Carpenter bees build their nests inside of wooden structures by boring holes approximately 1 inch wide, reaching lengths of 6 feet or more. It may be disconcerting to see and hear them chewing the wood of your home, but carpenter bees rarely sting and work slowly. Despite their slow pace, they can cause considerable damage if left unchecked for long periods of time. If you find that your home is a nesting area for carpenter bees, you can get rid of them naturally with a few basic procedures that will force them to move away.
Things You'll Need
- Almond oil
- Steel wool
- Wood putty
- Wire mesh
- Botanical pesticide
Pour almond oil in and around the carpenter bee holes. Carpenter bees do not like this oil and it will drive them away and discourage them from returning to their nests. Look into the holes with a flashlight to make sure the bees and larvae are evacuated. It may take up to three months.
Fill the emptied carpenter bee holes with a steel wool pad and seal opening with wood filler or wire mesh. Leave in place until you can replace the damaged sections of wood.
Apply paint or varnish to the wood around your home. Carpenter bees prefer untreated wood, and this will deter them from building a nest. Be certain to coat all sections including the underside of trim.
Apply a botanical pesticide if efforts to drive the carpenter bees away fail. This may occur with large infestations. Common pesticides include neem oil and pyrethrins that come in oils, sprays or dusts.
Tips & Warnings
- Apply these natural methods to trees and other buildings on your property.
- Carpenter bees are necessary pollinators for the environment. Please exercise patience when trying to drive them away and turn to a botanical pesticide only as a last resort.
- Even though botanical pesticides are natural, use caution when applying, and protect children and pets from exposure.
- Be certain holes are empty of both the bees and larvae. If you seal the holes with larvae still inside, they will eventually hatch and bore additional holes to find a way out.
- Do not use wood putty alone to seal holes. This will not deter the bees.
- Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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