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
How to Get Rid of Any Carpenter Bees
Carpenter bees can cause damage to wooden surfaces in and around your home. Although carpenter bees resemble bumblebees, carpenter bees do not...
How to Kill Bees Safely and Naturally With Soap
Bees are nature's pollinators and are in serious danger from pesticides. However we may need to get rid of them if they...
How to Kill, Treat, and Prevent Carpenter bees
The large bluish black carpenter bee is out in full force every spring, seeking unprotected wood to nest in. Here's how to...
How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees Without Killing Them
Although carpenter bees can be difficult to get rid of, try several humane methods instead of insecticides.
How to Naturally Get Rid of Bees
Bees are incredible creatures. They provide us with honey and wax and they pollinate our flowers--all important roles. But that's not to...
How to Get Rid of Carpenter Boring Bees
Although carpenter bees pollinate plants like other bees, they are considered a nuisance. Rather than building a hive, carpenter bees bore into...
How to Get Rid of Wood Bees Without Chemicals
Carpenter bees can ruin your home one hole at a time by drilling small holes in the home's exterior. These bees make...
Natural Ways to Kill Carpenter Bees
Carpenter bees don’t usually cause serious damage to homes unless there are a large number of them drilling tunnels over a period...
Natural Repellents for Carpenter Bees
While carpenter bees are sometimes confused with bumble bees, carpenter bees rarely sting. Male carpenter bees have no stinger and female carpenter...