Hornets Nest


We have pest controllers that can deal with hornet’s nest treatment that will get rid of your hornets nest quickly and safely.


Being stung by a hornet is a painful experience and can be life threatening to those who are allergic to stings and may suffer anaphylactic shock. It is possible to reduce the risk of being stung by taking sensible precautions and ensuring that a hornets nest is properly treated or removed. If you have been stung by a hornet, please refer to our guide to treating insect stings. This also has advice about how to avoid being stung when outdoors.


The distinctive yellow and dark striping is a warning pattern used by both hornets and wasps. Hornets are larger in size than wasps and bees. They can be up to 4cm in length, with dark brown and yellow markings (compared to the black and yellow pattern of wasps). The hornets vertex (head area behind the eyes) is larger than that of wasps.

Hornets are not as common as wasps in the UK. Those you may encounter are likely to be European hornets (Vespa crabro). Hornets are generally less aggressive than wasps but will sting and bite to defend a hornets nest. Hornets will also forage for food at dusk if weather conditions are mild. They can also be disorientated by lights, in much the same way as moths, during twilight hours.

Hornets feed mainly on live insects such as houseflies, blow flies, caterpillars and grasshoppers. This protein rich diet is supplemented by sap from trees and shrubs like oak, ash, birch, lilac, rhododendron and boxwood. Hornets will strip the bark from these plants to repeatedly harvest the sap. This is known as ‘girdling’ and can seriously damage the affected plants. It is not uncommon to see several hornets feeding on the plant sap at the same time.


hornet nest

Be careful when dealing with a hornet’s nest. Although hornets are less aggressive than wasps, they will defend against any threat to a hornet’s nest by biting and stinging repeatedly.

If you are experiencing large numbers of hornets in your home or garden there is likely to be a horne’ts nest nearby. When queen hornets emerge from hibernation in the spring, they search for locations to build a hornet’s nest, that are protected from the elements. As a woodland species, hornets natural instincts are to build a hornets nest in tree cavities. Over time they have adapted to human habitation and a hornet’s nest can be found in a variety of locations from bird nest boxes, loft spaces and hollow walls to secluded corners of sheds and garages.

A hornet’s nest like that of wasps’ is made from chewed wood pulp and saliva. Hornets scrape slithers from weathered wooden fences, buildings even telegraph poles to create a durable paper paste to construct their nests. By mid summer a hornets nest will have reached it’s peak, with approximately 700 hornets within a nest that is on average 60 cm in size. The risk from hornets is greater towards the end of summer and it is preferable to treat a hornets nest earlier in the year when the hornet’s nest is smaller.


To locate a hornet’s nest, watch the flight path of the returning workers. Hornets make a loud flight noise and can be heard from inside a building, if the hornet’s nest is within the wall cavity. If the hornet’s nest is near your home, keep nearby doors and windows closed. If you suspect the hornet’s nest is in the loft, take great care when entering the loft space as the hornets may see this as an aggressive threat to their nest.

Do not attempt DIY treatment for a hornet’s nest if you suspect you are sensitive to stings, if the hornets nest is indoors or the hornet’s nest is difficult to reach. Never attempt to treat a hornet’s nest when on a ladder or from a raised height.

Hornets can be dangerous – if in any doubt, seek professional advice and expert help.

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