Wonderfully brisk and calm summer days can often by interrupted by a high pitched buzzing around your ear. We have been brought up to fear and avoid them yet we may be too quick to react in most cases. The sting of a bee, wasp, or hornet can be painful and their presence is often ruled a nuisance. Many businesses such as exterminators and pest control officers exist to prevent their rule yet there are simple measures you can take to rid of them yourself. In particular, the topic focuses on hornets.
1. Beware of their sense of smell.
Hornets have a good sense of smell that makes it easy for them to track down other nests. The issue with their sense of smell is that they also communicate this way. Should you decide to kill a pesky hornet buzzing around your tasty burger, it will let off an alarm smell that will call more hornets to it to help defend.
Hornets won’t otherwise attack yet this will definitely provoke them. It is because of this that you must understand how to properly and carefully take care of them.
Because of this alarm cue, you should avoid killing hornets while close to their nest. If you can’t find their nest but you can certainly find a hornet, simply move away as it may not truly be interested in you as you might feel. Most reading this will be more inclined to deal with a nest and so it must be stressed that if just part of the nest’s inhabitants are killed, the rest may attack or your effort may be useless as they are capable of rebuilding.
2. Go after the nest with chemicals.
The safer and simpler means to go about dealing with a hornet nest is to ensure that you kill all of the hornets in a nest in one go. Hornets are not active during the night, one reason being the temperature. One very simple means of dealing with them would be to approach their nest after dusk and find the one and only entrance into the nest.
A simple pest chemical you can find at any hardware or home store should do wonderfully. Due to the structure of the nest, placing the toxins at this entrance and exit will ensure that every inhabitant will experience it should they wish to leave the nest.
The one issue to be aware of is not to damage the nest in any way. This is their home and if you damage it, they will defend it. If you are unsure of your ability to administer the chemical, please hire a trained professional. The last thing you want is to be inches from a nest full of hornets. They may not be as unforgiving as wasps, yet they are unforgiving nonetheless.
3. Go after the nest with a plastic bag.
Another means of getting rid of hornets would be to carefully slip a plastic bag overtop of the nest and tie it off. We must stress to do this once again at night.
Once you have the nest in a bag, you can move the bag with the nest into your freezer. The frigid temperature will take care of the hornets. Some people do this to have a hornet nest to display in their homes afterwards.
Normally, as winter approaches, hornets will die out due to their inability to stay warm. All will due except for the queen who will survive into the next spring. Once winter arrives, the nests will be empty and can be taken down. If this is something you wish to do, keep in mind that nests are very fragile and will be destroyed by the elements if you don’t move quickly.
If you do wish to remove the nest by this method much earlier than winter, there are other methods you must take into consideration besides working at night. Avoid making loud noises or making quick, sudden movements. You must also ensure that you do not break parts of the nest apart and that you always take it as one whole piece or else you may be met with a very angry horde of hornets.
4. Avoid making them even more angry.
Should you be in the unfortunate circumstances to have an angry hornet sting you, be aware that hornets do not die after stinging and, in fact, can sting multiple times if they wish. You will have pain and notice swelling and itchiness. They are also capable of biting which also hurts.
Those who should be most concerned are those with allergies. An allergic reaction such as rashes, troubled breathing, or dizziness must be taken care of by paramedics or an epinephrine pen. In any case, the important thing to do would be to move away from the nest in as calm a fashion as you can, because wild movements can alert more hornets.
5. Treating a hornet sting.
If you were unfortunate enough to receive a hornet sting, you are likely in some pain. The aftermath of a sting is also easily remedied, however. Should the hornet stinger be lodged within you, avoid trying to pull it out as this may release more venom into you, causing more pain and swelling. You should instead treat the area with gauze by rubbing it across the area or using something flimsy, such as a credit card, to scrape any stinger out.
From here, you can begin to treat the symptoms. A hornet sting is alkaline in nature and can be fixed with an acidic solution such as lemon juice. To treat the pain and swelling, Tylenol or an ice pack is an easy solution.
To disinfect the area, a cotton ball of bleach can be used on the area. When using bleach, avoid using too much or using in other areas or near your eyes, nose, or mouth. Other options can include using a soaked tea bag on the sting area for a minute, rhubarb leaves, garlic juice, fresh onion slices, smokeless tobacco, or toothpaste.
6. Identifying different types of hornets.
You may be looking for any means to escape the tyranny of a hornet nest and its inhabitants but you must be certain that you have a true hornet.
There are 20 species of hornets with the European temperate species introduced to North America some time ago. In general, wasps and hornets appear less “hairy” and larger than bees, so the identification of that group is easy.
Hornets are a species of wasp and are known for a rather large vertex, which is the portion of the head directly behind the eyes. This may be an easy feat for a biologist yet most of us are less inclined to get up close and personal to notice the subtleties of a hornet or wasp’s head. Even at that point, it will be difficult to determine the difference in vertex size.
The good news is that you can tell them apart based on their behaviour. Hornets tend to prey on other insects and are generally less aggressive than wasps. They will keep largely to themselves unless provoked. The wonderful part is that their nests are situated in trees, shrubs, and other hard to reach places. A wasp will be more interested in you than a hornet will be and will house themselves in areas where an unknowing individual may stumble.
7. Identifying a hornet’s nest.
A hornet’s nest will appear as brittle as paper yet will be large and grey. Just as every home, the nest will not always have been large. It will have started as a small comb built by a queen hornet. These queens are the starters of an entire nest. They will create one comb out of bark and lay a female egg into it.
Hornets can be a nuisance and a big fear. Should you be filled with anger from a recent sting, know now that you can easily take care of the issue. Hornets are not to be feared and are to be respected. They eat other pest species and are important to the environment, so much so that they have become threatened and endangered in some areas. Fines are associated with destroying nests in certain areas such as Germany so it will be wise to look into such laws prior to taking a nest down. In summary, be safe, be smart, and work at night when you are trying to get rid of your hornets. Good luck!