How to Get Rid of Sweat Bees? | Identification and Control Guide

Sweat bees aren’t the aggressive type of bees. They don’t usually sting except when they feel threatened. Furthermore, they are also vital pollinators for many flowers and crops but can be a nuisance when they start to swarm in great numbers around your property.

How to get rid of sweat bees? To get rid of sweat bees effectively, you have to eliminate the rotting wood in your place to minimize the hiding places of sweat bees. Then, consider using the following method:

  • Traps—These are available online with the additional use of bait, comprising water, sugar, dish soap, and honey blended together. The bait lures the sweat bees into the trap, while the dish soap acts as the killer of the bees. 
  • Bee Spray—An effective solution for getting rid of sweat bees. It’s easy to use and is available in your local stores or online.

With this guide, you will know more about sweat bees, including their characteristics and various methods to get rid of them. So, let’s get started!

What Is a Sweat Bee?

What Is a Sweat Bee

Halictidae or widely known as sweat bees is part of the order Hymenoptera. It is a varied group of large insects that includes metallic and non-metallic bees. 

These bees vary significantly in appearance, with most of them having slender bodies while others are slender. Most species are light to metallic black, with the remaining types being metallic blue, green, or purple. 

The mature larvae have a grub-like build without setae and are typically less than 15 mm long. Pupae are pretty delicate and seldom encountered because of their short developmental period.

During summer or spring, the females appear and mate. They then start to dig nests and provision cells with pollen and nectar. 

In every cell, they lay one egg, and when the larva arises from the egg, it ingests the pollen supply until all the food is consumed. 

What Does a Sweat Bee Look Like?

Sweat bees have metallic-colored green bodies, usually with yellow or red stripes. Some of these bees resemble honeybees, wasps, or bumblebees. 

Where Do Sweat Bees Live?

When it comes to their abode, sweat bees particularly look for dry, thin soil—an ideal condition to build their nests beneath. But, don’t be mistaken, not all sweat bees nest belowground. Others choose to nest in the following sites:

  • Abandoned rodent holes
  • Cracks and crevices
  • Hollowed trees
  • Woodpiles

Sweat bees can also nest along your foundation and your home’s siding.

What Do Sweat Bees Do?

Sweat bees are excellent pollinators. They pollinate various crops and wildflowers, such as sunflowers, alfalfa, and stone fruits

According to the United States Agricultural Department, sweat bees have more complex detoxification and digestive systems than other bees to manage and process the diverse types of pollen they accumulate.

What Do Sweat Bees Eat?

Like other bees, sweat bees consume pollen and nectar, pollinating flowers. In addition, they also expand their diet with salts, which most of the time they obtain from human sweat.

That’s why you may have noticed bees hovering around you when you are sweating.

Do Sweat Bees Sting?

In contrast to other bee species, halictidae or sweat bees live a solitary life in their underground nest. They are mostly innocuous, but sting when bothered.

It’s also best to note that their stingers have toxins, just like other bees. So, if you are sensitive to the stings of bees, you are also likely to be allergic to the stings of sweat bees.

Do Sweat Bees Bite?

Do Sweat Bees Bite

Sweat bees are drawn to human sweat, and the females can sting. However, just like honeybees, sweat bees or halictids are not aggressive. 

They don’t typically bite people, except when they feel threatened. But, once they do, the stinger pierces your skin and persists pumping venom until you pull it out, so remove it quickly.

Don’t forget to apply ice to the affected skin area to relieve pain and swelling. Furthermore, over-the-counter pain relievers also aid with itching and swelling, so consider buying one.

Do Sweat Bee Bites Itch?

The bee sting can be itchy and warm around the injected area, which are common symptoms for most people. To alleviate the itchiness and redness, applying ice can help.

What Attracts Sweat Bees?

What Attracts Sweat Bees

A hot, humid climate builds the ideal conditions for these bees to eat and breed. This is because, during this time, sweating profusely is normal due to the weather condition, and sweat bees are highly attracted to human sweat due to its salt content.

How to Keep Sweat Bees Away?

To keep the sweat bees away, consider spraying mint essential oils, such as peppermint, or use a diffuser to disperse the scent to your place. This will help deter sweat bees from invading your space.

How to Get Rid of Sweat Bees Around the House?

Sweat bees are vital pollinators. They help guarantee that your flowers and garden blossom. However, you might want to get rid of a few of them when their benefits start to surpass any risks. 

Some of the best options that you can try to use are:

Sweat Bee Traps

Using sweat bee traps is one of the best ways to eliminate large numbers of sweat bees. You can buy one online or at your local hardware or gardening store. 

This pest control method is easy to use. Put a sweet essence (bait) inside the trap to draw the sweat bees and wait for the result. 

You can mix water, sugar, dish soap, honey, or any other sweet-scented substance as bait to draw the bees into the trap. Once inside the trap container, the bee cannot leave through the narrow gap inside the trap.

Bee Spray (Aerosol)

If you want to control the sweat bee issues in and around your property, a bee or wasp spray can also be an effective treatment use. You can buy the bee spray in your local garden and hardware store or online!

Ground Bee Insecticide

There are insecticides available on the market developed, particularly for bees or inclusive of other detrimental insects. Before using the insecticide, read the label thoroughly for correct usage.

Sweat Bee Repellent

Using sweat bee repellent is another excellent way to drive sweat bees out of your area. Like other insects, bees have a tough time dealing with specific sharp smells. 

For instance, citronella candles, rub-on lotion, or sprays are very effective for personal use. They are very convenient to use and apply.

You can also opt to use essential oils. Although oils have a pleasant aroma to humans, their scents are detestable to sweat bees and other insects.

Some of the oils that you can try to use are the following:

  • Lemon Oil
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Clove Oil
  • Rosemary Oil
  • Eucalyptus Oil
  • Citronella Oil

To use, dilute your chosen oil with water. Put the solution in a clean spray bottle, and mist it around your property or in areas where you often see bees.

Use Mothballs

Mothballs is another bee-deterring product available in various local stores and online. To use the mothballs, hang them near the bee nest, and their scent will disperse over time, discouraging bees from returning.

Selective Planting

Particular plants release a smell that sweat bees and other insects adore. So, it’s best to remove these specific plants from your garden, or at least relocate them.

Some of the primary plants that sweat bees love include:

  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Honeysuckle
  • Lilac
  • Lantana
  • Snapdragons
  • Sedums
  • Sunflowers
  • Wisteria
  • Poppies

Call Professional Pest Removal Service

Most of the time, it’s much easier to hire a pest control professional than to try to eliminate sweat bees by yourself. This is particularly important if you have a large hive of sweat bees as female sweat bees sting.

How to Eliminate Sweat Bees in Your Yard?

There’s no way you can control the weather or how much you sweat, but you have control over how to eliminate sweat bees on your property. Among the methods that you can use are the following:

Natural Repellents

Using natural repellents must be your first option in getting rid of sweat bees in your yard. This is because they are safe for pets, people, and the environment.

In addition, natural repellents often don’t kill beneficial insects but instead repel them, preventing them from returning to your property. For instance, you can use essential oil, such as peppermint, eucalyptus, and thyme, discouraging the bees from coming to your vicinity again.

To use, just mix water with a few drops of your chosen essential oil in a clean spray bottle. Shake lightly to mix thoroughly and spray it on the affected areas.


Bee traps are valuable items since they assist in catching troublesome sweat bees. However, they don’t remove nests or colonies within your property.

They only provide a temporary resolution to a sweat bee issue than a solution.


Using common insecticides is a practical pest control strategy, often used for large pest issues. Among the advantages of using an insecticide is that it eradicates pest insects quickly. 

However, one of its major downfalls is that most of them contain harsh elements that could be harmful to your family, pets, and the environment.

How to Get Sweat Bees Away From the Pool?

To effectively get rid of bees away from your pool, consider doing the following:

Step 1: Get one cup of warm water. Then, add at least 1/4 cup of dish soap.

Step 2: Blend the two items gently and pour them into a clean spray bottle.

Step 3: Once done, spray the solution directly to sweat bees to choke them without using toxic chemicals.

Related: How to Get Rid of Bees Naturally? | A Complete Guide

How to Kill Sweat Bees?

Whether you are severely allergic to bees or have a large infestation, you can use the following method to kill sweat bees:

Sweat Bees Traps

Using sweat bee traps is one sure way to kill excessive sweat bees in your area. However, it’s best to know that it will need bait to ensure its efficacy.

To make the bait, mix water with sugar, honey, and dish wash soap. After that, put the mixture into the trap. 

The sugar and scent of honey will draw the bees into the lure, and the dish wash soap will kill the bees. To position the trap correctly, make sure to read the instructions thoroughly.

One best example of a sweat bees trap is the Seicosy Non-toxic Wasp Trap. This trap is made from lightweight, plastic materials and is effective in catching various bee types, such as wasps, sweat bees, and even fruit flies. 

To use, hang the trap on a tree. Then, add a mixture of water and honey or sugar. Once the bees enter, they will get trapped.

How to Trap Sweat Bees?

There are many bee traps available on the market, but the majority of them are too big for the tiny sweat bee. Among the traps that you can consider using is Seicosy Bee Trap. This item has the right size, and it’s super easy to use.

  1. Just unscrew the trap cover.
  1. Pour your bait and ensure it does not go beyond the lowest holes level.
  1. Put back and tighten the trap lid.
  1. Place the trap just 1.2 meters past the ground for the best result.
  1. Leave your trap and come back when there’s no more liquid. Reapply as needed.

Make sure to clean the trap thoroughly with warm soapy water before reusing it for reapplication.

What Is a Sweat Bees Purpose?

What Is a Sweat Bees Purpose

Sweat bees play a vital role in pollinating flowers and plants in the areas they occupy. They pollinate various crops and wildflowers, such as alfalfa, sunflowers, and stone fruits.


Sweat bees are essential pollinators with only a mild sting and are widely deemed harmless. However, these bees are often drawn to human sweat and can be a severe nuisance if they start infesting your area.

Before that happens, deal with the issue right away before it gets bigger and requires a much more in-depth solution. Consider applying the given solutions above or call in a pest control professional to solve the sweat bees issue at your place.

List of Sources

Evaluation of Severe Reactions to Sweat Bee Stings

Sweat or Halictid Bees


Bee Traps