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How to Get Rid of Ground Bees?

Ground nesting bees can become a severe pest problem if they take over your lawn, yard, or garden, and the best way to avoid that is to get rid of them.

March 9, 2022

14 min read time

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This information is reviewed by an independent pest control expert.

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If you find out that your yard or garden has some burrowed holes in it, and you hear buzzing now and then, there is a possibility that you have a bee problem on your property.

It may seem like there is no issue; however, you could step on them or get attacked or stung. Therefore, there is a need to get rid of ground bees on your property to avoid a bee problem.

This article will discuss how to get rid of ground bees, including an overview of ground bees.

You would also get answers to how long ground bees stay around, if they are aggressive, and if you should kill them.

So stay tuned and keep reading.

Ground bees, like the name suggests, are species of bees that nests in the ground. These bees consist of about 70% of the entire bee population.

They are usually metallic in appearance with yellow and black stripes or sometimes green. The bees live in a dug-up or burrowed nest, which is why you can identify a ground bee nest with dirt piles around the hole entrance.

Ground bees are not a specific species of bees; instead, they are a collection of burrowing bees. Species of ground bees include sweat bees, carpenter bees, digging bees, mining bees, bumblebees, and many more.

Ground bees may look like honey bees and yellow jackets in appearance, but they differ in characteristics. Ground bees like sweat bees are not aggressive, unlike yellow jackets. A ground bee is solitary as it lives in its own nest.

However, it may live with others in the same environment, sharing resources. A honey bee or yellow jacket is a social bee; hence, it must live in a colony.

Ground bees nest in dry soil and prefer areas with easy access to their habitats. They feed on the pollen and nectars of plants and are attracted to sweet, fruity substances. However, a ground bee can become a pest when it burrows in your lawn, harden, or yard.

Carpenter bees, mining bees, and digger bees are ground bees species that may pose construction problems.

As a pest, even with its benefits, there is still a need to get rid of a ground bee nest when you discover one. It is specifically unsafe in a place with pets, children, or anyone allergic to bee stings.

Hence, this article will help you discover the ways to keep ground bees away from your property.

Read on to find out more.

Does Vinegarkill Ground Bees?

Yes, vinegar does kill ground bees.

Vinegar is an acidic liquid that dries the exoskeleton of insects, including ground bees.

When a mixture of water and vinegar is put in a spray bottle and applied into the ground bees’ burrows, it instantly kills those in contact with the solution.

Others not in direct contact with it but can perceive it scramble to get away from it; hence, leaving their burrows.

The vinegar solution works best with equal parts of vinegar and water.

Asides from spraying into the bees’ nest, apply vinegar spray around the burrowed holes to prevent the insects from re-infesting the area.

It’s best to exercise the following precaution when using vinegar spray to kill ground bees to prevent an attack:

  • Before spraying the ground bees’ nests, wear protective clothing, including long sleeves, goggles, face masks, and boots.
  • Spray the vinegar solution at night when the bees are resting to prevent the bees from attacking you.
  • Keep children, pets, and their belongings away from the infested area before you spray.
  • If you are allergic to bees’ stings, do not spray vinegar in a bee nest, and leave it to a professional or someone that can handle it.

How to Get Rid of Ground Bees?

This section will discuss how to kill these pesky insects and destroy their nests to prevent them from re-infesting.

1. Trapping them in their nests

You can kill ground bees by trapping them in their nests. Unfortunately, when the insects are trapped and can’t escape, they end up suffocating to death.

To trap ground bees, add soil, concrete, or landscaping stones in the holes to prevent the bees from flying out of their holes.

In other words, any solid, heavy material is suitable to trap ground bees in their nests.

Before trapping the bees, you can spray in a mixture of peppermint and soapy water to ensure they suffocate and die.

However, it’s best to do this with protective clothing to protect yourself from any likely bee sting.

Trapping bees at night is also safer and effective because the bees would be resting at the time.

2. Making a soda-bottle ground bee trap

Bee traps are sometimes seen as an ineffective pest control method because of the number of traps that would need to be created to catch several bees.

However, it’s good news for ground bees as the queen bee can easily be captured and killed or relocated elsewhere.

In addition, ground bees are solitary, meaning the queen bee builds her own nest for herself and her eggs only.

There are no more eggs, breeding ground bees, or even creating a nest with the queen bee gone.

A soda-bottle ground bee trap is one of the easiest pest control methods to carry out yourself.

And here are the steps to take to make it,

Materials needed:

  • A plastic soda bottle
  • Sweet soda/ Fruit juice
  • Scissors

Steps to take:

  • Cut the plastic soda bottle into two at the junction of the top and bottom.
  • Pour sweet soda or fruit juice into the bottom part of the bottle.
  • Then place the cut-out top portion in an upside-down position to create a funnel.
  • Your soda-bottle ground bee trap is ready for use near the vicinity of the ground bee nest.
  • Using ground bees’ insecticides/pesticides

There are ground bees’ insecticides or pesticides that kill bees they come in contact with instantly. These chemicals come in a powdery or liquid form in a spray bottle.

The powdery ground bees’ insecticides known as dust is more effective than the spray version. Because all you need is to sprinkle them and let the insects come in contact with it on their own.

While ground bees’ insecticides or pesticides are instant pest killers, it’s advisable to use them only as your last or only option.

Keep children and pets away when applying insecticides or pesticides.

Wear protective clothing to prevent bee stings. Suppose you can’t find specific ground bee insecticides or pesticides.

In that case, you can apply the one used for other pests like ground wasps.

The use of insecticides or pesticides for getting rid of ground bees is not strongly recommended in the garden or yard with soil and plants.

It is because the chemicals in the insecticides or pesticides can affect the soil and plants.

3. Electrocution with ground bees zappers.

Ground bees’ zappers are similar to insect zappers that are used to electrocute unwanted flying pests.

Ground bee zappers are large sheets of mesh and metal wiring with a light source within them.

Place zappers strategically around your yard to electrocute any ground bee.

Once any ground bee flies around the zapper, its movement signals to the device to activate the light source, leading to the bee’s electrocution.

Ground bee zappers is another pest control method that can help eliminate ground bees from your yard.

Should I kill Ground Bees?

While some people would say no to killing bees because they are endangered, ground bees are still unwanted pests in your home.

So, yes, you should eliminate them if you can’t stand them or are afraid of the dangers they pose.

But, on the one hand, if you desire not to endanger them but still want them gone, there are methods to get rid of them.

This brings us to the next talking point: ways to eradicate ground bees without killing them.

How to Get Rid of Ground Bees: without killing them

1. Use of Natural Repellents

Ground bees are not fond of certain scents.

Therefore, they evacuate their habitats and leave that surrounding when such scents are present in their nesting environment. These scents are usually from natural products; hence, they are called natural repellents.

Ground bees cannot nest in places where these repellents are present because these scents irritate, repel, and in some cases suffocate them.

Natural repellent like cucumber peels, garlic powder, peppermint, coffee grounds, cinnamon powder, mothballs, cayenne pepper repel insects like ground bees from their habitat. Mothballs are natural insect repellents that contain a potent insecticide.

It repels and kills insects, including ground bees. You can either use the natural repellents in their powdery state or a solution with water with a spray bottle.

Some certain plants and shrubs can repel insects like ground bees from your garden, lawn, and yard if you cultivate them there.

Eucalyptus, geraniums, wormwood, basil, marigolds, pitcher plants, cinnamon, peppermint are examples of bee repellents plants that will eliminate ground bees without killing them.

Essential oils are also natural ground bee repellent.

Examples include:

  • Lavender oil
  • Tee tree oil
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Citronella oil
  • Lemongrass oil

You can control insects with natural repellent when mixed with soapy water.

So soap, when it comes in contact with the skin of the bees, suffocates them. On the other hand, a solution of peppermint, garlic, or cinnamon powder with soapy water is a substantial ground bee repellent and killer.

If applied with a spray bottle and spray directly into the underground nests and their surrounding areas, it can eliminate as many bees as possible.

However, others who do not contact the solution will find it challenging to return to their nests because of the strong repelling scents.

However, ensure you are not allergic to bee stings and are on protective clothing if you must do this.

It’s also advisable to do this at night when the bees are resting to make it more effective and minimize the attacks. Natural repellents are an eco-friendly pest control method, especially in the soil and on the lawn.

2. Wetting your lawn, yard, and garden

Ground bees always prefer dry soil for nesting.

Hence, you find these insects and their nests in places with less water, like the outer edges of gardens.

As a result, wetting your lawn, garden or yard is an effective control method of getting rid of ground bees.

Consistent watering of your lawn can help keep ground bees away from your yard.

In addition, you can use a sprinkler or set a hose on the ground to prevent you from going close to the underground nests.

A wet underground area, soil, yard, lawn, or garden is considered inhabitable to ground bees, which helps you chase them away from your property.

To control bees in areas in your lawn or garden that tend to dry out quickly, add layers of mulch after wetting the area consistently and are assured the bees are gone.

You can also plant more vegetation as ground bees prefer loose, dry soil to burrow and access their nests than somewhere thick quickly.

3. Covering their nests

Getting rid of ground bees withholding chemicals is one question asked too many times, and its answer is to cover their nests. When the pests no longer have access to their nests, they relocate elsewhere.

Unfortunately, the covered nest is not accessible to the queen bee that wants to lay more eggs. An effective way to prevent access to their nests is to block off the nests by covering them with heavy, solid materials.

The best time to cover ground bees’ nests is late mornings until late afternoons. The insects are mid-morning risers and don’t return until evenings.

You can protect their nests with sand, stones, concrete, bricks, or other solid materials. Covering ground bee nests is an effective pest control method.

If you have bee stings allergy, it’s advisable to avoid this, as you never know if a ground bee is lurking around in the nest.

4. Call in the professionals.

Experts and professionals usually recommend calling them in to control bees, not just for the profit but for your safety and effective pest control.

If you can’t get rid of the bees on your own or want them gone from your lawn, yard or garden permanently, it’s best to call in the professionals.

However, suppose you are allergic to bee stings or have someone in your home that is allergic and needs the bees gone immediately. In that case, an expert bee killer or exterminator is the way to go.

An expert or professional bee killer or exterminator is knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced in ground bee removal from the lawn, yard, or garden. Some exterminators kill the bees to control them.

At the same time, some relocate their nests, depending on what service your request to control the pests.

It’s best to research the type of bee killer or exterminator you need, their fees, and mode of operation.

You may also need to determine their competence and reliability. Need to control burrowing bees and don’t know want to do it yourself, call in the professionals now!

Are Ground Bees Aggressive?

No, ground bees are not aggressive.

They are docile and do not attack humans or pets unless they are provoked. The female ground bees have stingers, and while they can sting, they only do so when provoked or you threaten the nest.

On the other hand, male bees do not have stingers but can seem aggressive during mating. During the mating season, the male insects are usually seen hovering around underground nests.

Hence, if you come in contact with a swarm of male burrowing bees, they could attack you to chase you away, but that’s all.

They have no stingers, so don’t worry about getting stung.
Ground bees are some of the most docile bee species, but like most bees, they are still pests because of their infestation.

However, they are not aggressive, unlike the wasps and some social bees.

How Long Do Ground Bees Stay around?

Ground bees usually emerge during the early spring and stay around between four to six weeks. The male bees are typically seen first searching for female bees to mate.

The mated female insects then source for an area with loose, dry soil, dig or burrow into the ground to create ground bee nests to lay their eggs. They produce up to three shafts, with each shaft consisting of up to five nesting chambers. These shafts can go as deep as 60cm, especially if dug by mining bees. It is why if your methods of getting rid of the bees aren’t accessible enough, it may end up futile.

A female ground bee then lays her eggs in each of these nesting chambers in each shaft. The female ground bee lays each egg on a lump of nectar and pollen from plants as a nutrient source for the larva’ when they emerge from the egg. Within days, each egg hatches, and a larva emerges. The nymph then begins a year-long development cycle.

While being buried deep in the soil or underground nest, it develops and becomes an adult ground bee that emerges around early spring the following year. This cycle continues, and it feels like the ground bees re-infest your lawn or garden yearly.

Now, that may sound true since, as winter approaches, the queen bee goes on hibernation in the soil while the worker bees and the males die out.

These queen bees then emerge in early spring to start the re-infestation process of mating and laying eggs.

After that, Queen bees usually go back to their previous habitat if they can find it, and it’s still as suitable to build a nest as it was previously.


Ground nesting bees can become a severe pest problem if they take over your lawn, yard, or garden, and the best way to avoid that is to get rid of them.

Luckily, this article discussed how to get rid of ground bees. Did you enjoy reading?

Let us know in the comment box any ground bee control method that has worked for you.
Thank you!

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  1. Avatar for joanne.h
    joanne.h says:

    How does the vinegar solution compare to commercial pesticides in terms of effectiveness and environmental impact?

  2. Avatar for Thanos-defender
    Thanos-defender says:

    Vinegar is generally considered less harmful to the environment compared to commercial pesticides. However, its effectiveness may vary and may not be as long-lasting as synthetic chemicals.

  3. Avatar for Dave
    Dave says:

    How effective are ground bee zappers compared to other methods, and are there any safety concerns?

  4. Avatar for Thanos-defender
    Thanos-defender says:

    Bee zappers can be effective but may also kill other beneficial insects. There’s also the risk of electrical hazards if not properly installed and maintained.

  5. Avatar for Patricia
    Patricia says:

    Could you elaborate more on how to handle a ground bee infestation for households with allergic members?

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