Bumblebees are important pollinators and can even help gardens and yards thrive. Most people don’t mind having bumblebees in their yards because these fuzzy little insects are so beneficial.
Still, a large bumblebee nest on your property can pose some serious problems, especially if you or your loved ones have bee allergies. But what do you do if you have a bumblebee problem on your property, and how do you get rid of bumble bees safely, effectively, and humanely?
Don’t worry. There are plenty of ways you can go about removing bumble bees from your yard or property using natural products, home remedies, and more. Today, we are going to go over the best methods for how to get rid of bumble bees, when it’s appropriate to call professionals and relocate a bumble bee nest, and talk about some of the best methods to prevent a future bumblebee infestation.
Let’s get started!
What Are Bumble Bees?
Bumblebees are highly beneficial pollinators.
Often confused for carpenter bees, bumblebees are large bees famous for their fuzzy bodies, docile nature, and the important role they play in our environment. There are over 255 species of bumblebees throughout the world, and each species varies in size and appearance.
However, some of the most common bumblebees we come across in the United States are the Common Eastern Bumble Bee, the American Bumblebee, and the Buff-Tailed Bumblebee.
Bumblebees tend to be most active during early spring, when flowers are in bloom and they are able to go out and collect pollen to make honey. Bumble bees are highly social and live in large colonies, with each colony being ruled by a single queen.
Most bumble bees build nests underground, in birdhouses, in trees, gardens, or sheds. They prefer dry, quiet spaces that don’t have too much sun exposure. And while bumblebees often live in large colonies, they don’t swarm like wasps or yellowjackets.
In fact, bumblebees are rather docile and prefer to stay away from humans and animals. They are not aggressive unless provoked, and male bumblebees cannot sting. Only females can sting, and they can sting multiple times.
For the most part, bumblebees are harmless and incredibly beneficial. In fact, some species of bumblebee are currently on the endangered species list, like the American Bumblebee, and are fiercely advocated for by passionate gardeners and bee lovers.
That said, bumblebees can become problematic if they choose to nest too close to your home. Still, because of the fragile state of this insect, it is so important to go about how to get rid of bumblebees carefully and thoughtfully.
So, what do you do if you have a colony of bumblebees nesting where they shouldn’t be? Keep reading to find out.
How To Get Rid Of Bumble Bees – Identifying A Bumble Bee Problem
Natural remedies can be an effective way to get rid of Bumble Bees humanely.
First and foremost, bumblebees are extremely important to our ecosystem. They play a vital role as pollinators and help keep our yards and gardens thriving. Furthermore, these insects are usually not aggressive and sometimes even cute. They have large, furry bodies, are often brightly colored with red and black stripes, and tend to keep their distance from people.
That said, bumblebees can and will sting if they feel threatened and, unlike honeybees, bumblebees can sting multiple times. They may also sometimes build their nests in unfortunate places that are too close for comfort.
When a bumblebee population gets out of control on your property, you may lose sight of how important these insects are and instead begin to focus on how to get rid of bumble bees so you can go back to living your normal life.
So, how do you know if you have a bumblebee problem?
A bumblebee nest is not hard to recognize. Like most bee nests, bumblebee nests come with swarms of loud, buzzing bees. Bumblebees may build nests along your foundation, home siding, underground, in garden sheds, and in corners of gardens where you can accidentally stumble upon them. If bumblebees do build nests around or on your home, they may chew holes in the wood to store larvae, food, and further build their nests. This type of activity can result in structural damage over time to your home, which is never good.
Furthermore, too many bumblebees in a garden can be destructive and cause problems for plants and vegetation, which is why it’s sometimes important to control them and monitor where they nest.
The most common sign of a bumblebee nest on your property is hearing the sounds of buzzing bumblebees and seeing an excessive amount of bumblebees in your garden and hanging around your plants.
While this can be a delightful sight for those who want bumblebees in their yard, it can be very unnerving for those who have allergies or fears of these insects, or who have noticed bumblebee damage being done.
But before we talk about how to get rid of bumble bees, let’s take a look at what has attracted them to your yard in the first place.
What Has Attracted Bumble Bees To Your Property?
Bumblebees are herbivores attracted to gardens and shelter.
Like most insects, bumblebees are attracted to places that offer them ideal shelter and an abundant food source. When it comes to nesting, bumblebees prefer quiet, shadowed places where the queen feels she can build her nest safely. This often includes isolated areas of your garden, unoccupied birdhouses, cracks and crevices alongside your home, hollowed trees, and abandoned rodent holes underground.
The below video gives you a look inside of a bumblebee nest in the foundation of someone’s home.
If you have any of these types of environments around your property, this could be what has attracted bumblebees.
As far as food goes, bumblebees are herbivores who feed mostly on pollen and nectar. They are honey makers, so if you have a large, colorful garden with lots of flowers and plant life, you may also have lots of bumblebees.
Are Bumble Bees Dangerous To People And Pets?
For the most part, bumblebees are docile and not aggressive.
Bumblebees in your garden are not usually a bad thing. In fact, did you know that many people actually invite bumblebees to their gardens by providing bee houses and other makeshift shelters for bumblebees to live in?
That said, bumblebees can be dangerous to those who have allergies, especially when you consider that female bumblebees can and will sting if they feel threatened, and are able to sting multiple times.
Like most stinging insects, bumble bees contain venom in their stingers that is designed to cause pain and deter predators. Unlike wasps, who use their stingers to hunt and disable prey, bumblebees use their stingers for defense purposes only.
The good news is that, for most people, a bumblebee sting is less painful than a wasp or hornet sting and often results in less of a reaction. Most local reactions to a bumblebee sting include redness, swelling, and possible itching for a few hours.
However, if you have a sensitivity or allergy to bee stings, a bumblebee sting can be incredibly dangerous and even deadly, leading to a reaction known as anaphylaxis. For those who are allergic to bees, knowing how to get rid of bumble bees is incredibly important.
How To Get Rid Of Bumble Bees – Best Treatment Methods
Some of the best methods for getting rid of bumble bees are natural bee repellents and bee hotels
If you have a bumblebee nest on your property and want to know how to get rid of bumble bees, there are a few common methods experts recommend that don’t require killing them or relocating the nest.
These methods allow you to deter bumblebees and keep them at bay without harming them. That said, there are instances where a bumblebee nest is causing serious issues or may even be a danger to you or your loved ones. If this is the case, professionals or insecticides may be required.
Some of the best treatment methods for how to get rid of bumble bees include:
- Natural Repellents And Deterrents
Natural repellents are an excellent method you can use for how to get rid of bumble bees because these repellents and deterrents won’t harm the bumblebees or their nest, but will help deter them.
Using natural repellents will also help keep future bumblebees from nesting. Some deterrents can be used to redirect bumblebees to keep them nesting in places that are not as inconvenient for you as well.
- Home Remedies
There are plenty of safe and effective home remedies you can use to help get rid of bumble bees on your property. These methods can include ingredients you already have in your pantry or refrigerator, and we’ve even included some recipes you can make at home to get rid of bumble bees further down.
If you have noticed a large nest of bumblebees on your property or perhaps along the perimeter of your home, you may want to consider relocating the nest to a safer location. Most experts agree that you shouldn’t try to relocate a nest unless it is highly important.
Furthermore, it is best to contact professionals to relocate a colony of bumblebees instead of trying to do it yourself. We will cover this in more detail further down.
Because of the fragile state of the bumblebee species, insecticides and other lethal methods should be a last resort for how to get rid of bumble bees. That said, sometimes the use of insecticides may be required.
Are you wondering which method for how to get rid of bumble bees is right for you? Not sure which products to use? Let’s take a look at some of our favorite natural products and deterrents for how to get rid of bumble bees safely and humanely below.
How To Get Rid Of Bumble Bees Using Natural Repellents And Deterrents
Peppermint oil is a natural deterrent to help keep bumble bees away.
As we mentioned above, some of the best methods for how to get rid of bumble bees include natural repellents and deterrents. These methods help to safely and humanely get rid of bumble bees without harming them.
Let’s take a look at some of our favorite products for how to get rid of bumble bees naturally.
Fischer’s Bee Quick Bee Repellent
First on our list of natural repellents for how to get rid of bumble bees is a product used by professional beekeepers. This product uses natural oils to repel bees and get them to vacate their nests so beekeepers can harvest the honey.
This is a great bee deterrent product for those looking to remove bumble bees so they can relocate their nest. It also works as a deterrent and repellent to help keep future bumble bees from nesting near your property.
Niteangel Wooden Bumble Bee Hotel
Did you know one of the best methods for how to get rid of bumble bees is to offer them a safer place to build their nests? If you don’t want bumble bees nesting too close to your property but still want them hanging around your garden, you can offer them a bumble bee hotel.
These hotels are made specifically to attract bees and help them live safe lives. It offers them an alternative to building nests where they shouldn’t and helps you control where bumblebees live on your property.
Burt’s Bees Outdoor Bee Repellent
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Burt’s Bees doesn’t only make luxurious chapsticks and lotions. They also make all natural bee and insect repellents like the one listed above that uses essential oils and herbal ingredients to repel insects.
This is a great and natural product for how to get rid of bumble bees because it uses harm-free ingredients that are safe for people, pets, the environment, and the bees.
Mighty Mint Insect Repellent
Like many insects, bumble bees don’t like peppermint. One of the best natural remedies for how to get rid of bumble bees uses natural ingredients like peppermint oil to help repel and deter bees safely.
We like the Mighty Mint Insect Repellent spray listed above because it not only helps get rid of bumble bees but it also repels other insects like wasps, spiders, roaches, ants and mosquitoes.
As we mentioned above, peppermint oil is one of the most effective essential oils you can use for how to get rid of bumble bees. Most home owners simply mix several drops of peppermint oil with water and spray it around their garden and the perimeter of their home to help reduce the number of bumble bees on their property.
Peppermint oil can also help repel other unwanted pests like mosquitoes, roaches, rats, mice, and more.
Orange Guard Pest Control Spray
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Another natural method you can use for how to get rid of bumble bees is citrus. Bees and many other insects are repelled and deterred by citrus scents, and the natural insect repellent spray above by Orange Guard uses natural ingredients like citrus to help repel not only bees, but also spiders, flies, and ants.
This product does kill pests on contact but as long as it is sprayed around any area you want to keep bumble bees from hanging around, it shouldn’t harm the bees and should simply deter them from nesting.
Wondercide EcoTreat Outdoor pest Control Spray
We love Wondercide pest control spray because the ingredients used are natural and safe for people, pets, and the environment. This product is specifically designed to use outdoors and to spray around your garden, but you can also spray it along the perimeter of your home.
We like this spray for how to get rid of bumble bees because it deters bees without killing them. We just recommend you do not spray this product directly on nests or bees, and simply spray it where you want to reduce bee activity.
Bumble Bee House
Last on our list for natural repellents and deterrents for how to get rid of bumble bees is this bumble bee house by Esschert Design USA. This product uses natural wood and has a tin roof to protect bees from the elements and wider holes for larger bumble bees to enter and exit.
This house is designed to be placed in gardens or anywhere else you want to redirect bumble bees and keep them happy without having them move in too close to your home.
How To Get Rid Of Bumble Bees Using Home Remedies
Planting marigolds can help repel a number of insects, including bumble bees.
Home remedies are some of our favorite methods for how to get rid of bumble bees because they use natural and safe ingredients and recipes to repel these insects without harming them.
Furthermore, you probably already have many of these ingredients in your home, which means your wallet will thank you as well!
Bumble bees are naturally repelled by:
- Tea Tree Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Citronella Oil
- Peppermint OIl
- White Vinegar
- Garlic Power
- Dish Soap
- Marigold Flowers
- Citronella Candles
Mothballs have a strong, overwhelming scent that many insects and pests don’t like, and bumblebees are no exception. If you want to know how to get rid of bumble bees around the outside of your home, place a few mothballs around the bumble bee nest to deter and repel them.
However, please note that mothballs use chemical ingredients and can be toxic if ingested so use this method with caution around pets and children.
Homemade Citrus Spray
Boil a pot of water and add two freshly squeezed lemons, limes, oranges or grapefruits, including the peels. Once the solution has cooled, pour it into a spray bottle and spray it around the perimeter of your home, garden, and wherever else you want to reduce bumble bee activity.
Homemade Essential Oil Spray
- Mix Tea Tree Oil, Jojoba Oil, Citronella Oil, or Peppermint Oil with water. We typically recommend about 15 drops of the oil you choose with about two cups of water. Mix the solution in a spray bottle and spray it anywhere on your property or around your garden to help remove bumble bees.
Homemade Garlic, White Vinegar, And Oil Spray
- Boil fresh garlic, one cup of vinegar, and seven drops of the essential oil of your choice. Cool the solution and put it into a spray bottle, then spray the concoction generously throughout your property and wherever you have seen bee activity. Be careful not to spray this directly on plants as the acidic vinegar can be harmful to some plants.
While we do love home remedies and natural methods for how to get rid of bumble bees, sometimes no matter how hard you work, you may not be able to completely eradicate a bumble bee nest. If you are struggling with bumble bee control, it may be time to contact a professional about relocating the bumble bees on your property.
Let’s learn more below.
How To Get Rid Of Bumble Bees – When To Call A Professional
Bumblebees are important pollinators who are at risk of going extinct. Instead of killing them, you can call a professional beekeeper to remove them.
As we mentioned above, it’s sometimes necessary to contact professionals if you can’t figure out how to get rid of bumble bees on your own.
Most experts agree that you shouldn’t try to relocate a bumble bee nest on your own. First, this can be dangerous and can result in you or your loved ones getting stung repeatedly, which can lead to a serious and deadly reaction, especially if you are allergic.
The second reason you shouldn’t try to relocate a bumble bee nest on your own is that you could cause damage to the bees and wind up destroying the nest and killing much of the colony. If you want to know how to get rid of bumble bees safely and humanely by relocating the nest, it is best to either wait for the colony to leave the nest on their own or contact a professional.
Most bumble bee nests are only active for a month or so, although some nests (depending on the species) can last from early spring until around October. That said, once you know the nest is no longer active, you can destroy it and seal up any entry and exit points to ensure the bumble bees don’t return come spring.
However, if you are concerned for your safety or the bumble bee nest is in a very inconvenient location on your property, we suggest calling professional beekeepers to come in and relocate the nest safely.
How To Get Rid Of Bumble Bees Using Insecticides
Insecticides may be needed to help control a severe bumble bee infestation.
If you can’t contact professionals for whatever reason and need to use insecticides for how to get rid of bumble bees, there are a few effective insecticides that work well for controlling and repelling them.
However, when using insecticides for how to get rid of bumble bees, keep in mind that most use toxic chemicals that can be harmful for people, pets, and the environment, so they should be used with caution around children and pets and only applied as directed.
Let’s take a look at some of the most effective insecticides for how to get rid of bumble bees below.
Spectracide Stinging Insect Spray
This insecticide is specifically designed to kill yellow jackets and carpenter bees but it also works for how to get rid of bumble bees. It is a foaming insecticide that expands when applied and is ideal for bees who have infiltrated hard to reach areas like cracks and crevices in the foundation or around your home.
While this is an effective bee killer, keep in mind it is an insecticide and uses harsh chemicals that can be dangerous to use around children and pets. This product should be used with caution.
Spectracide Bug Stop Bee Killer
Another Spectracide product that works for how to get rid of bumble bees is Bug Stop aerosol spray for outdoor and indoor use. This product kills on contact and lasts as long as 12 weeks to help repel other bees from returning.
You can use this directly on the nest to help get rid of problematic bumble bees. That said, remember that this product uses insecticides that can be harmful to people and pets.
Tips On Preventing Future Bumble Bee Problems
Prevention is the best way to control a bumblebee infestation.
Once you know how to get rid of bumble bees around your property, it’s important to take preventative steps to ensure they don’t return.
There are several things you can do to help control the bumble bee population around your home, including the below remedies:
Plant Bee-Repellent Plants In Your Garden
Bumble bees are repelled by a few different plants, including cucumber, marigolds, basil, geraniums, mint, wormwood, eucalyptus, pennyroyal, pitcher plants, and citronella. Planting these plants and herbs around your garden will help reduce the number of bumble bees you find in your yard and around your property.
Use Citronella Candles When Outside
Many insects from mosquitoes to bumble bees are repelled by citronella candles. Citronella candles are a safe and humane way to keep bumblebees from coming around while you are out and about.
Keep your grass cut short and remove debris like dead leaves, fallen logs, dead trees, and the likes. Keeping your yard and garden tidy will not only help keep bumble bees away, but it will also help reduce a number of other pests like mice, snakes, lizards, and voles.
Fill In Old Rodent Holes
Bumble bees love to use abandoned rodent holes as nesting spots, so be sure to go around your yard and fill old rodent holes to ensure your yard is less inviting to these buzzing insects.
Caulk And Seal Around Your Home
One of the best methods you can use for how to get rid of bumble bees is to remove sources of shelter around your home. Bumble bees are often insects of opportunity, and if they find a crack or crevice on the siding of your home where they can build a nest, they very well might. Make sure your home is sealed up to not only prevent a bumble bee invasion, but also reduce the chances of other critters making your home theirs.
And remember, while bumble bees are highly beneficial, controlling them around your home is important, especially if you or a loved one has a bee allergy. Luckily, when it comes to how to get rid of bumble bees, now you know there are plenty of safe, humane, and effective methods you can use to help keep your property feeling like home.
Stay safe and enjoy your summer!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.