How to Get Rid of Sweat Bees – the Easy Way!
Our fully inclusive guide on how to get rid of the sweat bee, using the easiest methods available.
Nothing beats spending time in the great outdoors throughout the hot Summer, does it? And despite the fact they help with pollination and are great for the environment, bees can be extremely irritating when they’re buzzing around your head, can’t they?
Sweat bees get their name from their love of perspiration – which is pretty gross, right? And if there’s any season in which we all get a little sweatier, it’s the warm Summer. Hence why they become such a nuisance at this time of year.
So how can you get rid of sweat bees, and do so easily?
Read on to find out more about the sweat bee, and how to get rid of it in the easiest way possible!
What are Sweat Bees?
We’re going to start off today by answering the simple question – what are sweat bees?
The answer to this isn’t necessarily straight forwards, as there are many different kinds of sweat bees out there – as many as five hundred species reportedly being found around the United States.
As far as bees go, sweat bees are tiny in size, with them only measuring one half of an inch or less in length. They come in a range of different colours including:
- Shades of green.
- Shades of black.
- Shades of bronze.
In nature, they’re pretty much like your “regular” bee. They are attracted to flowers, and pollinate them, and can therefore be helpful in gardens and orchard areas, according to experts of entomology.
Where Does the Sweat Bee Live?
Whether or not you get bothered by sweat bees will depend partly on where you live.
In the United States, for example, they can be found just about everywhere, with the largest array of species being found in the Eastern areas of the country. Depending on the species, they can either live alone, or in large colonies.
Habitat wise, it’s fairly normal for the sweat bee to nest in locations such as old wood, and soil. Because of this, you’re probably more likely to encounter the sweat bee either in the woods, or in grassy areas, rather than when walking down the street or chilling in the city.
Do Sweat Bees Actually Live Up to the Name?
The sweat bee gets its’ name from its’ love and enjoyment – and yep – consumption of sweat. True, or false?
It’s pretty disgusting, we know, but this is absolutely true, and the sweat bee certainly does live up to its’ name.
Basically, sweat bees do eat sweat. It is noteworthy that primarily, they are attracted to feeding on pollen and the nectar of flowers, but whereas the typical bee will stop at this, the sweat bee will not.
This is because they have a need to supplement their diets with salt and moisture – which are two of the biggest ingredients found in human sweat. Gross, we know – but they aren’t called the sweat bee for nothing!
Could I be Stung by a Sweat Bee?
With them being slightly different from the typical bee, you might be left wondering whether or not you’re likely to end up being stung by a sweat bee.
The answer is, very simply, yes, you can be stung by a sweat bee – however the feeling / pain isn’t particularly intense.
The sweat bee will actually only sting if it is feeling provoked or threatened. Usually, they’ll only land on you to look for a little bit of sweat on your skin for them to feed off, so they’re not looking to cause you any harm – although their behaviour may feel a little bit invasive.
If you do provoke them, and this results in you being stung, then usually the sting will be very mild – and doesn’t tend to feel anything like a typical bee or wasp sting. It’s also been said by experts that it’s very rare they’ve been stung by the sweat bee.
How Can I Get Rid of Sweat Bees if they’re Bothering Me?
Despite the fact they’re pretty harmless, you might find having sweat bees around you annoying – particularly if you’re prone to heavy perspiration.
There are four distinct methods of getting rid of the sweat bee. These include:
- Killing them.
- Trapping them.
- Repelling them.
- Exterminating them.
Read on to find out more about each of these in more depth just below.
Killing the Sweat Bee
Many people want a quick fix, and find that killing the insect is the best form of ridding their gardens of them, and fast.
In doing this, you eliminate a lot of work. Killing insects isn’t for everyone, but if you do opt to do this you then don’t have to set traps or look for repellents, and then repeat the process.
There are a few effective methods of killing sweat bees, which we’re going to look at below.
Home Made Dish Soap Spray
Dish soap spray – which can be made at home – is an effective way of killing sweat bees.
This is because dish soap has an active ingredient called borax. Small qualities added to a spray can act as an insecticide, and will kill sweat bees within seconds. In order to make this solution, all you need is:
- Three tablespoons of dish soap.
- Two cups of warm water.
Simply mix, add to a spray bottle, and spray away!
If you don’t mind using a chemical solution – and spending money on one – insecticides are great for killing sweat bees.
You should always be sure to follow the instructions on the side of pesticides closely, in order to use them safely. Furthermore, be sure to check the ingredients – particularly if you have pets and children.
Trapping the Sweat Bee
Many people prefer the non – killing method of catching sweat bees. Particularly those who could use them for agricultural reasons.
Let’s take a look at the best methods of trapping sweat bees, shall we?
Use a Sugar Solution
This is one of the ways in which the sweat bee is similar to other bees – it is attracted to sugar.
All you need to do is prepare or purchase a sugary solution – like honey or syrup – and place it strategically near the site of the sweat bees. They’ll fly onto it and get stuck. Simple! The only down side, is it’s not good for capturing big groups.
Wuhostam Wasp Traps
These are basically ready made traps, which also use a sugary solution in order to attract the bees. They’re better for working on a large scale, than home – made sugar solutions are.
Repelling the Sweat Bee
If you’re happy to have their positive effects on your garden, but just don’t want them close to you, then using the following repellents may be the best course of action for you.
Mint is a great, natural way of repelling the sweat bee.
Whether you choose to use a spray of essential mint oil, or simply plant a mint plant in your garden, this is a great way of repelling the sweat bee. The aroma of the mint in either form is enough to repel the bees from staying in your environment.
If it’s being stung / bothered you’re bothered about, look at making a mint paste / oil to put on your skin. This also has great health benefits for your skin. Talk about a win – win situation.
Sweat Bee Repellents
If you prefer to go store – bought, then you could look for a ready – made sweat bee repellent to use in your garden.
Electronic bug repellents are great for indoor use, as they omit a vapour which repel sweat bees and therefore stop them from coming in the house.
The great thing about this kind of technology, is that it requires minimal effort on your behalf, and will achieve the results you’re seeking with ease. Plus, it doesn’t cause any odours, and spreads zero harmful chemicals, making it great to use in the family home.
Hiring a Sweat Bee Exterminator
Last of all, but by no means least, if you want to have sweat bees exterminated from your garden entirely, and not have to do any of it yourself, you could look into hiring a sweat bee exterminator.
Sure, it’ll cost you, but it’s minimum effort and likely maximum effective. In just one visit, an exterminator can rid your home / garden of, not only sweat bees, but any other insects also.
If you do think your home or garden could be harbouring large colonies of sweat bees, then we would strongly advise opting to hire an exterminator. Getting a professional to do the work is the best possible chance you have of getting rid of an infestation, not only with immediate effect, but once and for all, too.
This will not only make your life easier, but will ensure the issue is prevented in the future. A win – win!
Thanks for reading!
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