Q & A

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Eric Vinje

Hi Matt –

Sweat bees are non-aggressive flying insects that play a role in pollination. Yes, they can be pestiferous when they invade your outdoor living spaces and will often crawl under your clothes or in your hair for the human sweat, or salt, that they crave.

To control sweat bees you can build traps, apply any of our flying insect sprays, or drench their ground nests with a liquid pyrethrin solution to completely eliminate them in their burrows. However, because these solitary bees are useful pollinating insects I suggest changing their habitat so that they move elsewhere. Sweat bees prefer dry sunny areas and do not like to compete with a thick layer of mulch/ compost. Add a heavy amount to areas where nesting occurs and they will most likely leave. I have also heard that a living mulch like ivy will work well to deter these busy — and sometimes manic — insects.

Hope it helps!