Ground-Nesting Wasps and Bees: What You Need to Know

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on February 22, 2023 · 3 mins read

If you’re a homeowner who enjoys spending time outdoors, chances are you’ve encountered some buzzing insects around your property. While many of these insects may be harmless, some might be ground-nesting wasps or bees, which can cause concern for those who don’t know much about them. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of ground-nesting wasps and bees you might find in your backyard and how to safely live alongside them.

DIY Wasp removal recommendations

For non aggressive wasps I've had great luck spraying the nests with this Spectracide wasp remover in the evening. For more aggressive wasps I also use this rediculous looking upper torso Beekeeping suit. It seems silly, but trust me, it's amazing.

Ground-Nesting Wasps

Ground-nesting wasps are a common sight in many backyards. These wasps typically build their nests in the ground, often in areas with bare soil or sparse vegetation. Some species, such as the cicada killer wasp, can even excavate their own burrows.

Despite their fearsome appearance, most ground-nesting wasps are actually beneficial to have around. They prey on other insects, such as caterpillars and flies, which can help keep your garden free of pests. However, if you disturb their nests, these wasps can become defensive and sting - especially yellow jackets and paper wasps.

To avoid disturbing ground-nesting wasps, it’s important to be mindful of where you step or place objects when working outside. If you do come across a nest, it’s best to leave it alone and give the wasps plenty of space. If you need to remove a nest, contact a professional pest control service to do it safely and humanely.

Ground-Nesting Bees

Like ground-nesting wasps, ground-nesting bees also make their homes in the soil. Unlike wasps, however, bees are generally not aggressive and will only sting if provoked. Ground nesting bees like mining bees, sweat bees, and digger bees are all pollinators which means they’re incredibly important for the environment and your garden.

While it may be tempting to eliminate these bees’ nests, it’s important to remember that they are vital to ecosystem health. Instead of removing their nests, try to coexist with them by giving them plenty of space and avoiding disturbances. If you must remove a nest, do so carefully and consider relocating it to a safer location.


In conclusion, ground-nesting wasps and bees are an important part of many backyard ecosystems. While they may seem intimidating, these insects play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy environment. By understanding their behavior and taking steps to coexist with them, homeowners can ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience. Remember, if you’re unsure about how to deal with a ground-nesting wasp or bee nest, always seek the help of a professional.