the hornets may be attracted to the light [source: Pest Control Canada]. Then try one of the remedies listed below:


  • Soap and water may be the easiest way to deal with the problem. Pour a solution of soap and water into the nest entrance.
  • Insecticide dust is the best way to kill the colony. Spray the nest entrance every three days until there is no daytime activity around the nest.
  • Purchase lure traps and hang them in the area that you want to be clear of hornets. Hang the traps 2 to 4 feet (60.96 to 121.92 centimeters) above the ground in an area that is roughly 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (26.67 to 29.45 degrees Celsius). Empty and clean the traps every three to four weeks. Although traps won't eliminate hornets altogether, aggressive trapping can significantly reduce their numbers.

If you're allergic to wasp or bee stings or if you don't have the appropriate equipment, don't attempt to get rid of the hornets' nest yourself -- call a professional [source: Pest Control Canada].