Can You Kill Ground Bees With Gasoline?

Ground bees can be sometimes the bane of a house owner’s existence. Over the years, people are finding out ways to kill these insects. You might have heard that you can kill ground bees with gasoline. But is it actually true? 

Yes, gasoline can be an effective way to exterminate ground bees, but it’s important to know how much gas you need to use and when not to use it at all. 

We’ll cover all of these topics in this article so you’re able to make an informed decision on how best deal with your own bee problem.

Dealing with ground bees with gasoline: is it effective?

Ground bees are small, about the size of a nickel. They’re brown or black and have stripes on their abdomen. They’re also known as dirt bees and solitary bees, because they don’t live in hives like honeybees do.

They burrow underground during the winter months, emerging when it gets warm again in early spring to find food sources and mates. When they’ve found both of those things, they’ll lay eggs that hatch into larvae that feed on pollen before pupating into adult ground bees.

You can easily kill these insects simply by pouring gasoline down their holes (or spraying them with it). In fact, this method works quickly and effectively—but it’s not the only way or even necessarily the best way to deal with ground bees!

Why gasoline is a good way to kill ground bees

Ground bees are frequently found in areas such as golf courses, home gardens and parks. They can also be found nesting in soil close to the surface of the ground, making them ideal targets for many gardeners looking to eliminate this pest.

Given that gasoline is a petroleum product and will thus burn readily when applied directly to the insect’s habitat, it makes sense that this approach would work well for killing off ground bees. However, you may wonder if there is any real scientific evidence showing that gasoline does in fact kill ground bees? To answer this question we need only look at some recent studies on insects exposed to gasoline fumes or vapors:

  • In 2009 researchers tested whether exposure to gasoline vapor caused harm in adult cockroaches (Blatella germanica). The authors found no effect from 500 parts per million (ppm) of benzene; however 1 ppm of benzene “reduced survivorship by nearly 30% within 3 days” with 40% mortality observed after 7 days of exposure.
  • Another study tested how different concentrations affected mortality rates among termites (Reticulitermes virginicus xlvi). The authors observed an increasing trend with respect to concentration until 100 ppm whereupon mortality jumped significantly. These results suggest that while concentrations less than 100 ppm may not cause significant harm; higher levels could be fatal depending on how long someone stays near them.

The opposition of experts to using gasoline for killing ground bees

Because ground bees are an important part of the ecosystem and don’t pose a threat to humans, experts say you should not use gasoline to kill them. In fact, they recommend against using any kind of chemical on bees—which also means that if you’ve tried this method before and it didn’t work, consider giving up this method entirely.

While gas may work for killing other insects in your garden or home (if you don’t mind handling toxic chemicals), it’s not ideal for ground bees because:

  • Ground bees won’t be able to escape from it easily—and even if they can get out of the pool of liquid gasoline, they may die anyway from exposure to the fumes or burns from trying to escape.
  • Gasoline is highly flammable; leaving behind a large puddle of gas could lead to fires. If there are sparks nearby or even just high temperatures (like those found inside cars), fires could easily break out under these conditions.

What is the most effective type of gasoline for killing ground bees?

When it comes to killing ground bees, the type of gasoline you use is very important. If you choose the wrong kind of gasoline, you are going to have difficulty getting rid of them. Here is a list of the most effective types of gasoline that can be used on your lawn:

  • High-octane (89+). This is by far the best option because it has the highest amount of octane available at your local gas station. It’s also affordable and easy to find!
  • No ethanol (E10). Ethanol is a popular additive in modern fuels, but it can cause problems when trying to kill ground bees. Because this fuel contains water and alcohol components that make up around 10% or less by volume overall content, using this type does not work well with an average garden hose sprayer or power washer setup—they won’t spray properly because they’re designed for higher concentrations than what these kinds offer up (which means no matter how much pressure we put into them with our equipment setup).

How to use gasoline to kill ground bees

The first step to using gasoline to kill ground bees is to spray it directly on the bees. You can do this by either:

  • Using a hand-held spray bottle and spraying gasoline straight onto the ground bees.
  • Pouring some gasoline into a container, putting your hand through the hole in the lid and then shaking it over where you see ground bees. This method is especially effective if you’re trying to get rid of entire colonies of them!

You can also use a spray bottle to spray gasoline onto an object that the ground bees are on, such as a rock or tree stump. You don’t want to get any of the liquid on yourself or in your mouth!

Other simple ways to exterminate ground bees

If you’ve tried everything and still can’t get rid of the ground bees, it’s time to call in the pros. A professional exterminator will be able to come out and thoroughly remove the bees by using a vacuum cleaner, beekeeper’s suit, or one of their other many tools. If you’re really concerned about whether or not these insects are dangerous to your family or pets, ask them how they handle this specific situation before hiring them.


So, can you kill ground bees with gasoline? In short, yes. The question is why would you want to do it? It’s bad for the bees, bad for the environment and potentially dangerous for humans as well.