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Hornets are usually not a big deal when they nest in forests or in some place uninhabited. But they can become annoying when they enter your property and start hovering over food and water features in your yard. They scare away kids and can even attack when provoked. So how do you avoid that? What keeps hornets away?
Hornets are very capable scavengers that go near houses for the feeding opportunities. CC Image courtesy of Accipiter on Wikipedia
Closing your trash
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – or in this case, an insect’s food basket.
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Hornets are omnivores. They can eat a variety of things, and this includes human food like candy bars, soda and meat – all of which are conveniently put in one place.
That’s right. The trash contains a lot of hornet-friendly snacks that can entice them to flock in your property. So if you don’t want that to happen, keep all your trash inside bags before throwing them into the bins. Make sure to keep the lids on or the dumpster closed at all times. And place the trash as far away from your house as possible.
Making a repellent spray
Creating your own repellent doesn’t just deter hornets; it guarantees using all-natural ingredients and keeps your family safe from toxic fumes.
While there are many repellent recipes to try. Here’s an easy one from Hunker.
All you need is a spray bottle and essential oils that you can buy from your local health store.
Combine 1/2 oz. of citronella oil, 1/8 oz. pennyroyal oil, 1/4 oz. lavender oil, 1/8 oz. tea tree oil and 1/8 jojoba oil in a small spray bottle. After that, just spray the mixture all over your house.
This repellent doesn’t just keep hornets out. It gives your home a pleasant aroma from all those oils.
If you’re looking for more effective hornet treatments, jump to our post here.
Try keeping food inside the house
Keeping food outside attracts hornets. Since they’re very capable scavengers, putting out sweet snacks, drinks and even pet food on the porch draws their attention to your house. Sugar, in particular, doesn’t just lure these bugs, they attract other predatory wasps as well.
While it’s not a strict rule to keep food indoors at all times, you should never leave them out for too long. Also, it’s a good idea to place drinks inside a clear plastic or glass container. There have been cases where hornets get trapped inside soda cans and unsuspecting people accidentally drank from them.
Keeping your house in top condition
Hornets love run down houses with old wood. With that in mind, keep your house in tip-top shape. Go around your house and inspect it. Broken panels, holes in the wall, gaps and crevices give these insects nesting ideas. Also, wood that’s been worn down attracts nesting queens, so you should replace them and coat them with paint.
Removing water features in your yard
Water attracts hornets. Like all living creatures, they basically can’t survive without it. But if you’re committed to keeping these bugs away, you may have to cover your pool when it’s not being used, drain outdoor hot tubs, get rid of puddles, fix leaks on your garden faucets and remove bird baths and fountains.
You don’t have to turn your yard bone-dry. You just have to keep the water you’re using under control, so hornets won’t be tempted to build nests in your place.
Beehives are another reason that hornets suddenly appear in your home. They actively hunt for hives when food is scarce. They raid beehives for their honey and pupae.
It starts off with a hornet scout looking for hives nearby. When it spots one, it marks it with its scent and flies away to get more hornets. Its group then kills all the bees, eat the honey and feed the bee pupae to their grubs.
For more info on this, here’s a more detailed explanation on this incredible behavior.
Using hornet traps
If all else fails, use homemade or commercial hornet traps. They help in decreasing hornet populations and in luring these insects away from specific areas in your house. Just remember to put these in the right places, you don’t want to trap bees which help plants reproduce.
Generally, what keeps hornets away is an uninhabitable environment. That means you have to commit into getting rid of everything that they need to survive…
…because the idea is simple – to keep hornets away, don’t give them any reason to stay.
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