Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pet Friendly Ways to Get Rid of Stinging Bees

There was a recent query on the Cleveland Park Listserv asking how to deal with stinging bees in a pet-friendly way.  How do you deal with them exactly?  If you need to know (and who dosen't need to know that?) read on.

Thank you for the advice about pet-friendly ways to get rid of stinging bees.
My husband used a combination of the approaches suggested below (spray, hose &
blocking the hole), and I'm happy to report that we have not noticed bees in our
backyard again!


There are organic cans available. They are probably hornets or ground wasps who
are vicious at this time of year. They tell you to spray at night when the
insects are in the hole. Then to cover the hole With object and do this
several nights in a row. You may want to contact a company like American Pest
control. Just watch and you can usually tell where they are entering. The
spray has a long straight shot of the chemical when it sprays so you can stand
around 5 feet away when you first sray. It is called hornet/wasp spray.

You can use a shop vac and vacuum them out. Empty the shop vac somewhere else
away from your house. This won't kill the bees or whatever they are. I am sure
that a company can do this as well. (I had a 40# bee hive removed in FL
recently but they had to be killed 1st since the nest was so large.
Surprisingly, the law in FL is to kill them as there are enough bees down there
already and they are considered a nuisance and dangerous now as the bee
population has exploded)

Sounds like these are yellow jackets, very aggressive & dangerous (Like many
people I'm potentially fatally allergic.) They go back into their hole at
night. That's the time to pour or spray some commercial product to kill them.
Place a large rock or other object or cage on top the hole so your puppy can't
get at it. In a few days, the chemical will have dissipated. You could also
pour a small amount of gasoline or something flammable (at night) and burn them
out, then cover the area agin to keep the dog away.

We had that ground bees problem once. If you can find where their tunnel is,
just run water from a hose into it. That worked for us.

One Cleveland Park Listserv reader offered these additional comments:

1) It is important to make a distinction between bees and wasps. Most "ground"
bees are bumble bees. These bees are not aggressive and will not sting unless
you attack them. They are very important pollinators and should not be killed.

2) Florida is a part of the US that has been affected by Africanized or "killer"
bees. These are bees that have interbred with African bees that were introduced
in South America and have gradually migrated north, interbreeding as they go.
Florida has legislated the killing of these bees to slow down their spread and
protect honey bee populations. These Africanized bees are not found this far
north (they do not survive our cold winters). From an environmental standpoint,
it is not appropriate to kill bees found in the Washington area.

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