The Guide to Getting Rid of Ground Bees
When thinking about bees, many homeowners picture beehives with bees buzzing through the air. While ground bees in Maryland can fly, not all bees live in hives like honeybees do.
In fact, a staggering 70% of bee species in the U.S. nest underground.
When it comes to ground bees in Maryland, you might be surprised if you stumble upon a nest in your yard. Homeowners call Brody Brothers Pest Control asking how to get rid of ground bees, and we have some advice to share on this topic.
What Are Ground Bees?
Also known as mining bees and digger bees, they burrow into the ground to nest. Unlike honey bees, ground bees are solitary and do not live in colonies. However, one exception to this is the bumblebee — they are one of the few species of ground bees that live in colonies. They often nest in large holes that are already made by a small animal.
Female ground bees go underground to lay their eggs inside tunnels in the ground. You can easily identify a ground bee nest. It’s a small pile of dirt with a large hole in the center. This is where the female tunnels go inside to lay eggs.
These eggs hatch underground and spend wintertime underground. In the summer, they come back out and the females begin digging tunnels again to lay eggs.
What Do Ground Bees Look Like?
Ground bees come in different sizes and shades of color. The largest species is about the size of a honey bee. The large variation is furry and darker than a honey bee. You may also see ground bees that are metallic green or have bright stripes.
Know that the term ground bee is not coined to a single species of bee. Any bee variation that burrows underground can be considered as a ground bee.
The Good Things About Ground Bees
While you might want to get rid of ground bees, know that there are some positive elements about them.
Do Ground Bees Sting?
First, unlike social bees and wasps, they are not aggressive. Ground bees generally won’t bother you if you don’t bother them. Females have stingers but won’t sting you unless they feel threatened.
You will often see male ground bees out hovering around the underground nests. The males are not equipped to sting or hurt you. The worst they will do to you is chase you away.
Ground Bees Help Gardens Grow
Lastly, ground bees are pollinators. Pollinators are an incredibly important part of the ecosystem here in Maryland.
However, it’s understandable if you don’t want ground bees living underground in your yard. You might have young children around or you can have an allergy to bees. No matter your reason, there are ways to get rid of ground bees.
Should I Kill Ground Bees?
The first point to understand is that it’s not necessary to kill ground bees. These are generally docile bees in comparison to honey bees. Killing them can be a threat to the ecosystem over time.
Instead of killing ground bees, you may call Brody Brother’s Pest Control to remove the nests. You can also try some of the following advice with caution.
How to Get Rid of Ground Bees
We highly recommend against using any type of chemical to get rid of ground bees. This attempt can backfire and potentially cause harm to pets or children.
Safer ways to approach the removal of ground bees include:
How to Get Rid of Ground Bees
- Cover the Nesting Holes
Blocking access to the underground nest is a safer solution than using chemicals. This will prevent the bees from tunneling back inside to lay eggs. Once the bees realize they can’t get back into their nest, they will likely disappear and find a new place to burrow.
To block the underground nests, you can put items on top of the holes such as bricks.
If you are allergic to bees, please do not attempt to do this on your own. This option can put you in close proximity to the bees, which can result in stings.
- Wet the Soil
Ground bees burrow their nests in dry soil. The act of watering your lawn can be enough to send the bees elsewhere. You may have to try watering multiple times in order for this method to be effective. Consider using a sprinkler so you don’t have to come in close contact with the holes.
- Sprinkle Cinnamon
Bees might love sugary sweets, but not so much with cinnamon. This spice is a put-off to bees and can help you get rid of ground bees when you’re in a pinch.
The idea is to sprinkle cinnamon on the holes of the nest. You will need to do this each day for at least one week for it to take effect.
- Use Vinegar Spray
Mixing a spray bottle with equal parts of water and vinegar can help to get rid of ground bees. 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of water can serve as your solution in the spray bottle.
This can help ward the bees away, in addition to treating for grub worms and fungus gnats.
A Word of Caution on Getting Rid of Ground Bees
If you decide to use any of these 4 methods, there are some precautions to take before moving forward.
- Driving the bees away is a much safer approach than attempting to exterminate on your own.
- The use of chemicals and pesticides is ill-advised. It’s harmful to children, pets, and the soil.
- Since the DIY methods above can ultimately aggravate the bees, you’ll want to try these suggestions at night when the bees are asleep. Remember that the female can sting if provoked. Males won’t sting you, but they can swarm and chase you.
- Do not attempt these approaches if you have a bee allergy. The female stings and it can result in a severe allergic reaction.
When Should You Hire a Professional for Ground Bee Removal?
Removing ground bees in Maryland isn’t always a straightforward approach. Using one or a combination of the natural remedies may or may not be effective. More concerningly, you can get stung in the process which can result in an allergic reaction.
Working with Brody Brothers Pest Control, you can ensure the safe and effective removal of ground bees. This will keep your yard free from the bees while preventing a potential allergic reaction. It will also help you avoid using harsh chemicals to kill the bees.
If you have a concern about ground bees at your ground bees at your Maryland home, contact us today to learn more about professional removal.