While many types of bees build their hives in trees and the eaves of houses, some bees such as yellowjackets, bumble bees and sweat bees, make their homes in the soil or underground. These hives are particularly dangerous because they can go undetected until someone steps on one and gets stung--possibly more than once. Additionally, the bees are easily threatened by the vibration of a lawnmower or children running through the yard, which may cause them to attack. Fortunately, an underground hive is relatively simple to destroy, making it possible to reclaim your property from the bees once and for all.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Protective clothing
- Flashlight with red lens
- Red cellophane paper
- 1 cup insecticide dust (such as Sevin or Dursban)
- 1 qt. liquid insecticide (such as Sevin or Orthene)
- Metal or hard plastic container
- Solid, heavy object
Put on protective clothing and gloves.
Approach the opening of the underground hive shortly after sunset. This is typically the time of day when most or all of the bees will be in the hive, according to Adkins Bee Removal.
Shine a flashlight with a red lens into the opening of the hive. According to the University of Missouri Extension, bees cannot see red, so the red light will not attract them while you destroy the hive. If you do not have a flashlight with a red lens, use a regular flashlight and secure red cellophane paper over the lens.
Pour an insecticide dust or liquid into the entrance of the hive. Dusts are more effective as liquids do not always reach the entire hive.
Cover the hole with a metal or hard plastic container to ensure that none of the bees escapes. Place a heavy object on top of the container to keep it in place.
Check the hive in 24 hours, shortly after sunset. Remove the cover from the entrance and shine a flashlight with a red lens into the opening. The bees and their hive should be destroyed; however, if you detect any bee activity, repeat Steps 1 through 5.
Tips and warnings
- According to Adkins Bee Removal, some underground hives have more than one entrance. Before destroying the hive with insecticide, inspect the ground to locate and cover all of the openings.
- Apply chemical insecticides only where needed to avoid unnecessary pesticide exposure, and read the insecticide product label for potential side effects.
- Verify that the insecticide you use is safe to use on soil and lawns.
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