The best ways to eliminate ground hornets are to pour a solution of soap and water into the nest hole and to use insecticide dust around the nest entrance every three days until no more hornet activity appears. Aggressive trapping with lures can also help reduce the hornets' numbers.
Controlling hornets begins with locating their nests, which are usually in quiet, out-of-the-way places. Hornets fly to and from the nest during the day, so tracking the hornets' flight eventually reveals the nest. The entry is a small hole that resembles the opening of a rodent's burrow.
Attempts at destroying the nest are best undertaken in late spring or early summer when the colonies are smaller. They should only be made at night or when temperatures are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit as the wasps are less active at these times. Disturbing the nest stimulates the wasps into activity, so quick work is necessary. Protective clothing such as boots, coveralls, heavy gloves and veiled headgear is also advisable. Homeowners who are allergic to wasp and hornet stings should not use do-it-yourself methods and should call a professional pest-removal service instead.
If the hornet nests are not close to patios, play areas or other places of human activity, homeowners should consider leaving them alone as these insects are beneficial in controlling pest insects. Picking garden fruit as soon as it ripens and removing any rotten fruit, covering sweet items such as soft drinks and melon slices, and ensuring that trash containers have secure lids reduces the chances of attracting hornets to home and garden areas.