Carpenter bees burrow into decks and fences when the weather warms up


Experts said that people can spray an insecticidal dust in the holes they dig and clog them to prevent the return of house bees.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee – The weather is getting warmer and all sorts of creatures are popping up to enjoy it. Among the beetles is a familiar face to many deck owners – carpenter bees.

These small, fluffy, black bees are generally harmless to humans, but they can tear holes through wood. Instead of building beehives like other types of bees, they dig holes in most types of wood. Many people think they are a nuisance and will take steps to keep them out.

Experts said that people can spray insecticidal dust in the holes they dig and clog them to prevent the bees from coming back.

“The reason we use dust is because when you have something like hot shot, the wood soaks it up and it never gets to the bees,” said Neal Denton, who works with the University of Tennessee Agriculture Bureau. “But the dust stays in and the bee that goes in and out of the hole will catch it.”

Neal also said that people can treat the carpenter bee’s holes one by one or just call a professional to do it all at once.

He also said the best way to avoid dealing with carpenter bees is to simply build a deck or fence out of material other than wood.

Carpenter bees are known to exist on every continent except Antarctica, and people can distinguish them from bumblebees by their larger size and shimmering rump. There are five types of carpenter bees in the United States

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