University of Florida

Leafcutting Bees

Native to the United States, leafcutting bees are about the size of a honey bee. They're not aggressive and don't typically bother humans, but they may leave their mark on your plants.

True to their name, leafcutting bees cut circular sections out of a plant's leaves and then use the pieces to build nests. Because the cuts are so perfectly round, you might think that a prankster is sneaking around your garden with a giant hole punch! The damage looks alarming, but it doesn't usually cause problems for the plants.

Leafcutting bees are important pollinators for crops like alfalfa, so it's best to avoid using pesticides to manage them.

If you want to avoid damage to susceptible plants like roses, azaleas, or redbuds, you can cover these plants with netting.

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