How to get rid of ground bees fast? Use insecticides that include active ingredients which are highly toxic to bees. Keep in mind that dust and powder formulations are more durable and reliable solutions than liquid insecticides. Choose a product which is recommended for application directly into their nests and comes with an attachment allowing to reach hard-to-access areas. And finally, opt for branded products to make sure that chemicals they include are quality and safe for use. We believe that Bonide 363 Spider And Ground Bee Killer fits these criteria best.
Are Ground Bees Dangerous?
When spring arrives, ground bees emerge in many lawns, becoming nuisance pests for many homeowners. Yes, they are beneficial insects, but the problem with this kind of bees is that they do not form hives, they create nests underground, with the entrances being in the small mounds of soil on the ground surface. These dirt piles can become a sheer annoyance, especially if you have a lot of them on your lawn.
In their defense, I can say that these guys aren’t actually aggressive. Can ground bees sting? Their queens do not have a habit to defend the areas around their nests, so they are unlikely to sting you. They can do it but this happens very rarely. The males are quite active but they cannot harm anyone because of the lack of a sting. Nor do they cause any damage to plants and soil. The only damage these insects can do is that to the aesthetics of your lawn. Furthermore, ground bees are beneficial to any lawn as their nest help water and essential nutrients move through the soil while the insects themselves are pollinators.
What Do Ground Bees Look Like?
The length of these insects ranges from 1/8 inches to 3/4 inches. Their color also varies — from brown to metallic green. They become active when spring arrives and are usually seen in lawns, gardens, and backyards. These insects feed on nectar and pollen, so they are frequent visitors to flowers. During the cold season, ground bees hibernate.
These insects are solitary, meaning that the females raise their young alone. However, they establish their nests close to each other, something that turns into a problem for homeowners. Still, this should not be confused with colonies. Ground bees build tunnel-like nests under the ground, giving preference to the areas of bare soil.
There are about 20,000 species of bees in North America and most of them create their nests underground. The most widespread species of ground bees in the region is Colletes inaequalis. They prefer sandy soils on slopes, so if you have similar conditions in your lawn, these insects are most likely to emerge there.
Since these insects do more good than harm, it isn’t a wise idea to take drastic measures in an effort to eliminate them. Entomologists from Cornell University, do not recommend applying chemicals to control ground bees since pesticides are harmful for both people and beneficial insects. Instead, they suggest using water in the places where nests have been established. According to the experts, this will be enough to force the bees out from the area.
- Insecticidal Sprays & Dusts. Scientists from the University of New Hampshire note that while insecticidal sprays will kill ground bees in their nests, they will not prevent them from re-emerging the next season. The best way to avoid this is to change soil conditions, the specialists add. To this end, place a thick layer of mulch on the bare soil to make your lawn unattractive to these insects.
If you think that using insecticides is necessary, apply solutions registered for bee control — insecticidal sprays and aerosols such as Spectracide Foaming Aerosol.
Dusts like Bonide 363 Ground Bee Killer are particularly efficient in treating nests. You can spray individual insects when they are flying around the area or, but it is even better to apply the solution directly to the nest. As a rule, repeated applications are required to eliminate all ground bees in the area.
Mary Kay Malinoski from the University of Maryland advises using dust or liquid insecticides designed specifically for treating lawns. Immediately after application, disturb the soil with a rake to disrupt the mounds. And then, apply the solution again. The trick is that bees will try to repair the destroyed tunnels and will contact the pesticide which will kill them.
- Ground Bee Traps. There are two types of bee traps — bug zappers and conventional traps. Af for the former, it is not a homemade solution as you will need to purchase the device from a store, but it is absolutely safe and does not involve using any harmful pesticides. The thing is that bees have a positive phototactic reaction to light, which is why zappers work on them.
A typical bug zapper like Flowtron BK-15D Insect Killer is an electric trap that uses LED light to lure insects and an electric grid to kill them. This really works and scientists confirm that pollinator populations can be reduced by exposure to artificial light sources, such as bug zappers.
Another option is to place non-electric traps like RESCUE Non-Toxic Trapstik which uses bright yellow color and appealing patterns as an attractant for bees. This is a cheap and disposable trap that should be hung around the bee nests in your yard.
Below, you will find the three most effective products to control ground bees at a price ranging from $20 to $35. The first one is a Permethrin-based insecticide formulated as dust, while the second item on the list is insecticidal foam. Both are highly toxic to bees and should be applied directly to the nest entrances. The third product is an electric zapper that attracts and kills flying insects within half an acre.
Bonide 363 Ground Bee Killer
This bee killer is made by Bonide, a trusted producer of pest control products with a 100-year history. Their range of products includes a variety of insecticides labeled for all sorts of pests while this solution targets specifically ground bees and spiders. It is based on Permethrin, a chemical compound that is considered to be extremely toxic to bees and works best when the insects are present at a treatment time. Using this insecticide, you will both kill and repel them, so it has a dual effect.
The 10-ounce can comes with a snorkel tube applicator, which will allow you to treat hard-to-reach areas such as ground bee nests. Blow the dust directly into ground bee nests and apply it to the surrounding area. You should better do it at night when the insects come back to their nests to be able to kill more insects at a time. The manufacturer warns against wearing loose clothes while treating the infested sites because the bees will get aggressive and are more likely to bite you. If you still see active bees after the treatment, repeat the application in one or two days.
What speaks to the quality of this product is the customer feedback, with more than 80% of the buyers giving it five stars. They say that the solution works great on these insects. “Had two ground bee hives with 100’s of bees in them… Came back two days later and not a bee in sight!” one of the customers wrote.
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Spectracide Foaming Aerosol
Well, Spectracide is a brand known for its powerful insecticides which can handle even the toughest pests. The brand is owned by Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc., an American company established in 2005 which is engaged in the production of a broad range of appliances and solutions for home, garden and lawn care. So I can safely recommend this brand to you.
This foam is ideal for treating nests as easily gets into hard-to-reach areas, killing the insects on contact. When sprayed, the solution expands to where the bees live and is really very effective! The manufacturer suggests using an attached extension tube to spray the insecticide directly into the entrances. By the way, the product is cheap and for some $15, you get two 16-ounce cans of insecticide.
The active ingredients include Prallethrin and Lambda-Cyhalothrin. The former is a pyrethroid insecticide that is of low toxicity to people and animals but is a sheer disaster for bees. But keep in mind that this ingredient is not intended for use in agriculture, so make sure that it does not come in contact with edibles. Lambda-cyhalothrin is also highly toxic to bees, given they consume or contact the substance. Customers are satisfied with this foam killer, noting that it is easy-to-use and very accurate.
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Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer
Flowtron is very popular on the market of electric traps. In my view, it is the most efficient bug zapper that combines excellent style and high performance. Hang a few such traps around in your yard and you will get both a beautiful decoration and pest control device. Flowtron is a well-known and trusted brand, with all its devices being produced in the USA. Founded in 1920 as an auto radio manufacturer, today, the company is one of the world’s leaders in outdoor products.
This zapper equipped with UV light and an electrified grid boasts half-acre coverage. It can operate uninterruptedly and does not require any special maintenance. All you need to do is replace the cartridge every month, and the device will do the rest of the work. The manufacturer recommends against attaching this zapper to a house or any structure located 25 feet from where people gather. The thing is that the trap really attracts all sorts of insects, so you will hardly want to get into the epicenter.
Customers rate this product highly, so no wonder that it is Amazon’s bestseller in the bug zapper category. What they like most about this model is that it is easy to use and clean, and works quietly.
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Can ground bees fly at night?
Some species of bees can fly at night, but ground bees spend this time of the day in their nests underground. That is why this is when you should apply insecticides there.
When do ground bees go away?
As a rule, they use their nests during one or two months in spring and then move to other areas where they spend the rest of the year. Since ground bees is a temporary nuisance, many homeowners choose not to take any measures, waiting for the bees to go away on their own.
Can ground bees sting?
Females can sting but only when their burrows are disturbed or in other extreme cases. However, if you are going to apply insecticides to their nests, be prepared for being attacked by these insects. A bee veil and gloves will save you from these bites.
There are some homemade solutions which have questionable efficacy, though. Still, nothing bad will happen if you give them a try. Who knows, maybe in your case, they will work. Let’s take a brief look at the most popular natural solutions for ground bee control.
- A good old vinegar spray. Mix vinegar and water in a ratio of 50:50 and shake the mixture. Since it can be safely sprayed on any surfaces, you can use it wherever you want. Apply the solution at night to remove bee nests in the ground. You can spray it not just on mounds but also on the plants which they often visit. Make sure you put on some protective clothing as the insects are likely to attack you after you spray them with vinegar.
- A bottle trap with sweet soda. This is a simple and cheap way to catch bees and thereby reduce the population. Mix soda with sugar and place the mixture into a cut-in-half bottle. The solution will attract the insects which will get into the bottle and drown there.
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