Yes, it is true that Hornets play a crucial role in nature. However, they are known for wreaking havoc for humans maybe since the beginning of time. You are out there enjoying a little pool time with your friends and family; when suddenly you notice a hornet. You can imagine how everyone will be panicking and rushing inside the house to protect themselves from getting stung. Do you know that it can even squirt venom into their enemy’s eye? And those damaging nest in places like eaves, attics, and garages is definitely annoying. So, HOW TO KEEP HORNETS AWAY? Is there any effectual HORNET REPELLENT that can perform a miracle?
Good news for you: There are many simple yet effectual methods that can prevent the invasion of hornets, and they have been mentioned below. Besides, ways to identify common types of hornets, what to do if you get stung, and more have been pointed out also to ensure you are adequately and completely prepared for your next encounter with this pesky flying insects. So, read on to know more.
WHAT DO HORNETS LOOK LIKE?
Only way the mentioned tips on HOW TO KEEP HORNETS AWAY will work if you are using them against Hornets only. It is very easy to confuse a wasp with this particular creeper as it happens to be the largest of the social wasps and looks a lot alike. Ways to identify the two most commonly found hornets for effective elimination are:
1. BALD FACED HORNET
They are quite common and you may come face to face with it any time. They are black-colored but have a white face mostly. They can be anywhere from to 5/8th of an inch in size. This kind is known for building nest that are attached to trees mainly. They build nests (paper) which can be of any dimension with a diameter similar to a grapefruit to that of a beach ball.
2. EUROPEAN HORNET
This kind can be anywhere from to more than 1 inch in size. They have a pale face with prominent brown with yellow stripes on its abdomen. They are mostly active during night time. The paper nest build by them commonly have a brown paper envelope to protect the nest. You will find its nest in hollow walls of buildings, barns, and hollow trees.
Both of them are quite dangerous. So, be careful around their colonies and try to avoid exaggerated and abrupt movements to protect you from getting stung by them. They are smooth stringer, meaning they will continue to sting until the threat they are facing has been abated completely.
WHERE DO HORNETS LIVE?
Do you know there are about 20 species of hornet? They live mainly in tropical Asia. However, they are also common in North America, Europe, and Africa.
It is true that European hornets are not that hostile as the bald-faced kinds. However, it will be best to not disturb their nest as a hornet’s colony can hold thousands of them. Locations (usually in high areas) where such a nest can be found are:
- Thick bushes
- Tree tops.
- Tree hollows and branches
- Inside wall voids
- Under roofs
- Other areas that are raised off the ground
Here it should be mentioned that a nest can be found in the ground as well like in abandoned, old rodent burrows.
WHAT ATTRACTS HORNETS?
If you have created an environment that attracts hornets, then no kind of HORNET REPELLENT will work. Just like honeybee and wasp, they also pull towards you the basic needs of every living organism.
They prioritize finding water first when it comes to finding a new home. Most species are known for sensing humidity changes in air. So, they will seek out high-humidity places where there is plenty of water available. Thus, keep your home and outdoors (including lawns) free from standing water of any kind.
Basically, Hornets act like honeybees when it comes to seeking out sustenance. Where honeybees are looking for flowers, hornets are looking for bees on the other hand. They are carnivorous and are looking for meaty treats. They hunt other insects or some carrion to feed on. So, make sure there aren’t any bugs and insects flying around your home.
Besides, they are also known for yearning sugary-sweet fluids like soda, juice, nectar, and other sweet treats enjoyed during summer. So, do not tempt them by keeping your sugary food and drinks lying around. Keep them covered and store them properly.
Once they have found the source of water and food, hornets will look for a place where they will be undisturbed. The places where you can find a hornet’s nest have been mentioned earlier. Typically, these flying devils seek out wood as they are a source of fiber. So, clean your surroundings properly and get rid of dead trees, wood piles, sheds, and lumber.
8 METHODS TO PREVENT HORNETS
Now, let’s look into HOW TO KEEP HORNETS AWAY effectively:
1. REMOVE UNWANTED FOOD
As hornets are attracted to food so you should handle your leftovers better. Keep them covered and sealed. Any kind of food waste should be confined in a heavy-duty garbage bag (to avoid spillage and leakage) that is tired tightly. Eradicate any signs of bird food or nectar and fallen fruits that attract other insects as well.
2. COVER GARBAGE CANS
Hornet invasion is inevitable if you keep food sources in the form of exposed recycling bins, garbage bins, and composting food matter. Consider composting indoors and keep the bins tightly sealed always.
3. PLUG THE CRACKS
Hornets can enter via openings of any kind in your home. So, you should patch/seal up tiny cracks around your home like areas around the edges of siding. Use a combination of expandable foam sealant and caulk.
4. ELIMINATE SMALL INSECTS
As mentioned before, Hornets love to feed on other insects. Thus, you can effectively avoid them coming around you and your property if it is free from other common insect and bug infestation. Keep your home clean and use tradition or electric insect killers and fly catchers.
5. USE FAKE WASP NESTS
Fake wasp nest is an exceptional HORNET REPELLENT. Go to a home improvement store in order to invest in a decorative hornet decoy for your home and/or garden. They are territorial and tend to build nest that is around 200 feet away from another nest. Thus, the fake wasp trap placed on either side of your property can deter hornets from moving in.
6. USE HORNET TRAPS
You can make one at home using some duct or masking tape, fruit juice or any other sweet liquid-like soda and a 2-liter bottle. From the top, cut about fourth of the bottle and then flip it over. Place this bottom part on the top part making sure there is a pathway leading up to the small opening down to the bottom. The bottom section will hold some the liquid as bait.
7. REPELLENT PLANTS
Plants that act as a natural HORNET REPELLENT are Citronella, Wormwood, Eucalyptus, Thyme, and Spearmint. Flowering plants like Pennyroyals, Geraniums, and Marigold are also effective. You can place them near your home or near the area you have spotted a nest.
8. ESSENTIAL OILS
There are many essential oils that can drive away hornets. You can use Clove, Peppermint, Geranium, or Lemongrass essential oils. Mix a few drops of the essential oil of your choice with soapy water in a spray bottle. Carefully with full protection spray this liquid on any hornet nest to deter them for good.
HOW TO AVOID HORNET STINGS?
If you get stung, then besides general swelling, irritation and pain in the affected area, you may get Anaphylaxis and other allergic reactions like hives beyond the sting site, nausea, difficulty in breathing, shock, and more. So, here are some ways you can avoid hornet stings:
- Keep your distance from swarms, colonies, and nests.
- Do not run from hornets in zig-zag fashion, exit in a straight line as fast as you can to keep out of obvious danger.
- Do not violently jerk from side to side or swat at hornets as this informs them that you are bad news which might encourage the insect to sting you.
- Sweet-smelling fragrances can attract them. Besides, hornets also can be provoked by body odor. Freshen yourself up if you are working on your yard for a long time and worked up a sweat.
- Make sure that you have your recycling and garbage bins covered as these can attract hornets. Once every two weeks rinse the bins to get rid of the sweet sticky substances that form on them because of the trash.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET STUNG BY A HORNET?
If you get stung, then the first thing that you have to do is move away from the area as swiftly as possible. They sting near their nest and will sting you several times if you do not move away. The trick is to calmly and gently brush hornets off you if it lands on you.
You can get mild to serious reaction once stung. So, before anything else clean the affected area with water and soap. Apply ice as it will reduce inflammation. To ease the painful soreness, you can take ibuprofen. Use topical steroid if you are experiencing itching.
Usually, the swelling will go down after a week. However, it the affected area continues to be red, warm, and inflamed, you might have an infection which requires immediate attention and treatment from an appropriate and qualified doctor.
Hopefully by now, you are well familiar with the steps to take in order to ensure you are safe from hornet invasion. Besides tips on HOW TO KEEP HORNETS AWAY, other important information about these insects have been mentioned to handle them better. Here it is important to mention that if you are still facing any kind of problem, for example, various dangerous insect stings and bites treatment, do take help from a professional and let them help you out effectively.
( Pictures from Canva.com )