Home Depot: How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees
Carpentry bees are beneficial to the environment as they are excellent pollinators. Unfortunately, when nesting in or around your home, carpenter bees can do significant damage to softwoods like pine and cedar. This guide will teach you how to get rid of carpenter bees near your property and prevent their return.
How carpenter bees can damage wood
Carpenter bees do not feed on wood, but rather dig into it to create nesting “galleries” in which they lay eggs in spring and take shelter in winter. The holes that carpentry bees create may seem small from the outside, but the galleries are much larger and more damaging than you might think.
A carpenter’s beehive opens into a tunnel that follows a straight path a few inches, then turns sharply 90 degrees and can extend several meters to its chambers. Since the construction of the tunnels takes so long, the females prefer to return to tunnels that have already been built each year and expand them if necessary. This increases the damage to the wood.
Without control, the damage done by carpenter bees can completely destabilize all wood in the area they inhabit. In addition, the presence of carpenter bees can attract woodpeckers, who continue to burrow into the forest to feed on bees at the larval stage.
Tip: Male carpenter bees are usually more active and aggressive, but cannot sting. Female carpenter bees only sting when provoked.
Signs of Carpenter Bee infestation
If you are concerned about a carpenter bee infestation, look out for these warning signs:
- 1 / 2- to 3/4-in. round openings made of wood
- Sawdust or wood chips around or near these openings
- A yellow substance near or at the entrance
- Threatening flight activity in the area, usually men defending the territory
Carpenter Bee pesticides
A large bee infestation may require professional intervention. However, since carpenter bees are not social insects and are more likely to be solitary bees, eliminating carpenter bees usually doesn’t require a large beehive. Pesticides are an effective way to get rid of the pests.
Carpenter Bee Sprays can be applied on and around the holes in the wood and are effective for recent break-ins. Spray the insecticide more heavily in early spring to prevent infestation, then treat it regularly throughout the summer.
Insecticidal dust can be brought deeper into the wood and is ideal for long-term infestation. It also prevents the larvae from reproducing. Use a hand duster to spray the dust directly into the hole.
Tip: When using insecticidal dusts or sprays, wear protective clothing, gloves, safety glasses and a dust mask while taking all other necessary precautions.
How to get rid of carpenter bees the natural way
Carpenter bees are pollinating insects, so you may want to learn how to get rid of carpenter bees naturally. There are several non-lethal ways to get rid of them.
Carpenter bee traps are convenient to use and offer a non-toxic method of disposal. Buy or build a trap and hang it right over the beehive. Bees fall into the trap because they believe it is a nest and they cannot escape.
Non-toxic liquids that bees repel include solutions of water with citrus oil or almond oil. Use a spray bottle to apply around the beehive holes to encourage the bees to leave the nest.
Loud noises and vibrations are known to repel bees. Therefore, play loud music with the speakers next to the infested area for 2-3 days. In this case, you want to fill the holes as soon as they are left.
Tip: Professional pest controllers can relocate the bees without damage, depending on the accessibility of the nest.
How to prevent carpenter bees infestation
Take action to prevent a carpenter bee problem from returning.
- Early autumn is the best time to take preventive measures as the galleries will most likely be empty: the young adult bees have hatched and moved on, while the adult bees have not settled in for winter.
- Seal the carpenter’s bee holes. Use plugs, putty, or sealant to plug the holes after the bees leave the gallery.
- Carpenter bees prefer weathered or untreated wood. Paint or varnish exposed wood surfaces around your home to make them less attractive to the bees. The areas most at risk are window sills, railings, patios, fences, doors, eaves and wooden garden furniture.
- Cover the outside openings of your home with fine mesh screens or small crevice sealant to prevent bees from entering.
- Hardwoods are less attractive to carpenter bees than softwoods.
Tip: Painted or varnished wood can effectively ward off bees.
DIY pest control provides methods of controlling carpenter bees and protecting your patio furniture, patios, wood paneling, pergola, and other outdoor structures. Are you ready to go to your local store and find the supplies you need to get rid of the carpenter bees? Use the Home Depot app to find products and check inventory. We will take you to the exact corridor and the bay.