How To Get Rid of Ground Hornets – 5 Proven Methods

Whether you have a big garden or a small garden, ground hornets can be a real nuisance to have around. Ground hornets are attracted to areas in which they can settle down and build nests. If your garden has just one of their preferred nesting locations, they are likely to just settle right in!

Ground hornets are known to build their nests in rotting tree stumps or wood, old rodents’ nests or burrows, shrubs, and other kinds of secret spots. Coming across a ground hornet’s nest can be quick a shock if you are not specifically looking for it.

Unfortunately,  you are more likely to see the ground hornets than you are to find their nests. But, that brings up the question, how to get rid of ground hornets?

As ground hornets settle in the most obscure and secret places, it is often very difficult to locate their nests. This makes getting rid of them a little bit more difficult, but not impossible!

We have found the best methods of how to get rid of ground hornets and conveniently laid them out for you below.

Here Is What You Can Do To Get Rid of Ground Hornets

While a small number of ground hornets calling your garden their home is not much to be concerned about, large infestations and having an allergy or sensitivity to them can call to wanting them gone altogether.

There are several ways you can go about getting rid of ground hornets. Depending on the severity of the infestation, some methods may work better than others. Here are some ways you can get rid of ground hornets:

  • Dust the entrance of the nest with insecticide dust – You can typically exterminate a nest of ground hornets by dusting the entrance to their nest with insecticide dust.
  • Set up hornet traps – If you cannot find the ground hornet’s nest, you will likely have more success in getting rid of them by trying to trap the insects.
  • Use soapy water – If you know where the ground hornet’s nest is, you can drown the insects by pouring soapy water into their nest.
  • Use a foaming insecticidal spray – If you are feeling brave, you can attempt to combat the ground hornets with an insecticidal spray.
  • Spray your garden with essential oils – This method is ideal for those who do not necessarily want to kill the ground hornets, but still want to deter them from your garden.

What You Will Need to Get Rid of Ground Hornets

Here is a list of the items you will need to complete each of the above-mentioned methods to get rid of hornets:

  1. Dusting the nest entrance
    • Insecticidal dust
    • A brush or duster
    • Safety equipment such as
      • Leather gloves
      • Safety goggles
      • A thick coat or jacket
  1. Setting up traps
    • A large soda bottle
    • Scissors or a knife
    • Olive oil or something similar and sweet
    • Water
  2. Pouring soapy water
    • A bottle or bucket
    • Water
    • Liquid dish soap
    • Something to cover the opening of the nest such as
      • A piece of cloth or fabric
      • Garden debris
      • A rock or stone
  1. Spraying foaming insecticidal spray
    • A foaming insecticidal spray
    • Safety equipment such as
      • Leather gloves
      • Safety goggles
      • A thick coat or jacket
  1. Using essential oils
    • One of the following essential oils
      • Geranium oil
      • Peppermint oil
      • Lemongrass oil
      • Citronella oil
      • Clove oil
    • A spray bottle
    • Water
    • Liquid dish soap (optional)


  • One of the above listed essential oils
  • Some cotton balls

Instructions on How to Get Rid of Ground Hornets

Now that we know what we need to do the tasks, let’s talk about what exactly needs to be done to get rid of ground hornets.

Dusting the Nest Entrance

To do this method, you will need to know where the ground hornets’ nest is.

This method of getting rid of ground hornets should be done at night or just before dawn. This is when the ground hornets will have settled into their nest for the night or before they have gotten up for the day.

Step One: Purchase insecticidal dust and if needed, a brush or duster.

Step Two: Wait for nightfall or just before dawn to approach the ground hornet’s nest. This time is best as the ground hornets will be in the nest.

Step Three: Put on leather gloves, protective goggles, and a thick coat to protect yourself in case the ground hornets become disturbed.

Step Four: Using a brush or duster, dust the insecticide dust around the entrance of the nest.

Step Five: Wait a couple of days and check the nest. If necessary, repeat the process.

Setting Up Traps

This method is ideal if there are ground hornets around your garden, but you cannot locate the nest. This way you will be trapping the ground hornets while still remaining a safe distance from them. This method is a very hands-off approach.

Step One: Once empty, rinse a large soda bottle. Smaller bottles will also work, however, a large bottle is recommended.

Step Two: Using scissors or a knife, cut the bottle at its neck.

Step Three: Put something sweet such as olive oil or anything similar on the inside to attract the ground hornets.

Step Four: Fill the bottle about half to three-quarters of the way with water.

Step Five: Remove the cap from the piece of the bottle you cut away and place it back in the bottle upside down.

Step Six: Step the trap out where the ground hornets will find it easily.

Step Seven: Check the trap regularly and empty it as often as you can.

Pouring Soapy Water

For this method of getting rid of ground hornets, you will need to know the location of their nest. This method will also need to be done at night or before dawn when the ground hornets will be in the nest.

Step One: Sill a bucket or bottle with water, leaving a little bit of room to shake or mix it.

Step Two: Pour a bit of liquid dish soap into the bottle or bucket with the water.

Step Three: Replace the lid on the bottle and shake up the water and dish soap until it is sudsy. If you are using a bucket, simply mix the mixture until it becomes sudsy.

Step Four: for it to become dark or go out before dawn to the ground hornets' nest.

Step Five: Pour the soapy water into the opening of the nest.

Step Six: Quickly cover the nest opening with a piece of fabric or cloth, some garden debris, or a rock or stone.

Step Seven: Wait a day or two and check the nest.

Step Eight: Repeat this process as necessary.

Spraying Foaming Insecticidal Spray

spraying foaming insecticidal spray

For this method, you will not only need to know where the ground hornet nest is, but you will also need to get up close and personal with it. This method should be done with caution and while wearing protective gear.

Step One: Purchase a foaming insecticidal spray.

Step Two: Wait until nightfall or just before dawn to approach the ground hornet’s nest.

Step Three: Gear up in protective clothing such as leather gloves, safety goggles, and a thick coat.

Step Four: Spray the foaming insecticidal spray at the entrance, into the ground hornets' nest. Make sure you spray for a minimum of ten seconds to fill as much of the nest as possible.

Step Five: Retreat quickly to avoid the wrath of any escaping ground hornets.

Step Six: Wait a day or two and check the ground hornets' nest.

Step Seven: Repeat the process if necessary.

Using Essential Oils

This method of getting rid of ground hornets is the least harmful way. This method does not kill the ground hornets, but rather deters them from the area.

*Before choosing an essential oil to use, check which one will not be harmful to the plants in your garden as some may affect certain plants.

using essential oils

Step One: Purchase your choice of the above-mentioned essential oils.

Step Two: In a spray bottle, pour about ten to fifteen drops of the essential oil and combine it with two cups of water.

Step Three (Optional): Add a little bit of liquid dish soap into the mix. This will be for your protection if you come into contact with any ground hornets. The dish soap will make their wings sticky so that they cannot fly and attack you.

Step Four: Work your way around your garden, spraying diluted essential oil in all likely nest locations or areas you have noticed the activity of ground hornets.


Step One: Soak a cotton ball in the essential oil of your choice from the list of suggested options.

Step Two: Place the essential oil-soaked cotton ball near the ground hornets’ nest after dark.

Step Three: Replace the cotton ball every three days with a freshly soaked one.

How To Get Rid of Ground Hornets – Conclusion

Sometimes it is better to leave the ground hornets where they are as they are not of much concern.

However, if the infestation of ground hornets is quite severe or you just don’t fancy having them share your garden with you, there are ways to get rid of them. Thankfully, there are several methods you can choose from in order to get rid of ground hornets.

While some methods of getting rid of ground hornets are more hands-on, others are less harmful and do not require you to come into too close proximity to the little creatures.

Either way, whichever method you choose, soon enough you will be rid of the pesky insects!

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