Hornets are larger than bees or wasps and yet their venom is weaker. Which doesn’t mean a sting is any less painful. The larger stinger is said to make the burning sensation in the skin at the puncture site feel more intense. It’s hardly surprising that no one likes being stung. Regardless of whether an allergy is present: According to the LBV, only two to three percent of the population react to hornet venom. However, it does not change the fact that the large insects spread fear and terror when they appear in the garden out of nowhere. The question here is which option is better: simply ignore, kill or drive away?

As is so often the case, the first impulse when you see a hornet is to end its life – but that is not allowed in Germany: “Hornets are particularly strictly protected according to the Federal Species Protection Ordinance (BArtSchV) and the Federal Nature Conservation Act (BNatSchG). The animals may not be caught or… are killed and their nests are not attacked,” explains the Nabu. Hornets have been on the red list of endangered animal species and plants since the mid-1980s. Aside from that, the large insects also have a practical use: They hunt flies, mosquitoes and wasps. However, sweet treats such as cake or ice cream are not on their menu.

If hornets cannot be killed, the question is how should one behave in the event of an unexpected encounter? Or the insects build a nest in your garden? The fact is that insects are usually passive, even peaceful animals – as long as you don’t disturb them while they’re looking for food or threaten their offspring. However, moving the shelter yourself is not permitted – unless, for example, it is in the immediate vicinity of kindergartens or schools. In this case, you must contact a local nature conservation association or the responsible nature conservation authority. You also need an exemption from the nature conservation authority. “If nests are destroyed or relocated without permission, there can be high fines,” points out the Nature Conservation Association of Germany e.V.

Since the insects are only active until October and a nest is not colonized a second time, it usually makes more sense to simply avoid the animals. In any case, it is important that you always behave calmly around hornets. Don’t panic or make any frantic movements. And don’t blow on the insects, as this makes them more aggressive – similar to wasps. Instead, rely on proven home remedies or alternative tools to get rid of hornets. What these are will be listed in the next paragraph.

You can take preventive measures to prevent hornets from even having the idea of ​​coming into close contact. These home remedies have proven particularly effective: lemons and cloves. Fill a citrus fruit with the spice and ideally place the fragrant fruit in front of open windows so that animals cannot get into the (garden) house. To prevent insects from even having the idea of ​​building their nest in a roller shutter box or false ceiling, you should close all entry holes. Alternatively, you can hang a hornet box to make it easier for the queen to find suitable shelter – and place the nest at a safe distance. Other ways to get rid of the insects are these:

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