Leaf-cutter bees cause considerable harm to gardens by cutting rings into the foliage of ornamental plants. These cuttings are used to help them build the cells of their plants. In addition, they will sting gardeners that they deem as a threat to their nests. Find out if the bees in your yard are leaf-cutter bees, because killing leaf-cutter bees requires a specific method that differs from removing other bees. Be cautious when killing these bees. You should not be around the bees if you are allergic to bee stings.
Things You'll Need
- Tick and flea shampoo
- Spray bottle
- Garbage bag
Identify the bees in your yard. Leaf-cutter bees are the size of honeybees, but they have are darker and color and have light bands running across their abdomens. These bees also do not produce colonies the same way as other bees. The females build the nests, produce the young and live up to two months. Rose bushes are a common target for these bees. Look for cut out rings in the foliage and nests in the canes.
Cut down on the amount of bees that your will need to kill by spraying your plants with a repellent. Mix 1 tsp. of tick and flea shampoo with 1 tbsp. of ammonia. Add to 1 gallon of water. Place in a spray bottle and apply to your plants. Cutter-bees hate the smell and are less likely to go near your prized plants.
Build a nest for the leaf-cutter bees next to where they are causing most of their damage. Take a piece of 4-by-4-by-4 lumber and cut holes into it using a drill. Make sure the holes are at least and 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
Make at least ten holes in the wood and fill the holes with straw. Cut the straw, so that there is no straw hanging out of the holes. Wait a week for the females to lay their eggs in the straw.
Collect the eggs in the straw and throw it away or burn it. Continue to fill hole the holes for the leaf-cutter females and kill the eggs once a week.
Tips & Warnings
- Make several of these nesting blocks of wood to distribute throughout the yard.
- Avoid using cypermethrin pesticide on the leaf-cutter beese. The pesticide is extremely dangerous to humans.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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