How To Get Rid Of Sweat Bees: Killing, Trapping, And Repelling

What is the best way to get rid of sweat bees?

Sweat bees, also known as Halictidae family bees, are a type of solitary bee. They live all over the world in the form of thousands of different species.

Because they are highly attracted to human sweat for the salt content, they are considered pests.

This article discusses how to get rid of sweat bees using three highly effective methods.

How To Keep Sweat Bees Away

how to keep sweat bees away

Sweat bees are usually recognizable by their behavior and small size.

Some of them are partially green or red, though most have the characteristic black and yellow horizontal stripes of the standard honey bee.

Like other bees, they still collect pollen to feed their young and even consume nectar from flowers, but they don’t make honey.

However, they are important pollinators in our gardens!

How to Get Rid of Sweat Bees

Unfortunately, because sweat bees like to hang around and land on people to mine them for salt, they are unwanted. In fact, they can be a major annoyance at times.

For example, hammock campers are at a higher risk of being exposed to sweat bees since their shelter doesn’t seal around them completely.

If a bee decides to land on or near the sleeping camper, it may become agitated by any sudden movements that the camper makes while they sleep.

A hammock with a mosquito net can prevent this from happening, keeping both the camper and the bee safe.

There are 3 ways to get rid of sweat bees:

  • Repel them
  • Trap them
  • Kill them

We always recommend using non-lethal methods first. It’s better for everyone – the environment, bees, and you.

If you can repel sweat bees, this is preferable.

Many people also wonder ‘do LED lights attract bugs?’

They can do, and this could be part of the reason sweat bees are hanging around.

Removing things that draw them in is a great first step toward getting rid of them.

Trapping sweat bees may also be better than some methods of killing them.

Killing sweat bees often requires poisons. Insecticides can cause a lot of collateral damage to other beneficial species in your garden.

That said, here are the different products and methods you can use to get rid of sweat bees.

How To Repel Sweat Bees

how to repel sweat bees

Using a repellent is the most humane way to get rid of sweat bees that are annoying you.

Repellants based on dichlorvos – a toxic compound with a short residual action – are the most effective against sweat bees.

Alternatively, you can use a universal repellant that’s proven effective to keep away wasps, moths, and other pests.

If you’re on board with the repellant idea, why not give the Hot Shot No-Pest Strip a try?

This versatile repelling strip works on:

  • Flies and moths
  • Cockroaches
  • Spiders
  • And various other pests

You can hang it up in garages, attics, sheds, patios, porches, and so on.

The controlled-release technology provides continuous protection for up to 4 months. This strip releases odorless vapor, and it doesn’t take up much room.

With dichlorvos as an active ingredient, this strip will help you get rid of annoying sweat bees.

Sweat Bee Trap


how to repel sweat bees

Using a sweat bee trap is an alternative to a repellant.

 Traps are a popular method, especially when numbers start to increase. If sweat bees are nesting on your property and becoming more intrusive, traps will help.

The downside of using traps to get rid of sweat bees is that they a non-discriminant. They will capture other insects as well.

To eliminate bees this way, you need to look for traps designed for regular bees or wasps. Don’t necessarily pick a unique sweat bee trap.

The W-H-Y Wasp Trap, for example, is a reliable choice for catching sweat bees.

It features double-entry yellow jacket traps to increase the chance of attracting more bees inside the trap.

Just fill the container with a sweet solution (such as syrup or sugary water) and hang it outside where the bees are most active.

How To Kill Sweat Bees

best sweat bee repellent

As a last resort, some may need to kill sweat bees.

Keep in mind that killing sweat bees is an extreme solution that should be avoided unless the situation is dire.

Killing sweat bees on contact requires using insecticides that contain prallethrin. This chemical compound belongs to the pyrethroids group, and it’s highly toxic to bees.

The BASF Wasp-Freeze II can effectively kill bees and wasps on contact within a distance of 15 feet.

This spray’s active component is prallethrin, which is very toxic to bees, as well as other insects in the environment (nor is it good for us to inhale)!

Where do Sweat Bees Live?

Similar to many bee species, sweat bees are found all over the world.

However, they are in large numbers in North and Latin America. In fact, there are over a thousand different identified species in the United States and Canada alone.

Unlike honey bees or carpenter bees, sweat bees are ground nesters and can be considered a type of ground bee like Bumblebees and Mining bees.

Ground bees prefer to build their nests in sunny, dry soil areas, which is why they can nest in your backyard.

However, if the conditions aren’t ideal, they can still use trees for nesting.

Do Sweat Bees Sting?

Sweat bees generally won’t sting a human, as they’re not an aggressive species. However, they will sting if necessary.

If you disturb or threaten a sweat bee nest, they will try to attack with stings as a form of defense similar to regular honey bees.

However, their stings aren’t harmful and won’t transmit any dangerous diseases to you or your pets.

They may cause some allergic reactions if you’re hypersensitive to insect bites.

What Attracts Sweat Bees?

It’s our sweat that attracts sweat bees to our BBQs, picnics, and sports events.

If you can persevere through the periods when they’re at their worst without resorting to killing them, that’s great.

Remember that these insects help pollinate our gardens, so resort to lethal means when there’s no other option.

We want to attract bees into our gardens. However, less annoying species, such as Mason bees, are preferable!

1 thought on “How To Get Rid Of Sweat Bees: Killing, Trapping, And Repelling”

  1. I’m a mail carrier recently I was taking packages to a porch when I stepped on the second step a black cloud came out of the brush and mine I felt the worse pain I was hit it ha massive nest of sweat bees on my upper thigh then in my back again stung day lateter I had the massive red place itch and was swelling as the day went by I googled it and read to use a creator card to remove stinger the pain was massive but as soon as the stinger were removed I begin to feel 100 % better when I tell you I had 100 s of tiny stingers in my upper thigh I’m not even exaggerating it was the worse experience ever I’m still removing these stingers it been 3 days now I still have a small patch in my leg I hope nobody ever has to deal with .


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