Where Do Hornets Like to Nest? 7 Common Hornet Nesting Places

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Once a hornet queen is old enough, she ventures out on her own to start a new colony. And she does this by building a nest first. But unlucky for us, this nest sometimes ends up in our houses. Which begs that question, where do hornets like to nest?

To find out, here’s a quick guide on hornet nests – what to look for and where to look for them.

Where Do Hornets Like to Nest? 7 Most Common Hornet Nesting Sites

Hornets can live anywhere, as long as they have everything they need to both survive and thrive.

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What do hornet nests look like?

Hornet nests are constructed from a paper-like material that’s made from wood pulp or mud and the hornet’s saliva. It’s built by stacking one tier after the other. Unfinished nests can have noticeable hexagon cells inside them while finished ones are football shaped with at least one hole at the bottom. The nests come in brown and can grow to be as large as basketballs or even bigger.

Where Do Hornets Like to Nest? 7 Most Common Hornet Nesting Sites

Hornet nests are shaped like a giant football. CC Image courtesy of Michael Apel on Wikipedia

Where do hornets build their nests?

Now that you know what the nest looks like. It should be easier to recognize it even if you’re positioned from afar. So to help you in inspecting your house, here are the usual places where hornets make their nests.


The garage may be the safest place where we keep our power tools and those extra furniture we don’t like anymore, but it’s also a place for hornets to keep their young.

These bugs like to make their nests either outside or inside the garage, depending on how frequently it’s kept wide open.

To avoid this, you have to inspect your garage regularly. Look out for forming nests. And don’t forget to close the door every time.

Rodent Burrows

Hornets are notorious for taking over underground burrows. When rodents abandon their homes for new ones, a young queen trying to make a colony of her own can establish a new one there. She exploits the burrow’s natural defenses against the harsh weather. There’s also enough heat in there for cold rainy days.

Hornet burrows are sometimes well camouflaged in the foliage. So it might take a hornet actually flying in and out to know if a nest has been built in a certain spot.

Wooden Beams and Ceilings

Where Do Hornets Like to Nest? 7 Most Common Hornet Nesting Sites

Nests that are placed on ceilings are common. CC Image courtesy of Edgester on Wikipedia

Hornets love to attach their nests to wooden beams and ceilings. That’s because these are strategic locations for safety against the elements and predators. So they can come and go as they please when hunting for food.

The Attic

the attic

Another part of the house that gets hornets or wasps is the attic. Since it’s placed high up in the house with no regular visitor, new queens can just come in from an open window and build her new colony inside without being disturbed.

You usually find the nests on the rafters and the walls.

Window Sills

If you have enough bad luck, you might have hornets making themselves comfortable on your window sill.

That’s right. In some cases, they can find their way into your window and build their home there.

Interior and Exterior Walls

Where Do Hornets Like to Nest? 7 Most Common Hornet Nesting Sites

Hornets are known to use already existing wall cracks and holes to build their nests. CC Image courtesy of Ann Wuyts on Flickr

Walls are easily the most common place for a hornet to build its nest. And while it’s common to see huge nests attached to walls outside the house, they can also hide themselves by taking over preexisting holes and cracks on the wall. So if you see a hornet buzzing around your yard, don’t hesitate on inspecting wall cracks.


And finally, the most common place for hornets to make their nests are on trees. Hanging on branches, inside stumps and holes – hornets can stay almost anywhere in trees, as long as the location is ideal for them.

So where do hornets like to nest? The real answer is virtually everywhere.

Truth be told, these insects can take refuge in almost any spot in the house. However, knowing where to look for them first can increase your chances of successful hornet removal treatments. Just remember to tread lightly, these insects can become aggressive when you assault their nests.

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