You can usually tell when leafcutter bees have been around by the small, round circles they make in the leaves of plants. Seldom making a nuisance of themselves, leafcutter bees only lightly sting when they are handled. The little damage they might do to plants is minimal since they are solitary and do not collect in hives. These bees are difficult to control since insecticides are ineffective against them. Despite being beneficial to pollination, you may want to discourage them to stay away from your home by encouraging them to live in the outer areas of your yard.
Things You'll Need
- White glue or sealing wax
- Loose netting
- Board or log of any size
Place two drops of white glue or sealing wax about the size of a pencil eraser on the end of any plants you may prune that have thick branches, such as rose bushes. This prevents the leafcutter bees from making nests in the open holes provided by pruning.
Cover your plants with a loose netting if you see any evidence of leafcutter bees.
Remove any areas where it appears the leafcutter bees have built a nest. Look for sawdust pushed out of holes in rotting boards. Either dispose of the nesting area, or move it to an area at the outskirts of your yard so the bees can still breed and pollinate your flowers, but won't bother anyone.
Make a simple board for the bees to use as a nest to encourage them to unused areas of your yard. Drill 3/16-inch to 1/4-inch holes in any type of wood or boards you have access to, and place these boards in a little-used area.
Plant large-stemmed plants, such as elderberry or raspberry, around the boarder of your yard, or in an area of little use. The plants may encourage the leafcutter bees to make nests inside the branches.
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