In this article, I’ll be giving you tips on how to get rid of sweat bees in pools and homes.
During the summer, it is normal for one to wear less clothing. Those long sleeves could be substituted for light-textured tee shirts, and those pairs of trousers can be subbed for some comfy shorts.
But with the summer comes sweat, and guess what insects are attracted to perspiration? Sweat Bees!
About Sweat Bee Control
The name “bee” is usually associated with a hard and painful sting. However, these bees do not sting or harm humans. Not that they can’t, but only when they are provoked.
Sweat bees are among the smallest bee species on Earth. They grow to about ½ inch in length at full maturity and they come in different colors such as green, black, and bronze.
Similar to the regular bees you know, sweat bees love flowers, and they perch on them for pollination. This makes them useful to the eco-system as they are helpful pollinators in orchards, gardens, and other native areas.
Sweat bees can live in colonies, although they don’t mind living alone. But this will depend on the particular species. As for their nesting areas, they prefer the soil or old, decaying wood.
You may be wondering why they call them sweat bees. Well, it’s because they are attracted to human sweat, and yes, they eat it.
As disgusting as this may sound to you, it is a very nutritious meal for the bees. Pollen and flower nectar are their favorites, but they need salt and moisture to supplement their diet, both of which are provided by sweat.
So, if you find these tiny bees flying your way, it isn’t because they want to sting you, it’s because they want to have a taste of your sweat.
Sweat Bee Control Options & Home Remedies
I don’t assume you’d like to have a group of bees landing on your body in search of salt and moisture. Luckily, there are ways with which you can get rid of them.
Find Sweat Bee Nests
If you’re out in your garden having a cold drink to cool off and one or two sweat beetles try to perch on your skin to suck up your sweat, then you should assume there are more of them around.
To get rid of them, the first thing you need to do is to find where they are nested. Once their home has been discovered, you can proceed to make your disinfestation plans.
In case you don’t know where to look, you can start by checking heaps of deadwood and inside the soil, as these are their favorite nesting spots.
Get Rid Of Old Wood
As I have pointed out earlier, sweat bees love to nest in the soil or old wood. What this means is that having a pile of dead or decaying wood around your garden would be a huge problem for you, as this provides an extra nesting option for them.
To make your garden more uncomfortable for the mother bee, be sure to remove all dead wood around your garden. If you have heaps of old wood, then set them aside and have them burnt to ashes.
Before you do, make sure you understand the guidelines regarding lighting fires in your state. Also, follow proper safety measures before you burn any wood. Your neighbors should also be made aware of your plans so they don’t get caught unaware by the smoke.
If you don’t fancy the option of burning, then you can have a longer come over and remove the wood.
Doing this will give the bees one less place to nest, thereby reducing their occurrence.
Use Bee Traps
Trapping the sweat bees is another ideal way to get rid of them. There are simple DIY traps you can make to catch and kill the bees, one of the most popular is the funnel trap.
You will need a few items to make this trap. They are &
- Box cutter
- 2-liter bottle
- ½ cup of honey or sugar
- Liquid soap
- A quart of water
- A string or wire
- A screwdriver
Using the box cutter, cut the 2-liter bottle. Cut from the part where the bottle starts to slant to form the bottleneck until it is completely separated. You will be left with the top part of the bottle that looks like a funnel.
Now add a quart of water into the bottom half of the bottle, it shouldn’t go more than halfway, just so there will be ample space for the bees to fly in.
The next step is to add the sugar or honey into the water and add the liquid soap. Keep in mind, the liquid soap you add should be a sweet-smelling soap, something that would give the bees the same feeling like the next they suck from plants.
Stir it up so they can all blend in, then take the cut off part of the bottle (the funnel-like part) and fix it upside down into the bottom half of the bottle.
Using the screwdriver, you can pierce two holes at the sides of the bottle. Make the piercings a few inches above the level of the liquid content so it doesn’t spill out.
Lastly, take the string and insert both ends into each hole to form a handle.
Now that your trap is made, you will need to figure out where to place it. Your best bet will be to place the trap close to their nesting area, as they will be attracted faster to the sweet-smelling sugar/honey/liquid soap combination.
The bad news for them is, once they fly in, there is no way for them to fly out, as the liquid soap and water make it impossible.
They will be stuck inside the bottle trap and eventually suffocate or drown as they struggle to get out.
Glue traps are another excellent option for trapping sweat bees. They are simple cardboard traps with glue on one side of the board, while the other side remains dry.
You can place these around your garden flowers. Sooner or later, the sweat bees will fly in the flower’s direction to suck out some sweet nectar. When they do, they will come in contact with the glue traps and be stuck.
You can buy as many glue traps as you see fit and place them around your garden plants.
You can also place some by the walls on your front porch. To make the glue trap work better, you can leave the lights of your front porch on at night.
Many insects are attracted to light, so if you have glue traps set up beside some lamps, the chances of having them caught will be greatly increased.
Insecticides remain the fastest means by which one can get rid of any insect pest, sweat bees inclusive.
The area you’re applying the insecticide might determine the kind of insecticide you should use.
For instance, if you’re going to be disinfesting the sweat bees from deadwood, then it doesn’t matter if you use a chemical-based pesticide, since the wood is already dead.
On the other hand, if you were to use an insecticide on your garden plants, then an organic insecticide would be the best choice, as it will not harm or kill the plants.
There are many versions of insecticides for sale in pest control shops. Buy one and visit the areas where the sweat bees are nested and spray directly on their nests.
Sweat bees hardly sting, except they are provoked. But guess what? Their sting isn’t painful. Nonetheless, you should wear some protective clothing when you attack a sweat bee nest with an insecticide.
Use Boiling Water
Since sweat bees nest in the soil and old wood, you can drown them using hot water. After you have discovered where their nests are buried, you can boil some water and take the hot water to their nest, then simply pour it in.
Sweat bees are small and won’t be able to withstand the rushing water, especially when it’s boiling. This will drown them in their nest.
How To Keep Sweat Bees Away From Your Skin
Sweat bees are attracted to human sweat because it contains salt, which they need to survive. For this reason, they will fly towards you during the hot summer to suck up some sweat.
Follow these tips to keep them away from your skin.
Wear Protective Clothes
When you go out on picnics, you can wear long sleeve shirts and trousers to protect your arms and legs. Also, put on some socks and a net hat to protect your feet and your face from the sweat bees.
Sweat Bee Repellents
If you don’t want the burden of having too many clothes on, a sweat bee repellant will keep them away.
Follow these general tips to keep most species of bees away.
I hope the information provided here on how to get rid of sweat bees has been helpful.