Hornet Nests in Autumn

So pretty much all summer long, I’ve watched hornets fly in and out of an area under my wooden swingset. I’ve let them be, because (a) my kids don’t use the swingset anymore, (b) I’m lazy, and © I’m kind of scared of them.

But now it’s October in Massachusetts, so they’re not flying around anymore. I checked under the swingset today, and sure enough, there are about 6-8 different nests.

So, my question: are the hornets still in there, hibernating (or whatever?) If so, do I still need to spray the nests before I take them down, or are they in such a state that they’re not going to wake up no matter what I do?

It’s about 40 degrees F here, and unlikey to get any warmer anytime soon, if that makes a difference.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Knock 'em down, during the chilly part of a morning. Nothing will happen. It’s doubtful any of them are awake at this point.

Do knock them down in the chilly part of the morning. Then remove them far away or burn them. Yes, there are hornet larvae in there that will hatch next spring if you do nothing. Then you’ll have the little buggers around all next year too.

Don’t do what a friend of mine did. He admired the huge hornet nest he found hanging in the wintry woods, cut it down and took it home. He hung it on the wall above the heater and in just a few hours, he had a house full of hornets flying about, looking for someone to sting!

**John Carter of Mars **may have to worry about overwintering of larvae, since he’s in Alabama, but you sure don’t in Massachusets.

After a hard freeze, the wasps (or hornets) are gone. They don’t come back to repopulate a nest in the spring.

Here’s a fact sheet on paper wasps and baldface hornets (which are actually wasps.)