Hornets! Advice please

Hi I know we have some knowledgeable wildlife people on the forum and I was hoping for some advice...

I have hornets that have got under the flashing on the dormer window in my bedroom and are nesting in my loft. I have phoned the council pest control services to speak to them about it, but they didn't seem to know too much about hornets other than they could come and kill them for me.

I'm not really minded to have them destroyed unless really necessary, but I am concerned by the increasingly loud scratching sound they are making... not too keen on the idea of waking up to a hornets' nest falling through my ceiling onto my bed in the night (or anytime really). I have read a few horror stories to that end on the internet. I am also have some concern about the wooden beams in my loft.

At this point the hornets are keeping themselves to themselves - they fly high up in the garden and aren't otherwise in the way. Am I being foolish to leave them where they are? Do they tend to get more aggressive later in the year like wasps do, are they likely to damage the fabric of my building, damage the plasterboard ceiling or anything else?

Advice or experiences please!


  • Try MM's Pest Management- local to Wivenhoe, he will be able to give you some advice 
  • edited August 8
    Thanks for the suggestion @Jodieclark1510

    I was hoping to also hear from somebody who doesn't work in pest control if possible.

    Edited to add -

    The TL:DR version of my query above

    I want to allow the hornets that are nesting in my loft above my bedroom to stay there.
    Wildlife people, how dangerous is this idea?
  • Hornets are magnificent beasts, which perform some very useful functions, most notably as predators of grubs and other insects that you may consider to be garden pests. They look fearsome, and can sting, but they are generally considered to be less aggressive than ordinary wasps. If you get a sting, it will be painful, just as with a wasp, for a few hours; in rare cases, again as with wasps and bees, the reaction may be worse if you are sensitive to such things, and require medical attention.

    Ideally, if you can live with them, leave them be. The nest could get quite large, but it is lightweight and will not cause your ceiling to cave in if your ceiling is in good order. They may take scrapings of wood from inside the loft space to build the nest, but equally they will use external sources of wood in a softer state of decomposition, for preference. Come the first frosts, the whole colony will die, apart from next year's fertilised queen. At this stage you should try and remove the nest, and then ensure the access points are stopped up as far as possible.

  • Thank you @ChrisGibson  :)

    That's what I hoped I could do. They really haven't been causing any trouble as they stay up high and there don't seem to be as many regular wasps hanging around my garden this year. There is no sign that the ceiling is getting damaged and I have since discovered that the noise I can hear is likely to be the larvae rather than them scraping at the plasterboard! sounds like this

    I would like to check what they are up to, but I think opening the loft hatch to have a look might be a particularly stupid idea! XD
  • We had a large wasps nest in our dormer about 8 years ago, and we let them be - they didn't bother us, and we didn't bother them.
    No problems to report.
  • Thanks for that reassuring input @pitfall - it's easy to get panicked by worst case scenarios.
  • Apologies for resurrecting this thread, but I have one of these magnificent beasts bouncing around in my flat at present. I'm reluctant to try to trap and relocate it on account of my tendency to react a bit to stings/bites (also it's much faster than I am!) Any suggestions on how to coax the poor thing back outside?
  • edited August 16
    Hmmm...   very hard to give advice about catching a large recalcitrant beast in a jam jar at this distance....
    I think that you need a home visit.
  • at the risk of being jumped on by the nature loving crew, (of which I am one, sometimes, but not when confronted by an angry hornet trying to kill me), I hear hair spray works well, sticks their wings together, they then fall out of the sky and you can scoop them up and dispose of however you please. I suspect the hairspray doesn't do them any good, possibly kills them, but it's them or me, and I ain't going without a fight.. 

  • How would you like it if it were the other way round and the hornet sprayed you copiously with hairspray?
  • I'd make a fortune in a circus! It's a dog eat dog, human kill hornet world out there. If a lower order threat exists don't hesitate. Exterminate. 
  • @pitfall, pretty sure I wouldn't like it. 

    @kevingmaher1958, suspect at this point in time I am being considered a lower order threat that needs to be exterminated ;)

  • I now have a mental image of a hornet, furiously riding along West Quay while threatening with a hairspray anyone who dares to ask him for his name. Then a bunch of 2' high weeds tangles in his spokes and he crashes into a kajak on the old town hard while cursing the European Directive against pesticide use.

    Just an ordinary day on the Wivenhoe forum...
  • We can only hope that he wasn't taking the kids to the park.  :)
  • That would have been the little cornets, all 110 of them...
  • @ Marika, beautiful, made me laugh :)
  • Hilarious Marika!  Brilliant!
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