Wood boring bees, traditionally referred to as carpenter bees, serve an important role in nature. As pollinators, these bees nurture the life cycles of everything from flowers to fruit. Carpenter bees, however, have a downside in that they gnaw their way through the unprotected wood on homes, patios and other buildings. While the holes created by carpenter bees rarely lead to a loss in structural integrity, the subsequent sawdust and bee droppings represent an eyesore. Fortunately, you are able to evict wood boring bees and prevent them from moving in again with relative ease.
Things You'll Need
- Insecticide duster
- Wooden dowels
- Wood glue
- Sharp knife
- Oil-based or polyurethane paint
Locate the entrance holes utilized by the carpenter bees. Search for signs of sawdust and lines of yellow or brown excrement if you're having trouble locating the entrance holes. Sawdust and excrement are sure indicators that the holes are nearby.
Apply insecticide into the entrance hole or holes. For the best results, use an insecticidal dust containing either carbaryl, resmethrin or cyfluthrin. Wait until evening to apply the insecticide, as this reduces your risk of being stung. Position yourself upwind while applying the insecticide and avoid inhaling any fumes. Wait at least one day before proceeding to give the insecticide time to take effect.
Coat a wooden dowel with wood glue. Insert the wooden dowel into the hole or holes formerly utilized by the wood boring bees. Use a sharp knife to whittle the dowels to the correct size, if necessary. Plugging the hole prevents new bees from moving into the nest and helps reduce the risk of wood decay.
Paint any exposed wood on your property, as unpainted wood represents a welcome sign to carpenter bees. Apply an oil-based or polyurethane paint in order to prevent a future infestation. For new construction, consider using pressure-treated wood, as it deters carpenter bees as well.
Tips & Warnings
- Wear long sleeves and pants when treating entrance tunnels with insecticide.
- Close all doors, especially in outdoor buildings such as sheds or garages, during the summer months. This prevents carpenter bees from finding new wood in which to bore their nests.
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