The Most Effective Ways to Get Rid of Sweat Bees

If you are one of the many individuals who enjoy working in the garden or spending time outside when the weather is hot then you are probably familiar with sweat bees and how much of a nuisance they can be while you are working or playing in the sun. You may even be wondering how to get rid of sweat bees.

To get rid of sweat bees in your outdoor spaces you can:

  • Use repellents to keep them away
  • Trap them
  • Kill them with insecticides

If you are interested in learning more about sweat bees and how to get rid of them continue reading this article for information that may be beneficial to you.

Sweat Bees in a Nutshell

Sweat Bees, formally called Halictidae have gotten their nickname from the fact that they are attracted to the salt in human sweat.

They are very small and are commonly mistaken as a housefly or a wasp. Sweat Bees have the second largest population next to Honey Bees. There are approximately 4300 subspecies of Sweat Bee known to man today.

Sweat Bees are found everywhere in the world except Australia and South East Asia. They are between 4mm – 8mm in length and have a yellow face with either a green, black, brown, metallic, or red coloring on their bodies.

Typically Sweat Bees make their nests on or in the ground or rotten wood such as tree stumps.

As mentioned above, Sweat Bees are attracted to the salt and moisture in human sweat.

They will land and try to lick the sweat off of you. The salt in human sweat acts like an electrolyte, just as if you were to drink a sports drink to rehydrate yourself.

Sweat Bees do not typically sting unless they are being provoked or swatted at by an annoyed human who is trying to enjoy their day in the sun.

Sweat Bee stings do not hurt; however, they are quite annoying and can potentially itch a little especially if you are sweating a lot.

How to Get Rid of Sweat Bees?

The following information will give you pointers on the different methods used to repel, trap and kill swarms of aggravating Sweat Bees in your favorite outdoor areas. 

It is best to try and repel Sweat Bees naturally first if at all possible. The reason for this is that Sweat Bees are considered to be some of the best pollinators.

Sweat Bees are not picky about which plants and flowers they pollinate which is very helpful when you have a variety of plants and vegetables growing.

How to Naturally Repel Sweat Bees?

If you want to keep these pesky pollinators away from you without harming them so they can still do their job, try to repel them with the following methods.

The following items can all be made into a natural repellent. The most popular way to use these elements is to mix them into a spray bottle.

Of the three items on the list (peppermint is the most effective):

  • Peppermint Oil
  • Spearmint Oil
  • Tea Tree Oil

Begin by filling a pot with water and heat it until it is hot but not boiling. Add 1 -2 drops of your essential oil for every cup of water you have in the pot. Let it simmer for approximately 5 -10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the stove and let the mixture cool. Then using a funnel, pour the concoction into your spray bottle. Voila! You are ready to repel those annoying Sweat Bees.

You can spray yourself and anything around you with this all-natural spray. It is probably a good idea to avoid spraying any fabric with the spray because it may stain.

Diffuse the Situation

A more modern approach is to purchase an essential oil diffuser. Plug it in, add your oil of choice and let it do its magic so you and your family can relax without the aggravation of little buzzers hovering in your face.

Create a Mint Rub

If you don’t like the idea of an oily spray on your skin you can crush a handful of mint or peppermint leaves and rub them on the exposed parts of your skin. Doing this will help to keep those itchy Sweat Bees at bay and leave you with a nice fresh smell.

Grow a Natural Sweat Bee Barrier

Planting mint and peppermint plants in and around the areas where you spend the most time outside will also create a barrier that will repel Sweat Bees and many other annoying pests.

Old Fashioned Soap and Water

Sometimes all we need is some soap and water. If you don’t have any essential oils or mint laying around, the next best thing is to mix some warm soapy water into a spray bottle.

When mixing be sure that you dilute the soap enough; also be sure that the soap you are using does not have harmful detergents that can damage your plants.

Once you have your mixture give your garden and other affected areas a good dousing to help repel the Sweat Bees. This needs to be done frequently as it is not as strong of a deterrent as mint or peppermint.

Keep the Air Moving

If you are in a location that has access to electricity, use fans to circulate the air and keep it moving. If there is too much wind blowing around that will help to keep the Sweat Bees away from you while you are working or relaxing.

Other Helpful Tips for Repelling Sweat Bees Naturally

  • Another way you can limit your attraction to Sweat Bees is to avoid wearing heavy perfumes as that will also make them more prone to hover over and annoy you.
  • It is also recommended that you keep the ground covered in areas that you spend time in while you are outside. Sweat Bees are attracted to the bare ground because that is where they build their nests.
  • When mowing your lawn, do not cut it too short because that also exposes more bare ground. A thicker lawn will deter them from making their nests in your favorite outdoor spaces.
Female sweat bee on flower

How to Trap Sweat Bees?

If natural repellents are not doing the trick or perhaps you are allergic to bees and wish to remove them completely then the following tips may be beneficial to you.

There are sweat bee traps available online for purchase or if you wish to save money you can do a simple DIY project with things you have laying around the house.

Supplies needed to make a Sweat Bee trap:

  • 1 – Empty 2 liter soda bottle
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • String approximately 1 -2 feet long for hanging purposes
  • Strong adhesive tape
  • Vinegar
  • Water

To make your trap first cut the top of the soda bottle a little below where it bends. Flip the cut portion upside down and place it back into the remaining portion of the soda bottle.

Next secure the top to the bottom of the bottle with some strong adhesive tape. This will create a sort of funnel for the bees to go into but it is difficult for them to get out.

Then puncture 2 holes large enough to run your string through. Add a mixture of vinegar and water to the trap.

Finally, hang your trap in the area where the Sweat Bees are bothering you and your loved ones the most. You can make as many of these traps as you need and place them all over your property if necessary.

How to Kill Sweat Bees?

If trapping seems like too much work and you just want to kill the Sweat Bees and be done with the situation the following tips should help.

Not only can vinegar and water be used to trap Sweat Bees, but you can also mix it in a spray bottle and skip the trapping process. The vinegar attracts Sweat Bees and once they come into contact with it they will die.

If you don’t want to go the natural route there are pesticides that you can purchase online or at your local home improvement store to eradicate the issue. Just be warned that killing the bees will result in less pollination of your plants and flowers.

How to Get Rid of Sweat Bees in Your Pool?

Many people battle with the issue of Sweat Bees in and around their swimming pool. If you follow the tips in this article you will be able to control the Sweat Bee population and get back to relaxing in no time, also check our article how to keep bees away from pool!

Reducing Sweat Bees Equals Relaxation

To sum things up, it is best if you are able to naturally repel Sweat Bees. Even though they may be extremely annoying, Sweat Bees do serve a very important purpose, and killing them will only compound the ever-growing issue of the dying bee population throughout the world.


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