hornets nest next to house

Asked March 17, 2016, 1:20 PM EDT

Dear Coop Extension, I am severely allergic to bee stings. Last summer I inadvertently collided with two large hornets that have taken up residence in the ground beside our house. I know they didn't attack me on purpose but nonetheless, I was stung and had to rush to the hospital. Now that the weather is warming up the hornets are again coming out and I fear being stung. I am very reluctant to exterminate, but am genuinely in danger and would appreciate suggestions on what to do about this. Thanks very much.

Prince George's County Maryland

1 Response

First you need to know what you're dealing with. It's likely that what you had were yellow jackets, which commonly make hives in cavities in the ground. You'll be glad to know that at the end of the summer-fall, all the wasps in the hive die except the queen. The queen abandons the hive and overwinters somewhere else. The next spring she starts a hive somewhere else.
So, this means, there are no longer wasps in a nest in your soil. It there are any holes in your lawn where new hives could be started, fill them in with soil. If you see a few hive in the future, they are easily killed by spraying them with Hornet and Wasp Spray. There are many available on the market. You can stand many feet away from the hive entrance when you spray it. Spray at dusk, not when they are active during the day. It's great that you are reluctant to exterminate wasps because they are actually beneficial! They eat mosquitoes and flies most of the time.

Read over our website information on bees & wasps: http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/non_HGIC_FS/EB248.pd... This is from our website "Library" publications.