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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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)

  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)! :)

    Discouraging Carpenter Bees
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    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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    Try these traps ordered online. The carpenter bees were eating holes in my shutters. Wish I had found these sooner.

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    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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    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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    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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    Wait till evening when they return to the holes they are drilling and spray them.

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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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    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.

    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 Trap
      Carpenter Bee TrapCarpenter Bee Trap
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      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.

        CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        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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        How do I recognize honey bees versus wood bees?

        By Ed from Naples, FL

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        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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        How do I get rid of carpenter bees?

        By Ray

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        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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        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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        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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        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?

          AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          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.

          ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          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

          AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

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

          By Bruce

          AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          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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          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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          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.

          ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          How do I get rid of carpenter bees?

          Hardiness Zone: 7b

          By tntz71 from Charlotte, NC

          AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          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!!

          ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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          I have recently seen 2 buzzing carpenter bees in my finished basement near the window. I killed them and started finding around 12 dead bees of all sizes. What would be killing them? I haven't treated anything because I just figured out what they were. Also I haven't found any holes yet, that really seems odd.
          I do have some baby cribs unassembled in the basement with the pre-drilled holes maybe they are living in there.

          By Becky

          AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          I have them on my wooden deck and wooden front porch. After they get done boring holes in the wood, they die.

          ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          Forget the other tips about building a bird house-like trap with a soda bottle on the bottom, to entrap and kill carpenter bees. I built one, and mounted it right next to the existing bee hole. They buzzed around it and checked it out, but not a single bee ever entered it.

          CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          What type bee spray can I use on wood bees that would kill them?

          By Dave from Menands, NY

          Answers:

          Getting Rid of Wood Bees

          Any insecticide forced into the nest hole will work, do it at night. You can also pour some fingernail polish remover on a cotton ball and stuff that into the hole; that will work. Paint or seal the exposed wood to keep them from nesting in the future.

          (05/04/2010)

          By larflu

          CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          How can I keep wood bees from drilling holes in the rafters on my deck?

          By de1548 from Murray, KY

          Answers:

          Getting Rid of Wood Bees

          There is good info here on ThriftyFun about these bees and how to get rid of them. They are carpenter bees, sometimes called borer bees. My neighbor had them boring into the eaves of her house. They fixed the eaves, but the bees came back. Then I saw a woodpecker going at the same places. Turns out when the babies hatch they make so much noise they attract woodpeckers. They definitely come back to the same spot every year. We had a wooden patio cover that they would bore into. We removed that last year and the bees are continuously coming around looking for the patio cover. Search for info on this site because it could get expensive if you don' get them under control.

          <p.Tracey in Jacksonville, FL (06/11/2009)

          By TraceyI

          Getting Rid of Wood Bees

          Chemical control involves nerves of steel. Not everybody wants to spray in the hole while the huge bees are buzzing around. Here's a decent article on carpenter bees. I hope it helps. pestcemetery.com

          Good luck. (09/17/2009)

          By Dutch 1962

          CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          Does anyone know what to do to get rid of wood bees that bore into the rafters of outbuildings?

          CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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          Home and Garden Pest Control InsectsFebruary 12, 2013
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