Getting Rid of Carpenter Bees

May 9, 2016

Discouraging Carpenter BeesHow 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)! :)

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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.


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.


22 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

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


May 11, 20111 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.

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.

May 12, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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

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


May 24, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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

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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May 14, 2009

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 Patt Beard from TX


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May 14, 20090 found this helpful

Apparently this is a Carpenter bee (I'd never heard of them before). This site has videos of them and the man says they "most definitely" cause damage.


I hope this helps.


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May 14, 20090 found this helpful

Here in Tenn we call them boring bees. Not sure if that's the official name for them. They look much like bumble bees. They like pine and will bore holes all in it. We have them going at our pine frame on our shed. The saw dust they throw back out is mixed with there spit. I guess you would say it will not come off the side of the garage. They are a true pest.

May 14, 20091 found this helpful

We've had this problem for years and have always called them wood bees. They arrive yearly to bore holes in our wood covered patio. We do not put out poison of any type due to our dogs; however, we do try to control the situation. This may sound a bit silly but we take badminton racquets (purchased at Dollar Tree or Dollar General) and use them to swat the bees to the ground (which stuns them) then kill them by hitting them or stepping on them. We consider it a little exercise in addition to taking care of our bee problem. You will have to do this daily to rid youself of the bees. Good luck.


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May 15, 20090 found this helpful

They are carpenter bees. They return year after year to the same place and their numbers grow. If you google carpenter bee there are several sites that tell how to get rid of them.

May 15, 20090 found this helpful

Hello, When I lived in AZ we called them carpenter bees, and now I live in TN and they call them borer bees. Anyways, the way we take of them is when they go in their hole we get the caulking gun and caulk their hole shut. My grandpa used to spray kerosene in the hole first. I think they always loved the unpainted wood. Hope this helps.

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.

May 3, 20123 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

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

By Bruce


May 26, 20110 found this helpful

I had the same problem for years then 2 years ago I decided to try plugging their entrances with silicon caulking, the type you would use in your shower. It worked! Again make sure it is water/weather resistant. A note of precaution, these bees are very protective of their nests so it is best done at night. Good Luck =0]

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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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?

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May 2, 2013

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


May 4, 20130 found this helpful

You probably will have to re-treat periodically since they are in the neighborhood. I suggest a metal mailbox.

May 4, 20130 found this helpful

I'm sure there is a lot of information on the internet about controlling them. We used to plug up their deck holes with cigarette filters, just the right size. I happen to like carpenter bees and do stare-downs, weaving and bobbing. But...we also have an infestation; they live in neighbor's roof. It's only in spring and hot days that they are a real problem. They don't land on you, fortunately.

If possible, put up swallow (a bird) housing, because these insects are treats for hawks and swallows, I'd imagine. I've seen hawks swoop down on my carpenter bees and scoop up two at a time. They are pollinators, so don't use pesticides, unless as a last resort, because will also kill honeybees.

May 4, 20130 found this helpful

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

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.

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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April 10, 2011

How do I get rid of carpenter bees?

Hardiness Zone: 7b

By tntz71 from Charlotte, NC


April 12, 20110 found this helpful

I cannot stand those bees staring at me when I go outside! Very curious/nosy creatures! When I find the little holes they have drilled in my wood deck, I squirt them up in the hole. They hate it and leave!

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 10, 2015

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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March 15, 2015

How do I get rid of carpenter bees?

By Ray

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June 24, 2013

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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July 26, 2019

We have carpenter bees in this area. Despite the fact that the soffit was painted in the fall, the bees are boring holes in it. I'd like to cover the existing soffit with vinyl since carpenter bees shouldn't bore through that. The issue I have is the soffit on our house is 14" wide, 17" by windows, and the widest I can find is 12".

I am looking for suggestions on how to proceed. Also, since I'm temporarily between jobs, I don't want to, nor can I, spend thousands of dollars, so this is a DIY project. And since I'm covering existing soffit, it's a lot easier than a new installation. I would prefer vinyl to cover the existing wood.

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April 10, 2014

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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May 23, 2017

Carpenter bees can destroy the wood in your home. Use this simple trick to capture carpenter bees. This is a page about making a carpenter bee trap.

Carpenter Bee Trap

May 23, 2017

Solvents and oils can often be detrimental to the health of insects. WD40 when sprayed on most insects will kill them. This is a page about how to get rid of carpenter bees.

A carpenter bee on an old stump.

May 18, 2017

Carpenter bees bore into dead wood to nest. When that wood is part of your home they become a nuisance or even destructive. This is a page about carpenter bees damaging my home.

A carpenter bee drilling into a wood post.


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

June 11, 2009

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


April 29, 2010

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


April 10, 2011

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

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