Hornets, and all other wasps, are useful in the garden in many ways. They predate lots of other insects and larvae, taking them back to their papery nests.
But what if you're allergic to them? They always buzz around your food when you dine alfresco, get underfoot when you're harvesting fruit, and generally act like they are the boss.
You can tell the workers from the queen, mostly because the workers are the smaller ones, and they make the most trouble. If you know where the nest is, then you can avoid it, leaving them to do their work and they'll leave you in peace.
In the early spring, the first ones you'll see are huge! These are the queens, who will go on to start the nest, hatch out her brood and produce the workers who are the problem children. Kill these first ones, and you generally won't have an issue.
Later on in the heat of the summer, the workers are trying to keep food and water going to the nest to feed the young ones. This is where the bait and kill type of traps work the best.
For those times when it's absolutely crucial to keep them under control, this method, The Sweet Death, as I call it, works. Say you're having a picnic or a barbeque. The most unwelcome guests will be those pesky hornets. This is the method;
Other ways to trap them consist of traps that either get them stuck on a sticky surface where they struggle and get even more trapped until they perish, or a quicker non-chemical method using a similar trap to my system, a jar with a lid and filled with some kind of bait or attractant. These can catch wasps, flies and other pests too, depending on the bait.
I tried two different ones to test them out.
In addition, if you know where the nest happens to be, the occupants can be killed off with a spray bomb.
I would avoid foggers and other chemical sprays, except for the bomb type for the nests. After all, they may work to kill hornets, but they will harm everything else too - including you!
Five days later, we have a winner! Hands down, the best trap is...
Rescue TSW-BB6 Visilure TrapStik for Wasps is the one that I'll buy again. This took five days to be almost covered with dying hornets, plus the odd other kind of pest.
Sadly, a tiny butterfly and a few little moths got trapped too. (This is one reason I put it inside the bird cage - larger butterflies like swallowtails can't get in to the cage, so it's safer for them.)
However, the other trap, with the few inches of beer in it caught mostly moths.