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.
9 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Ground Bees – Kill & Remove Fast”
A few days ago I noticed a huge bee activity in the evening at around 7:15 PM. The swarm remains active for 10-15 minutes before it disappears. I have started to water my lawn. I also checked for the nest but couldn’t find any. Further, I watered the lawn in the day time and found no bee activity at all. Just the bees emerge from the ground at the same time and disappear within 10 or 15 minutes. What could it be? I need them gone completely.
Thank you for the information on ground bees. I was raking leaves by the house and got stung by a bee right through my working glove, and seeing more swarm, so I stopped raking. I later looked to see where the ground nest was and found it. However it is a WET area with some ROTTEN wood. I will try the vinegar and water solution to see if it works, if not I will sprinkle cinnamon on it. The area is NOT dry, it wet and I cannot get near the house because of them, so not sure is adding more water will help.
Hi there, I must have one heck of a Yellow Jacket in ground nest. I’ve let the front flower area against the house go and the crab grass has had a field day. I’ve found the nest the hard way and got multiple stings. The local Black Bear has also found the nest as well. I really don’t want to kill them, but do want them gone. We’re in the NW corner of New Jersey and the Bear are getting ready to settle soon for their hibernation so food is important to them. Any thoughts, suggestions, recommendations?? Thank you!!
I think that I have a Yellow Jacket nest in my Mugel Pine shrub. Can’t get close enough to tell since there are probably 25 – 30 bees swarming at any one time. I’ve tried a yellow jacket aerosol bomb and that kills a few but I need to destroy where they are coming from.
Should I just dump a bunch of VINEGAR and WATER on the shrub?? Please advise. Thank you.
You can definitely try that. I’d also recommend throwing in some naphthalenes separately.
vinegar will kill the plant. after dark find the hole and pour 1/4 C gasoline into the hole. the vapor will kill the bees and not the shrub used in small amounts. If they are not ina hole it is not yellow jackets, it is a wasp. spray with wasp and hornet killer after dark to get them all.
Hello, and thanks for the ideas. I have a horse pasture that has been grown over by not having animals on it for a couple months. A tall weed has grown, and as I was knocking these weeds down I was stung a couple times. After fleeing the swarm, I returned to find where the nest was and spotted (in the weeds knocked over) where hundreds of these ground bees were coming and going from. I have tried spraying a peppermint oil mixture over the pile of weeds for a few nights. I have tried raking the weeds away at night, but have bee overcome by the swarm even in the dark. I am thinking about borrowing the neighbors tractor and pushing a pile of dirt over the area. Do you think this will work, or will they find a way back to the nest? It must be huge, there are so many flying to all of the yellow rocket weed a hundred feet away.
Hi Chad, it’ll probably work if you cover it with enough dirt. If that doesn’t solve the problem entirely, you can try an insecticide like this one.
Thank you for the information. It was very informative. I’m going to try one or two of them to get rid of my ground bees.