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Getting Rid of Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees will attack the wood trim and porches around your home making holes and tunnels for nesting. This is a guide about getting rid of carpenter bees.

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Carpenter bee drilling into wood.
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May 9, 2016 Flag
4 found this helpful

How to bumout and discourage carpenter bees. Cover their nesting tunnel holes with duct tape. Here's how:

  1. Buy a heavy duty, tough, pro grade brand of tape such as "Nashua 557"(not dollar store type)
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  2. Tear off two pieces, each about 3 inches long, enough to cover two bee holes.

  3. Stick one end of one piece over hole. Press down hard onto wood beam. Take the second piece and stick it over the first one, making two layers. Press down hard.

Now wait for the diligent little sucker to start trying to 'break out' because he/she thinks "heck it's just thin cloth. Voila"! Eventually, it's little white nose will poke through a small hole in the thick sticky wall. Then it will probably, foolishly try to squeeze its body out when the hole is just barely large enough.

There's a "sticky" little problem here because it's hairy torso will become hopelessly glued in the tape's tough adhesive and here it will probably remain till death, unable to get out or back into the tunnel again. (This will be a nano-trophy-for the vindictive!)

However, if you're in a hurry and don't need any nano trophies. When you see there's a hole started in the tape - just peel your tape up, move it over an inch and stick it down once again. This forces the poor little critter to start clawing at the stinky, powerful adhesive wall all over again. Soon you'll notice bees moving away from places of human activity (such as your deck railing)! :)

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    Discouraging Carpenter Bees
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    May 10, 2011 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    Carpenter bees (look similar to bumble bees) are making Swiss cheese of my house. I took up all my azaleas and other flowers, hoping the bees would move on, but that seemed to make no difference at all! Also, most of their holes are underneath my porch railing in an area too tight to get a shot into the holes with any kind of spray.

    Every day there are fresh piles of sawdust all along under my porch railing. I tried using duct tape to tape squares of plastic (cut from milk jugs) over each hole, using a mirror to see the holes. I was amazed to see that they cut a nice neat round hole right through the tape and plastic. Any ideas?

    I have resorted to standing guard with bee spray and flyswatter, taking out one bee at a time. Help!

    By Debra

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    May 11, 20110 found this helpful
    Best Answer

    I used to have a large infestation of carpenter bees. This year this is only a handful. What I did was to put undiluted white vinegar in a spray bottle. Using the stream setting, spray vinegar into the hole until it runs out and then stuff it with cotton or anything that will plug the hole. This year for the new holes, I am going to use the vinegar and instead of cotton I will use steel wool to plug the holes. The number of carpenter bees has diminished greatly. Hope that this year I will be rid of them entirely.

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    May 12, 20110 found this helpful
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    I read that if you just plug the hole, that they can bore on through. My husband puts a shot of ordinary caulk in the hole and it seems to work. i guess they can't take all that goo!

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    May 24, 2011 Flag
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    I have carpenter bees making many holes in my back porch. I can't even sit out there without being buzzed several times around my head. The bees aren't aggressive to the point where they act as if they're going to sting me or anything; but I'd like to be able to enjoy my back porch without the continuous whirring sound. How do I get rid of these carpenter bees?

    By Crzybaby71 from USA

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    May 24, 20110 found this helpful
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    Wait till evening when they return to the holes they are drilling and spray them.

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    May 26, 20110 found this helpful
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    They will bore their way back out and the female will sting. It's the female that drills in the wood, the males are the ones you usually seeing hovering around. They bored in our wooden screen door, we sprayed, then patched the hole, the bees drilled another hole below the original hole and I saw three come out! I searched getting rid of these bees and found a video on Youtube of how to make traps with a 20oz drink bottle and six small pieces of wood. My husband made some and in a couple of days the bees were being trapped in there, then you just open the cap and discard the dead bees. You can buy these traps at hardware stores.

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    May 27, 2015 Flag
    5 found this helpful

    Get a 4"x4" post wood post cut into a 12" to 20" long section. Lay wood on a work bench horizontally. You will drill the same diameter of a common water or soda bottle opening at about 2" from the end and side of the wood. A 1" hole is good to a depth of 3 inches. Then drill two 1/2" holes at a 45 degree angles to the hole on both sides of the wood. It should form an "A" meeting at top of big bottom hole. If all three holes meet inside, just screw, slide or push an ordinary beverage bottle's mouth into main hole.Carpenter Bee Trap

    Place the trap over a railing, stair step, fence, etc. Leave it until some dumb bee crawls into one of the slanting holes, and drops into the bottle mad as hell! A weathered 4x4 is best. Leave the trap in the rain, sun, snow, etc. so that the bees will be more easily fooled that it is a real nest hole.

      Carpenter Bee TrapCarpenter Bee Trap
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      June 3, 2013 Flag
      6 found this helpful

      It's very easy to do yourself, and it 100% works! I have used this to get rid of Carpenter bees my whole life. You will need a can of WD40 spray, the one with the long sprayer tip at the end works best.

      Spray the WD40 into each bee hole. Spray a pretty good amount, and the bees will fall out and die. This will keep the bees gone all year long.

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        May 5, 2014 Flag
        2 found this helpful

        These bees had come back every year from about April to September. I had tried several things that didn't work. This is what has worked for me and has kept them away.

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        April 3, 2015 Flag
        0 found this helpful

        How do I recognize honey bees versus wood bees?

        By Ed from Naples, FL

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        April 4, 20150 found this helpful

        Clarification:

        Carpenter (Wood?) Bees do not "eat" wood or your house. Instead, they drill holes in house wood, trees, etc., to form a place to lay their eggs. The males are not able to sting, the females can sting but rarely. They are too busy drilling a new egg home.

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        April 13, 20150 found this helpful

        I just want to make a remark about carpenter bees not/rarely stinging. A few years ago, I was weeding my flower beds when I heard a single buzz go by. A moment later, I was attacked by a swarm of carpenter bees. I was not near a nest and did nothing to provoke them (wear a specific color of clothing, wear perfume, etc). I was raised with bees; this was a shock. These suckers are mean.

        I had a huge medical bill since I did not respond to any of the three shots given for stings, and no, I am not allergic to bee stings, yet I almost died. If you know you are near a nesting area, beware. By the way, they attacked my dog who was outside with me too.

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        March 15, 2015 Flag
        0 found this helpful

        How do I get rid of carpenter bees?

        By Ray

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        March 17, 20150 found this helpful

        If you can locate the holes they are going into, spray wd-40 into the hole using the attached straw, then step back! The female will fall out & be dead when it hits the ground. 2 years ago I sprayed & killed almost 40 of them. The following year there were very few around!

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        March 17, 20150 found this helpful

        Spraying is the answer, but you want to do it at a time when the nest is full and the bees are inactive - at night when it is colder.

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        May 2, 2013 Flag
        0 found this helpful

        We have a huge carpenter bee issue at home. They love our wood deck, cedar trim, and composite siding. I cannot go outside with my kids to play (2 and 1 yr) because they attack us. We paid someone to treat them last year and they are back. If we use your products and are able to rid them from our house, how do we keep them from coming back since our neighbors and neighborhood is infested with them? They are everywhere! Even walking down the side walk, they will chase you. I get attacked everyday I try to get our mail (from our wooden mailbox). I am so frustrated.

        By Nicole H

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        May 4, 20130 found this helpful

        Nicole,

        I did some online research. Here is a great link:

        http://insects.about.com/od/antsbee ... /a/How-To-Control-Carpenter-Bees.htm

        The best preventive is to paint or varnish your wood surfaces, as the bees prefer untreated wood. The above link has instructions for applying insecticide. If you search, there may be some "natural" tricks. Also, wear white or light colored clothing, which might have less provocation for the territorial critters. And continue looking online for natural "tricks" so they don't come up to you. Maybe put a big fan on your deck, which would probably discourage them.

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        May 6, 20130 found this helpful

        Stuff their holes with plain steel wool as tight as you can pack it. They can't chew through it and will leave if they are outside the hole and die if they are inside. You have my sympathy, as they are chewing my treated and stained deck and my painted wood front porch to death. Will have to replace my front porch soon, unfortunately, thanks to the bees.

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        May 10, 2015 Flag
        0 found this helpful

        These bees are beautiful, I have had a small nest of them, maybe 10-20, for at least ten years in the soffit of my garage. They never bother me, they seem to mind their own business, if they come too close, they promptly fly away. I'm worried now about the damage they may be causing. One year I caulked a few of the holes, the wood is stained, they just made more. I would rather not kill them, is there anything I can do to make them relocate? Most critters hate moth balls, would that make them leave?

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          May 12, 20150 found this helpful

          Caulk the holes again and paint with polyurethane paint. They don't like it. But before caulking, use insecticide in the holes, or else they will create more damage tunneling back out.

          I understand you'd rather not kill them. This is just one possible solution.

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          May 14, 2009 Flag
          0 found this helpful

          I have some bees on my front porch that drill holes in the wood overhead that holds the porch cover. The holes are perfectly round and deep, they leave saw dust all over from their drilling. Does anyone know what kind of bee this is, or how to get rid of it?

          By patt2tz from TX

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          February 28, 20100 found this helpful

          Have a friend who is an entomologist who helped us with our problem with carpenter bees. Since they are attracted to naked wood, you can caulk holes, paint, or varnish, especially inside holes, but he also said sevin would help.

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          May 3, 20120 found this helpful

          I have found a real solution. Spray WD-40 into the hole. Yo need to use the one with the stick on the nozzle. Put the stick into the hole and spray a good amount. The bees will come out and fall to the ground dead. It also kills the larvae they lay in the holes. That is why they are boring in the first place.

          If you spray the WD-40 on the bare wood, they will not go around it. I sprayed it all under my deck and they have not come back. Try it! A family member from up north told me to do this and it has worked great for me!

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          May 26, 2011 Flag
          0 found this helpful

          How do I get rid of wood bees and protect against their return.

          By Bruce

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          June 4, 20110 found this helpful

          Be careful, they are mean. A few years ago, I was weeding my yard (didn't even know they were around) when I heard one bee buzzing by. I didn't think anything about it. A minute later, without warning, I was attacked by a swarm. I am not allergic to bees, but had an absolutely horrendous reaction (my body literally started shutting down), probably due to the amount of stings I'd received. I was left with an extremely high medical bill. Personally, I'd hire someone to take care of the problem; even with the cost, it would still be cheaper than my medical bills were.

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          April 29, 20140 found this helpful

          This type of bee is a loner bee unless it mates. The female bees can sting you but will only do so if they are being attacked, like being cupped in your hand or stepped on. The male bee does not even have a stinger and cannot sting you but will dive bomb you in an aggressive attack to scare you. The also do not live in the ground.

          Bumble bees live in the ground in a nest or rodent hole. And they swarm. It is very difficult to tell apart these bees. But if they are carpenter bees don't be terrified of them. If they honeycomb your wood then you have to deal with them. WD40 or insecticide. If your neighbors have them put a new coat of stain on your porch and they won't dig into it. Hope that helps.

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          April 10, 2014 Flag
          0 found this helpful

          They have infested our house, it's an older home. I am scared to leave my house. They are a bad problem here for me and my kids. My landlord won't do nothing about them. Please help.

          By Angel C. from Jarreau, LA

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          April 13, 20140 found this helpful

          We had these on our deck several years ago. The only solution was to plug the holes they bore when they are IN them. We used caulk! Good luck - they never attacked us or 'bit' anyone.

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          April 10, 2011 Flag
          0 found this helpful

          How do I get rid of carpenter bees?

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