How To Get Rid Of Ground Hornets – 3 Effective Methods

Hornets are certainly the most dangerous bee that can inhabit your garden. Their sting could be fatal if you are allergic to it. Additionally, hornets sometimes make nests in sandboxes, so your young ones could be at risk as well.

Ground hornets are almost impossible to miss since they have large bodies. Their physique helps them catch other bugs, and they have a very predatory nature. If you notice these imposing bees flying around your home, it is best to learn how to get rid of ground hornets in case they are living close by.


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The Basics of Ground Hornets

Hornet on tree

Hornets are larger than ground bees and have a more dangerous sting. There is no difference between ground hornets and tree hornets when it comes to size. They choose a different place to build their nest, and that’s it.

Ground hornets can inhabit walls as well as old tree stumps. However, their favorite place is dry or loose soil.

Just like every animal that digs holes in the yard, hornets don’t like obstacles. They could also live in flowerbeds. Considering their nests are underground, the removal is a bit tricky but not impossible.

If you want to know when are ground hornets least active so you could remove the nest, the answer is at night. They have poor sight and usually don’t come out after dark.

Of course, wearing protective gear such as thick landscaping gloves is recommended because some hornets might get out of the nest and try to deal with the attacker, and that’s you. Seek immediate ground hornets sting treatment in case of an allergy.

How to Get Rid of Ground Hornets: 3 Methods

Soap and Water Mixture

If you ever had to deal with ground wasps, you already know that soap and water mixture is the easiest way to get rid of them. The same method can be applied to ground hornets.

First, you need to locate the nest and cover the entrance with a fabric. Secure it in place, so it doesn’t move. Then pour the mixture of soap and water into the hole.

Water should drown the hornets that are in the nest as the fabric prevents them from swarming out. Soap will immobilize their wings and make flying impossible. Leave the nest overnight with the covering and remove it in the morning.

A DIY Hornet Trap

You haven’t located the nest yet, but hornets are making you uncomfortable? A DIY trap might be the best solution. It is the most effective way of minimizing the number of hornets in your vicinity without applying insecticides.

Pet owners and people who don’t like using chemicals in their yard often choose this method.

You will need a soda bottle for this, the larger, the better. Cut it at the neck and put some olive oil or something sweet on the inside. Pour some water in as well. Turn the piece you have just cut off, remove the cap, and place it back into the bottle.

You could also make holes on the side if you plan to hang the trap.

Hornets will be attracted to whatever you choose to put inside. Don’t neglect the trap and empty it as often as possible. You could also add a couple of drops of soap if you are worried that ground hornets might not drown right away.

Insecticide Dust

Insecticide dust is the best way to get rid of ground hornets around plants. Contrary to popular belief, these chemicals will not affect flowers in your garden.

When you purchase the insecticide dust, make sure you get the additional equipment as well. It includes a duster with a long pole that will help you spray the nest without getting too close.

You also need to use insecticide dust at a specific time. Ground hornets should be in the nest when you spray, so do it during the night or before dawn. The dust should be applied directly into the opening.

After that, wait for two to three days before getting close to the nest to inspect the results.

The Prevention

Now that you have removed the colony from your garden, it might be the perfect time to learn how to prevent ground hornets from building nests again.

If you have used poison or any other chemical, hornets will know that returning to their previous nest is out of the question, especially if the queen is dead.

You can also make your yard unliveable for them. This is quite simple because hornets love dry and quiet places. So take good care of your lawn by mowing it regularly and keeping the ground moist. Focus on flowerbeds as well.


Hornet on flowers

Is it safe to mow the yard if I have ground hornets?

Ground hornets are not aggressive unless they sense danger. Coming super close to their nest with a lawnmower is considered a threat, and the chances are you will be attacked.

The entrance to the nest is small and almost invisible so you might bump into it by accident. Those of you who have noticed a lot of hornets flying around your garden lately should locate the nest first. Then mow the lawn and keep a safe distance from the hornets.

Are ground hornets aggressive?

Hornets are overly protective but will not sting a human without being provoked. Guarding the nest is their number one priority, and anyone who comes close to it could be attacked by these bees.

Each nest has a “team” that stays close to the entrance of the nest. Once they sense something is up, the guards will alert the rest of the colony. It is also important to mention that hornets can sting several times since their stinger doesn’t fall off.

Does killing a hornet attract more?

The short answer is yes. If you kill a hornet close to its nest, the chances are you will summon the entire colony to come after you. A dead hornet releases a pheromone that immediately attracts other nearby hornets.

Remember that a couple of stings may not be deadly, but if a colony attacks you, the aftermath could be horrible.

Where do hornets go when their nest is destroyed?

Do you want to learn how to destroy an in-ground hornets’ nest, but curious about where they will go afterward?

Some hornets will return to the site and hang around for a couple of days, trying to communicate with other surviving members of the colony.

They could try to rebuild it in another location if the queen is alive. If not, hornets will try to get accepted to another nest or die on their own.

What smells do hornets hate?

Both wasps and hornets are repulsed by the smell of peppermint. You can keep them away from your garden by planting some peppermint in the flowerbeds.

Optionally, use peppermint oil and spray your yard now and then. It is completely natural and pet-safe.

They are also not fond of wormwood, citronella, eucalyptus, and spearmint.


Learning how to kill ground hornets can come in handy if you want to spend a lot of time in your yard without constantly thinking you might get stung. Ground hornets are not solitary bees, and they create large colonies.

There are several methods you could use against them, and some require things you already have in the household, such as water and soap.

If you want to know what kills ground hornets most effectively, the answer would be insecticide dust because it is a type of poison. It works quickly and can destroy an entire colony without putting you and your family at risk.

But whatever option you choose, make sure you are well protected when you go out there to deal with ground hornets.

Andy Gibson

My name's Gibson. Andy Gibson. I like to think of myself as the Bond of the backyard, that is if yard work ever became sexy. I write about everything about indoor and outdoor gardening and the dread-it-but-still-need-to-do-it chores around the yard, like cleaning out the gutter guards.

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