Bee infestations can be a problem for many households. Carpenter bees, ground bees and other stinging insects can nest close to or even inside your home. These bees are a danger to your family and the structural integrity of your residence. To safely remove them, you may need to try a few methods before something sticks. Home remedies, poisons and professionals are all options for those who have a problem with bee control.
Professional Pest Services
Professional services are the way to go in the case of a large infestation of bees. In the U.S., it's illegal to destroy large hives of honeybees. If the bees in your home are honeybees, or if you're not sure of their specific type, the only way to safely get rid of them is to hire a professional. Depending on how deep the hive is in your house and how large it is, this service can range in cost from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Professional services should come with an assurance that the job was done correctly and that the problem has been completely handled.
Home Remedies for Bee Removal
There are a number of traditional bee removal techniques, many of which may prove effective. For example, a combination of peppermint liquid soap and water can repel many types of insects and pests, including bees. For this remedy to be effective against bees, you need to locate the nest first. This system will work best for ground hives, which are more accessible, as opposed to in-wall or in-tree hives.
Before you begin, ensure that you're wearing appropriate clothing. Bees will defend their hives viciously, so wear long sleeves, gloves, a hat and other protective gear. At the very least, make sure your clothing is thick enough to make it difficult for a bee's stinger to get through. Closed-toed shoes are also a must.
Combine 2 cups of water and 2 cups of peppermint castile soap, and boil a pot of water. If you suspect the hive is very large, simply increase the amount of water and soap, ensuring the mixture remains at a 1:1 ratio. Then suit up, grab your soap mixture and boiling water and go to the nest location.
Pour the soap mixture quickly into the nest. You may want to use a funnel to ensure that you're not spilling too much elsewhere. Once you've poured all of the mixture into the hive, flush it out with the boiling water. This method will take care of both the bees and their eggs, ensuring that there will be no more bees climbing out once they mature.
For hives located in the walls or in a tree, you'll need to access a pump sprayer. This sprayer will allow you to reach a hive without getting too close or placing yourself in a precarious position in a tree. Since bees are only active during the day, you should attempt this at night or twilight.
First, mix your 1:1 ratio of soap and water. You'll likely need a much greater quantity of the mixture in this instance than you would for ground hives. Douse the hive with the mixture, ensuring that you cover as much of the hive as possible. Once you're done, you can either spray boiling water on the hive with your sprayer or use a bucket and toss the water at the hive. Whatever method you use, make sure that you're wearing protective clothing.
Types of Bee Repellent
There are a few ways to repel bees. Home remedies include everything from cucumber peel to sonic bombardment. You can also pick up some bee repellent from your local hardware store if you prefer. When choosing a repellent, it's important to consider the potential reaction of the bees.
For example, bees don't respond well to dish soap or mint. Washing your window ledges with minty, soapy water could go a long way toward keeping bees out of your house. Other remedies that are popular include garlic or essential oils since bees dislike both. Regardless of your method of repellent, bees travel extremely large distances when looking for food. This means that you may get a few bees, regardless of your method.
Removing Bees With Vinegar
To get rid of bees with vinegar, mix a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water. Next, either pour this down into the hive or use a spray bottle and douse the nest. Always remember that it's best to do any bee removal as late in the day as possible since bees are only active during the day and will be less likely to swarm you at night.
Lone Bees in the House
If bees are in your house accidentally, unlike those that have nested inside, there are a few very simple removal techniques. If the day is warm and sunny, simply shut off all the lights and open up the windows and doors. Bees will naturally seek out the daylight since they're not active at night. They'll want to go back to the hive if it appears to be getting dark. This is a humane method for dealing with bees.
You could also use the tried-and-true method of putting a cup over the bee, sliding a piece of paper under the cup and then carrying the bee outside where it belongs. Keeping the bee trapped between the cup and the paper will ensure you don't get stung.
Ground Bee Removal
Before explaining other ways to get rid of ground bees, it's important to note that, unlike wasps or hornets, ground bees are extremely unlikely to hurt you, your family or your pets unless they're provoked. In fact, most male ground bees don't even have stingers. Ground bees may even be helpful to your garden because they're able to aerate the soil with their tunnels.
There are literally hundreds of methods to safely remove ground bees, from soapy water to molten aluminum casting. Certain ground bee removal methods may be more or less effective depending on the location of the bees, how many there are and your geographic location.
As is true for other types of bees, any time you're dealing with large hives, a professional is your best bet. This will ensure that all the bees are either safely removed from your property safely and within the confines of the law.
Removing Bees with Poison
Of course, there are many commercial bee removal products that you may purchase at your local hardware or home improvement store. These may prove effective, but take care when using any chemicals containing poisons. If you have young children or pets around, it may be best to avoid this sort of treatment. If you do elect to use poisons, you should alert everyone who resides with you that you'll be doing so. This will protect them from inadvertent ingestion or other issues.