How to Get Rid of Sand Bees

Written by katie halpin
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How to Get Rid of Sand Bees
Sand bees and wasps build nests in the ground. (Eduardo Mueses/

If you've been noticing increased activity of flying insects around your lawn or in your garden, chances are you have a case of sand bees or wasps. The two are often easily confused and labelled as one and the same. If they're bees, they might be bumble bees who have taken over an old burrow in the ground to build their hive and store honey. Wasps demand more caution, as some of them can be particularly aggressive. According to, if the insects are two inches long, they're most likely cicada killers--a non-aggressive wasp that hunts the ground-dwelling insects as food (see references 1). However, if they're less than an inch in length, you're probably dealing with the very aggressive yellowjacket. Whether they're bees or wasps, you should get rid of a ground hive if it's located near a home or a heavily trafficked area.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Ice
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Tarp/plastic sheeting
  • Bricks/plywood

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  1. 1

    Gather a large amount of ice cubes or shavings (about a wheelbarrow's worth) and dump it down and on top of the entrance hole to an underground nest.

  2. 2

    Cover the ice mound with a tarp or heavy plastic sheeting.

  3. 3

    Weigh down the tarp or plastic sheet with bricks, plywood, or anything else heavy that will stop any surviving insects from escaping.

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