how do I get rid of them so my very small dog can run in the yard? I have thousands of them on one acre of lawn. thank you
You have what’s called DIGGER BEES. There are thousands of species throughout the world and what’s most interesting about this bee is that they tend to nest in close proximity whether they’re a communal or solitary species. The net result is that you can have thousands of them in the yard and they can appear “suddenly” and almost overnight. This will usually happen in the spring.
Now if they’re a communal species, they will be closely linked to a central nest. This will be in an area the size of a kitchen table. But if they’re solitary, they will be dispersed over a large area, maybe most if not all of the yard, with hundreds if not thousands of individual nests.
Based on your message, there would have to have been some nests in the yard last year which were obviously successful. What we find commonly happens is that nests will start small and innocently one year and then explode the next year. Since some of these species can lay thousands of eggs, just a few in the yard one season can easily become a few thousand a year later.
To control the problem you’ll need to apply the granules and liquid spray listed in our Digger Bee article. These products are quite strong and will provide quick results. The organic option would be to substitute the products listed in our article with ECO GRANULES and BUG PATROL (these are listed on this site). Keep in mind the products listed in our article are more “traditional” pesticides and will no doubt work faster. The ECO Granules and Bug Patrol will be shorter lived; expect to get about a month from the ECO Granules and just 1 week with the Bug Patrol.
It’s also important to understand the “surge” in population you’re seeing is because you have a lot of pupae hatching. This is the third stage of the bee and when lying in the ground, these cannot be killed by the treatment. Since they don’t all hatch at the same time, it will take several treatments to eradicate them because every time there are new ones hatching after you spray, you’ll start seeing new ones in the yard. This is perfectly normal. So don’t feel the spray isn’t working when you first start using it. We’ve found it can take 4-8 weeks for the pupae to all hatch out so be diligent and stay the course if you want to get rid of them once and for all.
Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Digger Bee Control: http://www.bugspray.com/articles99/diggerwasps.html