There are many species of ground bees. Although none are particularly aggressive, they’re not exactly great to have on your property either, especially in large populations. Taking care of ground bees is not that difficult. You can opt to kill them off or send them away and prevent them from coming back.
You can do it with little investment and, most importantly, without drowning your soil in chemicals. Unless, of course, you think that solution is worth it at the time.
When to Get Rid of Ground Bees
It’s a mistake to assume that just because ground bees nest on the ground that they’re not active. Male ground bees can be very aggressive at times. And, even though they may not have stingers, they can still swarm against what they perceive as intruders.
Female ground bees are not as aggressive. However, they sting, and it can hurt a lot. It can be even worse than pain if you’re allergic to their stings.
So when’s the best time to strike, you might ask. Do it at night. First of all, ground bee nests are very easy to spot. Therefore, you can locate them during the day, leave some markers on the ground, and attack during the night.
Arm yourself with some protective clothing just in case. Remember that not all repellents and killer insecticides will keep you safe.
DIY Vinegar-Based Spray
One of the quickest and cheapest ways to get rid of ground bees is to make your very own killer spray. A vinegar-based solution will always work. And, you only need to use equal parts of vinegar and water to get an effective concoction.
You can then spray the solution around the nests, not directly into them, and on plants more likely to be frequented by ground bees. It’s essential to use some protection while doing this because the vinegar won’t kill the bees on contact. On the contrary, it will agitate them at first.
Use Bug Zappers
The fact that ground bees make their nests on the ground or under it doesn’t mean that bug zappers won’t be effective. Sure, you won’t be able to exterminate an entire nest fast, but you will be able to manage the population indirectly.
There are more direct methods, but many of them involve you getting close to the nest. In those situations, you can agitate the bees before actually killing them, so there’s a risk of getting stung.
Hanging a few zappers around your property, especially near nests, is a smart and safe way of dealing with the problem one day at a time. As a bonus, the zappers can also take care of mosquitoes, flies, and other pests.
Use a Variety of Traps
If you don’t want to use pesticides or risk aggravating the bees, you could always trap them inside their nests. Use bricks or soil to cover up the nest. Thick tarps may also work. That won’t kill the bees fast, but it will make for an eco-friendly solution to your problem.
You can also opt for various commercial bee traps and lay them on the ground around the nests. The bait will often attract bees; they’ll take the poison, and broadcast it to the entire nest.
The most efficient baits are those that remain active for a long time, including after the bees die. That usually means that the carcasses of the dead bees remain poisonous. That, in turn, means that bees born after a while won’t get to live a long and fruitful life.
There are also plenty of traps that attract bees and trap them inside. These types of traps usually rely on a powerful attractant and proximity to nests. Once bees get inside, they typically drown in a poisonous solution.
You can even make these f traps on your own. However, you will need to identify the species of ground bees on your property and research the best types of attractants to use.
Take Care of Your Lawn
Very few burrowing insects appreciate moist soil. Ground bees, regardless of species, are no exception. So, one of the best ways to keep them off your property is to water your lawn regularly. The moist soil will cause them to go elsewhere, looking for a place to nest.
You can also do some landscaping and add more foliage or shrubs on your property. Ground bees don’t take kindly to this as they prefer to build on barren soil and in open spaces. Adding some mulch to your soil is also worth considering, especially if you plan on putting in a new lawn or if you’ve just moved in.
If you want to go for maximum effect, consider planting plants that you know repel bees. For example, peppermint or eucalyptus plants can drive ground bees away because they don’t like the minty scent.
There are also quite a few spices that can drive bees and other insects away. Spices like peppermint, lavender, cinnamon, and others could help keep these pests off your property. It’s also a good idea to sprinkle the cinnamon powder around the nests that you can see.
Taking It One Step Further
You don’t always have to pay top dollar to get rid of ground bees. Using things like cinnamon sticks, naphthalene, or even mothballs can help drive them away. But, this might not necessarily be a good idea if you have pets or kids roaming the property freely.
In such situations, you’re better off just using some traps, store-bought or homemade. You can also opt for an insecticide that works overnight. It’s vital to avoid dousing the nests with chloroform, another known bee repellent if you’re not the only one that can come in contact with it after the fact.
Get Rid of Ground Bees with Care
Should you kill them or drive them away? It depends on what you want. Ground bees are considered very important for the ecosystem. However, if you have more than a few nests on your property, you could be in danger. Therefore, exterminating them may be a safer option.
You have all the knowledge and choice of tools you need to do the job, whichever way you want to do it. It’s up to you to decide which course of action to take.