How To Get Rid Of Ground Bees?

Common bee collects pollen from flowers in a meadow
Common bee collects pollen from flowers in a meadow

Ground bees can be one of the largest outdoor pests to homeowners. Unlike bees which have nests in trees and shrubs, ground bees are dangerous because anyone can step onto their nest. This would cause the bees to be provoked and attack an individual. Luckily, there are several methods to remove the ground bees from your home and yard.

One of the most environmentally friendly ideas is to cover the nest with several large tarps. These tarps should be big enough to cover the nest whole as well as several feet in each direction of the nest. Placing tarps over the nest with heavy logs/stones/bricks on each side of the tarps. Make sure to do this at night in order to have as many of the bees in the nest as possible. Wear dark colors so that you do not attract any bees while placing the tarps on top. This method is one of the most environmentally friendly methods that can be used.

Another method involves pouring chemicals down the bees nest. These chemicals can be toxic and/or dangerous to animals and the yard surrounding the ground bee nest. Chemical powders and sprays are available for purchase at your local home improvement store. Try to find a chemical product that is specialized for ground bees, not any type of bees.

Professional exterminators can respond to remove the bees from your yard. Many of these exterminators charge a set fee for visiting the location and then charge an hourly fee plus materials to remove the bees. This process can become extremely expensive rather quickly. Bee keepers offer another option for homeowners. Some professional bee keepers are attempting to locate as many bees as possible and will come to your home to remove them. They may not be available to come out to your home for days and they may/may not be able to remove all of the bees.

There are several methods that you do not want to use when trying to get rid of bees that nest in the ground. One of the worst methods that you could use is putting gasoline into the nest. Gasoline is extremely flammable. Any gasoline poured into a nest that is ignited could burn for hours. Fire departments have had to respond to gasoline fires and they take some time to put out. Also, pouring gasoline into the nest could cause groundwater damage as well as violates federal, state and local laws. Do NOT try to flush out the ground bees with a simple water hose. Water is not going to do anything but fill the hole that the bees were in. It is not going to remove the bees or cause the bees to evacuate. Do NOT try to pour drain cleaner or any poison not meant for ground bees down into the ground. These substances are just like gasoline and are not safe for the groundwater.

Be extremely careful when trying to remove ground bees. There are many different methods that can be used and each should be used with extreme caution. Anytime that you are stung, it may be worth calling a professional exterminator to remove the ground bees from your home.


Author: Kelly

Kelly Hurston has been a professional writer for 10 years. She joined TheHousingForum Team in May, 2010. Kelly enjoys cooking, doing DIY projects, and is an avid reader.

41 thoughts on “How To Get Rid Of Ground Bees?”

  1. I’m sure if mine are dangerous but I have over 50 small mounds in my back yard with bees. How can I be sure that they are dangerous and the chemicals that the exterminater laid didn’t do it. The spray and water activated pellets showed to not even put a dent in them It is such a large area. How can I get them all?

    1. Wildthingloon, the only way to get rid of them all is to keep making the location undesirable to the bees and killing them off a few at a time, starting with the most annoying bees first.  But before you can effectively get rid of any of the bees, you should first try to identify what type they are.  There are many species of bees and wasps that nest in the ground, and not all of them are that aggressive when left alone.  So you may just want to concentrate on the areas that are the most well-used by humans.   Most pets have enough common sense not to rile up the bees.  And the bees usually have enough commonsense not to place their nests where there is lots of other animal activity going on.

  2. so what do you do after the tarps are down??
    Could I use bedsheets//at night//and then pour boiling water thru???
    I don’t see how the tarps can kill them>>>

    1. Jeanne, the idea behind using tarps is to keep the bees from entering or leaving the nest.  This encourages the ones outside the nest to relocate. It keeps the bees that are inside the next from getting out to get more food.  However, the thicker tarps also prevent the bees from getting enough oxygen so they suffocate.  Bed sheets tend to be more porous than tarps are so would allow more air to get in to the nest.  

      The tarp method basically requires these steps:
      1. wait until dark, then lay tarps over the nest’s entrances (there may be more than one entrance).  You’re doing it when it gets dark so that you can get as many bees as possible at one time.  Most of the bees should be in the nest by dark and will be more docile then.
      2, Make sure the tarp is laying flat on the ground so the bees can’t work their way under the tarp.
      3. weigh the tarp down on all four sides so that it stays completely flat to the ground and doesn’t allow the bees to escape from the nest.
      4. leave the tarp down for 3-4 days.

      The main drawback to this method is that it can kill the grass under the tarp as well as kill the bees.  Some people recommend using glass bowls to cover the nests instead of using tarps.  The glass bowls allows sunshine to reach the grass so doesn’t kill the grass out.

      Some people also recommend pouring water down into the nest 3-4 nights in a row.  On one forum, the person used a combination of mesh wiring and using a garden hose to put water into the nest for several nights in a row.  So your idea of using bed sheets and boiling water may work out just fine.

  3. It should also be noted that research has proven that dark-colored clothing and the color red attract stinging insects, especially bees and wasps.  So it’s best to wear light colored-clothing when being near the nests.  It should also be noted that anyone attempting to remove or kill bees and wasps shouldn’t be wearing any scented perfumes, deodorants or lotions nor have used scented soap or laundry products, especially those with floral or fruity scents.

    1. It depends on the type of bee it is, Rich.  Ground bees typically live anywhere from 40-100 days during the winter season, depending on the severity of the weather, the bee’s gender, and availability of food.  In most cases, ground bees are solitary and docile creatures.  They may live near other ground bees, but they are not part of any colony.  They tend to build nests in sandy, barren soil during June, July & August.  Many of the females die off once they lay their eggs.  In some cases, the bees may stay in a hive and go dormant until Spring.

    1. Jim, pieces of plywood should work just as well as tarps. as long as the ground is level and the air supply to the nest is thoroughly closed off. You may want to throw some dirt around the edges to ensure there’s no openings. But as with the dark tarps, leaving plywood down for several days may kill off the grass underneath due to lack of sunshine reaching the grass.

  4. How effective is placing tarps. I have a huge yard half covered with bees over every inch. How long should they remain down? thanks

  5. Yall are idiots. It’s irresponsible to kill bees, they are important pollinators and are already dwindling in numbers because of human actions. Do your research. They won’t sting unless threatened. The only reason they will cause you trouble is if you do something stupid like try to put boric acid on them. They are only active in early spring, so leave them alone for a week or two and they’ll be gone.

    1. well its late summer and they are still here ……. and my 2yr old and 5 yr old just got stung 2 twice ….irresponsible or not we can not go off the back deck … here come the gas.

    2. There are at least 25-30 bees on my car every morning. I have to spray water from my hose on the car until they leave and I can jump in my car

    3. I can’t get near my washing machine, which is outside under a roof, because there is a fully active nest of ground bees about 5 ft. away. It’s November 6th. If you’re going to call all of us idiots you should at least get the facts straight first.

    4. I appreciate the necessity of bees but…I have a 2 yr old granddaughter that likes to play on my swing set and it is near there that the ground bees are. I will NOT risk her getting stung! I will be doing my best to get rid of them. It is late August and I’m just now seeing them and I’m not convinced they will be gone by late autumn and I don’t plan to wait to find out.

      1. Margie don’t engage its species in conversation it is an internet troll that just wants to stir up people and lives off of the feedback it can stir up. Pathetic at best. Honey bees are in decline not ground bees.

        1. They are hornets and I have NO desire to protect them…rather my plan is to protect me and my granddaughter! I totally understand about “trolls.”

    5. You may want to do a bit more research before you call all of us idiots. After you have to epi-pen your youngest child, I assure you your opinion will change drastically. These harmless bees in the ground stung my apparently highly allergic son who was just walking barefoot to go get the mail. One epi pen and ER visit later, I am pretty determined to get rid of them.

      I have tried pouring boiling water down the holes, and powdered boric acid, neither worked. I will try a tarp for a week and see if that helps.

    6. When you are deathly allergic to bees and you can not leave the house because they come after you when you step out the door something has to be done. They may be an important part of pollination but killing them before they kill me is more important. You may want to think before calling people idiots!

  6. We had a ground bee nest in our backyard a few days ago and Hot Shot (Boric Acid powder) did the trick. $5 at Lowes. At night with a flashlight when most of the bees are supposedly back in the nest we emptied about 2/3 of the 16 oz. into the hole and then covered it with a small piece of screen secured on the perimeter with bricks to keep any bees from escaping. The next morning we saw a few bees flying and crawling around trying to find another entrance into the nest but saw no bees trying to get out. By lunch time we removed the screen for good and put the remaining Hot Shot in the hole just to make sure. In a few hours, the nest site was totally deserted. Simple and easy. Boric acid did the trick!

  7. Ground Bees are under our back door porch. We have latice all around the wooden porch. I can’t get near the porch or they attack. I even went out after dark to get around to the back of the house and they attacked me. My wife recently got bit on her back and nose and swelled up missing two days work in pain…and her eyes swelled shut. It took 4 days till the swelling went down after the doctor gave her a shot, etc.. I see some people use boric acid but how do I get it under the porch and to the area I need to be? They have been back there most of the summer and fall is coming. I saw where someone said they lst only a few weeks but this is untrue. HELP!

  8. I have 1,000’s bees in a 130 ft long stucco wall for 5 years and lots of roses, but yesterday I went out to pull some weeds and got stung twice, not from the bees in the stucco wall, but bees coming from the ground. I couldn’t even see them behind the weeds. The stings are painful and my face swelled up. A first for me. The bees in the stucco wall that never sting must be different than the bees in the ground. I will do whatever it takes to kill them, I will get rid of them.

  9. I have ground bees swarming over my pool water. I do not know where their nest may be. Is there a way to get them away from my pool?

  10. The 20′ spray products work … I opened up the mound, let them settle back and that night I sprayed over the large hole … kills on contact … The next day, I had to dig several shovel-fulls of dirt … after each shovel-turn, I sprayed the foam. Later, even indoor spray would incapacitate the stragglers. THIS TOOK ALL DAY. They were either ground bees or honey bees – neither are very aggressive … only 3 stings … I would have handled differently with hornets or yellow jackets.

    1. Sometimes, I have used it a couple of times last year and it seemed to work. I saw no more bees after I did it but this year I have done it twice and it is not working. I have also used gas to no avail and last night used 2 cans of spray, one for each hole. Will see today how that worked. I have several large holes in my yards this year and my mowers are not happy 🙁

  11. We have about 3 or 4 holes in our yard near a big maple tree. Holes are about 2 inches in diameter and very round. Bees are coming and going and do not look like yellow jackets. They are small and look like honey bees. Any idea what kind they might be?

  12. Dear scienceftd, It is September and my yard is full of ground bees. My Spaniel got stung and it cost us $440.00. Then my lab got stung. I’m afraid to leave them out but didn’t want a mess in the house.
    Any suggestions?

  13. I mixed up a half gallon of Malathion and poured in the hole and covered overnight. Next morning zero bee activity. These were the very aggressive bees and to close to the house for child safety. Adult also, as I was stung before I new they were there.

  14. My sister in Panama City FL has at least 500 nests in the ground under the grass and little piles of sand come up. The tiny bees are everywhere low in the grass. She cant walk in the grass at all. It is Feb 17 and it has been a cold FL winter in the Panhandle. They just started a week ago. Today they were coming out of a crack in the poured concrete near her car. This happens each year but luckily they only stay for short periods of time. Must depend on where u live (climate) and soil conditions as to how long they hang out on your property? This happens EVERY year for at least 10 years, but seems way worse this year. Many more of the little piles of sand which I assume is the entrance to the ground nest. She cannot effort a professional pest control company. Fortunately she has stepping stones down to the lake and they aren’t there yet, but they will be the rate she is seeing them multiply each year…Any suggestions?

  15. All above methods have been used with the exception of the tarp which does not sound very promising, but will try anything at this point. Pest control companies in area (03246) seem to be totally ignorant of the problem. Not reassuring. Before the tarp method I am going to keep the ground wet for a week. I have lots of chipmunks so many opportunities for relocation. Neighbor wants to dig up the area. Rots of ruck with that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *