Things You'll Need
Thick long-sleeve shirt
Professional pest remover or exterminator
Property damage insurance inspector (optional)
Hornets live in social colonies in wood pulp paper nests. Although hornets usually build nests in trees, shrubs or other exposed areas, some colonies—especially in colder areas—build inside walls, attics and crawl spaces. Hornets found inside a ceiling fan typically indicate a nesting colony in one of these areas.
Turn off your ceiling fan and any lights that can attract more hornets to the area. If your ceiling fan has a pull string or chain, put on the heavy, long-sleeve shirt, goggles, hat and gloves and then carefully pull the string or chain to turn off the fan and lights. If your ceiling fan shakes or is loose in the ceiling, leave the fan turned on and turn off the electricity to the room by flipping off the associated circuit breaker.
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Seal the room by closing any windows or doors.
Contact a professional pest remover or exterminator to remove the colony. A professional will evaluate the situation, determine the location of the nest and help you to decide if you want to kill the hornets with a pesticide or have them humanely removed and returned to an outdoor environment away from your home or business. A professional will also remove the nest to make certain that opportunistic insects such as carpet beetles that eat fabrics don't take over the nest and infest your property after removal of the colony.
Get rid of the hornets by allowing the professionals to work without your intervention or interruptions. Distractions can cause even a professional pest remover or exterminator to get stung or hurt by the colony. In addition, if damage occurred from the infestation or during colony removal, a property damage insurance inspector may not completely detail all levels of the damage if distracted. Either scenario may require that you leave your home or business while the professionals work.
Follow all instructions given to you by the professional pest remover or exterminator to protect your property against a new hornet colony or other insects infesting your home or business.
Always leave your home and immediately contact a professional pest remover or exterminator if you're allergic to bee stings. Hornets are related to bees and a hornet sting may cause a similar reaction in some people.
Never attempt to swat or kill hornets found within a ceiling fan—even if you only see a few—as hornets in a nearby nest may detect danger and swarm. Never shine a flashlight into your ceiling fan, walls, attic or crawl spaces to determine if you have a hornet nest inside of your home as the light can disturb or attract the hornets, resulting in an aggressive attack. As hornets become extremely aggressive when threatened, and a colony can consist of hundreds of hornets that unlike bees can repeatedly sting without dying, extermination or human removal of hornets in your ceiling fan requires the assistance of a professional pest remover or exterminator to protect against health risk or property damage.