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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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4 found this helpful
May 9, 2016

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

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  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)! :)

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May 26, 20160 found this helpful

Oh "the bottle" method ! I do it too: 1) short, worn 4x4 post, 2) drill 1 or 2 slant holes which meet the vertical bottle hole drilled in bottom of wood piece. 3) insert a bottle in base (large hole) & wrap sides of clear bottle with tape 1-2" high(hides your dieing prisoners from bees on outside!) 4) place wood horizontally overhanging porch rail, floor etc. 5) wait for "collection" to begin. :)

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6 found this helpful
June 3, 2013

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.

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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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Anonymous Flag
May 29, 20160 found this helpful

I have been using WD 40 last year and again this year it works the best when i see one go in a hole i spray it in that hole and then i find it dead not long after

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5 found this helpful
May 27, 2015

Carpenter Bee Trap

CommentPin It! Was this helpful? 5

A weathered 4x4 is best to make this trap to reduce the number of carpenter bees at your place.

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2 found this helpful
May 5, 2014

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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0 found this helpful
June 2, 2015

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.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
February 14, 2017

I was wondering if carpenter bee traps actually work? They look good and I want to believe they are low maintenance, but are they?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
February 19, 20170 found this helpful

I had a huge collection of wood in an open air storage so we were really infested with these things. When we got rid of the piles they decided they had better things to do than hang out in our now-empty storage, and the rest were taken care of by traps.

I would see if you have a massive collection of deadwood standing around and clear it. That should help.

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February 21, 20170 found this helpful

They worked well for us when we put them in the wood shed

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0 found this helpful
May 10, 2011

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

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

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May 11, 20110 found this helpful
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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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0 found this helpful
May 24, 2011 Flag

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
Best Answer

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
Best Answer

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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April 3, 20150 found this helpful

How do I recognize honey bees versus wood bees?

By Ed from Naples, FL

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Anonymous Flag
May 7, 20160 found this helpful

They say males won't sting and it is extremely rare for females to sting but when I was younger I was stung by a carpenter bee just walking through the yard. A few hours later I started feeling really weak, dizzy and nauseas then I couldn't stop throwing up (violently and non-stop). I was taken to the ER where I was in serious bad shape and almost died. I have them all in and around my deck and they are very aggressive. They will beat on the screen door (flying into it) trying to get at me if I am standing at the door from inside. Everything you read says they can't or won't sting but I won't take a chance after what happened before when I got stung. I didn't think I was gonna make it!

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Anonymous Flag
May 30, 20160 found this helpful

What you had an encounter with was bumblebees. Google them and you will see that they resemble Carpenter bees, but instead of nesting in wood, they nest in old rodent holes, leaf piles, stone fences, and sometimes aboveground in sheds, or other protected structures with an opening. My brother got a nest in the rumbleseat of a rusty old vintage car he was trying to restore! And they do sting. They are very territorial, and will swarm out if you get near or disturb the nest area.

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May 2, 20130 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.  rpenter-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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0 found this helpful
March 15, 2015 Flag

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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0 found this helpful
May 14, 2009 Flag

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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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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Anonymous Flag
March 27, 20160 found this helpful

Carpenter Bees

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0 found this helpful
May 10, 2015 Flag

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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0 found this helpful
May 26, 2011 Flag

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

By Bruce

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May 28, 20110 found this helpful

This was just on Fox news. First, use Seven; spray in the holes. Second, fill the holes with steel wool to prevent any babies from boring out. Then fill that in with caulking like the previous writer said.

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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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June 24, 2013 Flag

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

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June 26, 20130 found this helpful

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

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April 23, 20160 found this helpful

Hi Becky,

Did you check the crib? I suggest spraying some WD40 in the predrilled crib wood holes and see if anything comes out of them. . .I discovered a large group of carpenter bees had used some METAL tubing with predrilled holes that was a structural support beam under my teak dining outdoor table. They didn't touch the teak wood, they simply went inside all the predrilled holes in the metal pipes! I sprayed every hole with WD40 in quick succession and at least 15 bees fell out and died, some with their butts hanging out of the holes. Good luck!

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0 found this helpful
April 10, 2014 Flag

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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0 found this helpful
April 10, 2011

How do I get rid of carpenter bees?

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