Rid of carpenter bees


Carpenter Bee Control

By Walt Cline

Get Rid Of Carpenter Bees

If you have an active carpenter bee infestation, follow these guidelines to exterminate them.

  1. Spray a residual insecticide in the areas where the bees are active.

    Recommended Insecticide Products: Cyzmic CS Insecticide, Demon WP , and FenvaStar Cap.

  2. Apply Residual Insecticide Dust in Carpenter Bee holes and galleries with a duster.

    Recommended Dusts: Tempo Dust and D Fense Dust

  3. Save 10% on Carpenter Bee Kits, use code: carp19

    Tempo Dust is a preferred dust for carpenter bee control. We carry a line of dusters that are handy for applying the dust. B&G Bulb-R M1150 and JT Eaton’s Bellow Duster. The Bulb-R M1150 Duster has a curved tip that can reach into the carpenter bee holes very effectively.

  4. Plug the holes (caulk or wood putty) during the fall months. If you plug the holes too soon, the carpenter bees may make another hole to exit.

1. Residual Liquid Treaments To Spray

Spray the areas where carpenter bees are boring in wood with Cyzmic CS, Demon WP, or FenvaStarCap. Sometimes the bees may bore into painted or varnished wood. Their holes are usually located on the underside of wood surfaces including siding, soffits, overhangs, decks, fence posts, fascia boards and window frames. We recommend spraying twice during the spring months at intervals of 3-4 weeks.

For severe infestations of carpenter bees on cedar and log structures, you may need to repeat the treatments more than twice. We suggest an interval of two weeks for spray treatments. After each spray treatment, apply D-Fense Dust or Tempo Dust to all possible carpenter bee holes or entry points.

If protected from the elements like rain, this residual insecticide will last 2 to 3 months. If applied in late winter the treatment will stay active through most of the carpenter bee season.

2. Using Dust In Carpenter Bee Holes

If you have a current infestation, dust with Tempo Dust in as many carpenter bee holes as possible. Fill the B&G Dust-R Duster or your chosen duster 1/2 way with dust and dust into the openings.

Although their holes appear only an inch or two deep, it usually extends at a 90 degree angle. The B&G Dust-R Duster comes with a curved tip that will fit into the 90 degree angles easier. The female will turn 90 degrees and bore a channel from 6 inches to as long as 4 feet. This channel serves as a main corridor from which she will drill small chambers a few inches deep. These chambers become egg holders. She will deposit an egg, bring in some food, and then seal it off to ensure the egg’s development.

It may be difficult to treat each individual gallery with dust, aerosol or liquid residual insecticides, as you can see by the , but is important if you have a current infestation.

3. Plug Up Carpenter Bee Holes

You can plug up the entrances with plugs, cork, putty, or use caulking compound. We suggest sealing the holes with wood putty, since you can paint over the wood. Plug the holes after all the bees are killed. A safe time to plug entrances is in the early fall months. If you plug up the entrances too early, you will stop the carpenter bees from passing through the insecticide dust, and they may chew new openings in other locations. The following year, spray early to prevent further boring.

Getting rid of Carpenter Bees depends on the timing of the year. You can prevent carpenter bee infestations if you tackle the situation early enough.

4. Carpenter Bee Traps

For those considering a non-chemical approach to carpenter bee control, we recommend the Best Bee Trap. This trap is specially designed to attract and trap the carpenter bees. If you have an existing carpenter bee infestation, hang it directly over the carpenter bee holes. If you do not have an existing infestation, hang the traps at peaks and corners of your home, preferably on the sunniest side of your house.

How To Prevent Carpenter Bee Infestations – Spray Early (early spring months)

  • Prevention is the operative word for carpenter bee control. Prevent them before you have to get rid of them. Carpenter bees most often prefer to bore holes in the wooden areas that receive the morning sun or afternoon sun.
  • Carpenter Bees attack unfinished wood under decks, sills, and decks first. Varnish or paint these wood surfaces to make them less attractive to these bees. A fresh coat of paint is unattractive to a Carpenter Bee.
  • Seal as many exterior openings as possible. The Carpenter Bees are looking for cracks that will protect entrances. Seal and caulk these cracks and crevices.
  • Carpenter Bees will reuse holes from the previous season. Cauk these holes in the fall, after the carpenter bees have emerged.
  • Carpenter Bee prevention and extermination is usually best done before nesting activity gets started. If you do not have a chance to paint or varnish the unfinished wood, before the bees bore into the wood, spray the unfinished wood in these vulnerable areas (under rail sidings, under decks, around window sills, etc) with a good residual spray such as the ones listed below. The best time to spray preventively for carpenter bee control is spring time. Nesting and the rearing of young carpenter bees occur in the late spring or early summer. These residual insecticides will last 2-3 months, continue retreating until the fall season.

Woodpeckers may be peck in to carpenter bee tunnels in the wood trying to eat the bee larvae.

Spray Cyzmic CS Insecticide into the carpenter bee holes and on the wood in the spring. This will discourage the carpenter bees from attacking the wood. This in turn will discourage wood peckers.

Recommended Residual Insecticide Concentrates for Carpenter Bee Prevention

  1. Cyzmic CS or FenvaStar EcoCap – Will not leave a visible residue.
  2. Demon WP – Will leave a visible residue seen against dark surfaces
  3. These residual insecticides will make several gallons of finished product and can also be used to treat a broad variety of insects. The B&G Dura Sprayer is both durable and economical and makes application of insecticides easy.

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter Bees can look like Bumble Bees; large, with yellow and black patterns. They are about one inch and may have some metallic reflections ranging from dark blue, yellow, green or purple tints. Their abdomens are shiny, which are different from Bumble Bees, which have more hair. They are commonly sighted in the spring hovering like a helicopter around eaves, porch rails, and under decks. Some times carpenter bees are called “wood bees”, because they bore into wood. Carpenter Bees do not eat the wood for nutrition. Carpenter bees, as pollinators eat nectar and pollen from flowering plants.

The female carpenter bee bores a channel or main corridor in wood from 6 ” to as long as 4 feet to lay their eggs in divided areas called “galleries” or “cells”. She deposits an egg into these galleries, and brings them a mass of pollen for the newly hatched larvae to feed on, and then seals them all off to ensure it’s development before she repeats the process for the next egg. Carpenter bee galleries have entrance holes on the wood surface, continues inward for a short distance and turns torun in the same direction of the wood grain.

Although, they are a wood boring insect, they are not considered a true structural pest. They do not spread through out the entire structure, but prefer unpainted or finished wood.

For More Information: Carpenter Bees

Picture above by ysmad.com (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons

Signs of Carpenter Bee Infestations

Carpenter Bees make holes about 1/2 inch in diameter. They prefer unfinished wood and can drill and create tunnels in seasoned hardwoods, softwoods and decaying woods. Look for “frass”, that looks like sawdust from these drilling areas.

For More Information : Carpenter Bee Identification and Signs

8 Ways to get rid of Carpenter Bees

The safest way to get rid of Carpenter Bees would be to call a professional bee removal team, such as Bee Serious Bee Removal because when it comes to the safety of your family, you only want the best.

With over 20,000 different species of bees in the world, there are bound to be a few of them that are more of a hindrance than a help. One of those bees is the Carpenter Bee. They look similar to Bumblebees in size and general shape but whereas Bumblebees usually nest in the ground, Carpenter Bees nest and lay their eggs in wood that they have drilled into for protection. If you notice these wood dwellers living in your home, here are 8 ways you can get rid of Carpenter bees on your own.

Although Carpenter Bees are typically docile, they can still cause big problems in your home. The male hovers just outside the nest to protect and fight off any intruders or other bees by engaging in physical combat, albeit without a stinger. The female, who actually does have a stinger, acts as a last line of defense for those who enter the nest. The real problem with Carpenter Bees is what they do to the wooden features of your home. These little insects bore holes out of soft wood and create a series of tunnels to lay their eggs and seek refuge from the weather and danger outside of the nest. Even though this doesn’t seem too bad, over time it will do a lot of damage to your home. Carpenter Bees are looking for raw or untreated wood, damp wood and older outdoor furnishings such as tables and chairs. This means the most common places you will find them is door frames, windows, the siding of your home, patio furniture and exposed wooden beams.

If you have realized that you have a Carpenter Bee infestation, here are a few simple ways to get rid of them or protect your home before they come around looking for a new place to build a nest:

1. Paint or seal any exposed wood around your home.

These little bees are looking for easy to drill wood, therefore, if your deck, door frame or windows are left untreated, they are the prime candidate for a bee infestation.

2. Vacuum the bees out with a wet-vac.

This method is best if the nest is fairly new and if you have a high powered wet-vac. The best time to try this is to wait until the evening because the bees will be back in the nest for the night.

3. Make a lot of noise.

Carpenter bees enjoy the quiet so if you find yourself with some unwanted guests, set up a radio or speaker right next to or on top of where the nest is. Not only does the music disorient them, the vibrations will cause them to evacuate their nest. Often times, once a severe problem has happened in their nest, they will not return to that same place anymore.

4. Make a citrus spray.

Carpenter Bees are naturally repelled by the smell of citrus. in a small pot of water, slice the citrus fruit and boil it in the water for 10-15 minutes to release the juice. Let the citrus water cool down and pour it into a spray bottle with a “stream” nozzle and spray it into the nest site.

5. Boric Acid.

This common household item can be used for a bevy of different DIY insect-removal projects. Mix 3 parts water with 1 part boric acid in a spray bottle and spray inside the entrance hole. This is very poisonous to the carpenter bees and will exterminate them within an hour.

6. Aerosol Carburetor Cleaner.

Although this is not the most natural remedy, it works. Whether they are inside when you spray it inside or not, it will either kill them or make their nest inhabitable.

7. Essential Oils.

Carpenter Bees are very sensitive when it comes to scents inside their nest. Peppermint, tea tree and lemon essential oils are excellent for making their nest unbearable thus making them leave for good. Although this isn’t a permanent solution, it will buy you a little time to safely get them out of the nest without hurting them so you can properly seal the entrance site.

8. Pyrethrum Spray.

Pyrethrum, also called Tanacetum, is a flower that is used a lot in natural pesticides. It is one of the strongest natural insecticides that is allowed in organic gardening.

If you notice a carpenter bee hovering around your house, you can bet there is an entrance to their nest nearby. Although home remedies seem easy and foolproof, you should always wear protective gear when handling chemicals as well as disturbing an insect nest.

If you need help with bee removal, please do not hesitate to contact us today!

How To Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

For the more than 20 years Don and Emily Sanderson have lived in their log home, they have been at war with carpenter bees. Efficient and precise, like any good carpenter, these bees (also known as boring bees) reappear each spring outside the Sanderson’s Northeast Ohio home and begin drilling nearly perfect half-inch holes into the wood.

While homeowners of vinyl-sided homes need only worry about eaves and fascia, controlling carpenter bees in log homes is especially challenging. To a carpenter bee, a log home is the ideal target, with unpainted and weathered soft woods like redwood, pine, and cedar.

“The noise drives me crazy,” says Don, “we’ll be outside on the deck and hear them drilling into the wood. It’s like listening to someone vandalize your house.”

Though the Sanderson’s frustrations are common among homeowners, few know anything more about carpenter bees than their love of wood. In fact, many people find themselves intimidated by these pests because of their sheer size and resemblance to bumble bees. (Bumble bees have thick yellow hair on the abdomen while the tail end of a carpenter bee is black and shiny.)

Surprisingly, though, carpenter bees are not structurally or physically threatening (male carpenter bees have no stingers and females are usually docile). Destroying carpenter bee nests is difficult because of their location, but some new and old methods are effective. Here’s what you need to know.

Carpenter Bee 101

Where do carpenter bees live?

Carpenter bees live throughout the United States, though the western species of carpenter bees prefer to nest in oak, eucalyptus, and redwood. Eastern species will target pine, redwood, fir, and cedar.

Can carpenter bees sting you?

“Carpenter bee stings are rare,” explains Dr. Jim Tew, an entomologist who specializes in beekeeping with Ohio State University. “The males are territorial and will hover around you, but they are bluffing.”

What do carpenter bees do?

Female carpenter bees could teach carpentry classes with their precision and reuse of material. Beginning work each April and May, females use their strong jaws to drill holes into the surface of the wood. Once the entrance is complete, the females make a sharp 90-degree turn and begin tunneling. These tunnels will continue anywhere from 1 foot to 4 feet until the females stop to carve out a nest.

Carpenter bee nests are actually a series of small cells with walls made of chewed wood pulp in between. A female often creates six to 10 cells in a row along the main tunnel. At the end of this excavated gallery of cells she will leave a mixture of regurgitated nectar and pollen to feed her larvae. With her work complete, the female will die. The food ball is enough to keep the larvae fed through the growth cycle, around seven weeks.

Sometime in August, the new adult carpenter bees will venture from the nest, only to return for hibernation through winter. The following spring the new generation of carpenter bees begin the life cycle again. The females will recycle the old nests, with some modifications, for their own larvae, sometimes for years at a time. Fresh sawdust along with drips of pollen and waste make tunnel entrances easy to spot.

Also, expect to hear drilling sounds within the wood as the females work on their nests and tunnels. Ironically, the males are given the job of guarding the nests although they have no stingers.

Carpenter Bee Prevention

According to Tew, there is no universally accepted, good way to control carpenter bees, there are, however, many prevention methods. Owners of log homes must be extra-vigilant from the beginning.

Coat the wood early

“It is best to coat the wood before the bees ‘find’ it because the next generation will return the following year to try again, and again, once the wood has been tunneled,” says Barbara Bloetscher, also an entomologist with Ohio State University.

While wood stains will not deter carpenter bees, any exterior finishes with oil or polyurethane bases will help. Each spring, start early, plan on spraying the exterior of your log home with an insecticide. Obviously, because of the expanse of wood, this can be time-consuming.

Look for the right ingredients

If, however, you decide to do the spraying yourself, look for insecticides with a pyrethroid as the active ingredient. This chemical is also known as bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, deltamethrin, and permethrin. Many pesticides can be purchased on the Internet in concentrated form.

Most exterminators, for example, use a product known as Demand CS as a deterrent to carpenter bees. Demand CS is a microencapsulated pyrethroid containing the active ingredient lambda-cyhalothrin. Demand CS can be purchased in concentrated form with each 8 oz. bottle making 40 gallons of solution. The price for one bottle runs around $60. Some pesticides, like Demand CS, may require special licensing training or registration of the user in certain states. Make certain with your local extension agency, EPA office, or state list of registered pesticides before making any purchases. Some states will provide licenses and/or permits for personal use of registered pesticides for a nominal fee.

Will wasp spray kill carpenter bees?

Be careful what you purchase, though, pesticides with stomach poisons are useless against carpenter bees because the bees don’t actually eat the wood. In addition, pesticides can degrade in a matter of weeks or months making a reapplication necessary during the summer if carpenter bees are spotted. For spot treatment, anything labeled effective against bees and wasps will also deter carpenter bees.

How to Kill Carpenter Bees

What do you do if these bees have already turned your home into their home? Carpenter bees give the expression, “It’s hard to find a good carpenter,” a whole new meaning. Some frustrated homeowners even resort to swatting carpenter bees with tennis or racquetball rackets.

Bear in mind, female carpenter bees do have stingers and, although usually docile, they will attack if provoked. When treating wood for damage, wait until dark when the bees are less active and wear some protective clothing. Because the nests are vital to the bees year round, destroying these galleries gives the best chance at extermination, something easier said than done when nests lie within wood. Aside from burning down your house, which some homeowners consider after years of fighting this infestation, there are a variety of options when it comes to extermination.

Choosing an insecticide for carpenter bees

In the past, Borax was used as a common insecticide for carpenter bees. The disadvantage with this method, however, is length of time it takes to kill the bees. Borax, pumped into the entrance holes, works slowly, giving the bees time to cause more damage.

“Borax is toxic to birds, bees and other wildlife,” cautions Bloetcher. “Although people refer to it as a ‘home remedy,’ when used improperly and allowed to blow and float in the air, it can be lethal to other vertebrates and invertebrates.”

For existing tunnels, insecticidal dust, like Sevin Dust, has been found to be the most effective. Again, look for a pyrethroid as the active ingredient and pump powder into the opening. Aerosol sprays can also be used in entrance holes. Wait a few days to allow the bees themselves to distribute the poison.

Closing the entrance

After using the insecticide, plug the hole with a wood dowel coated in carpenter’s glue, caulking, or putty.

“Simply caulking burrow entrances closed will not stop the problem,” explains Tew. “Carpenter bees can cut through caulking compounds.”

Tew suggests using 0000 steel wool (4-0) dipped or sprayed with insecticide to close the entrance. This will cause the bee to chew on the steel wool for a while before escaping. The steel wool hole will need to be caulked over to prevent rusting as the wood degrades. Again, any contact with the burrow entrances should be done at night or early evening to assure the bees are inside and will not attack.

Photo by NY State IPM Program at Cornell University

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees Naturally

For those disinclined to the use of pesticides, there are some common sense approaches to carpenter bee infestation. Some homeowners have found that waiting until winter to plug entrance holes with wood dowels to be most effective. Because the bees hibernate in the nests, they become trapped in spring when it’s time to emerge.

Strangely, these bees are less inclined to bore out of wood rather than in. Others swear by the use of roofing nails, set in the entrance holes and covered with a caulking compound, this must be done in the fall after the new adults have left the nest, otherwise the bees will bore their way out. Taking a wire and inserting it far into the tunnels to destroy the nests is another alternative, although this requires the right timing and protective clothing to prevent stings.

“Carpenter bees are very discerning about the lumber they attack,” says Tew. “If only a single trim board is being attacked, replacing that board might solve the problem.” Finally, there is the option of doing nothing. “The control path of least resistance,” continues Tew, “is simply don’t try to control them. After the first few killing frosts, the bees will die. Patch the burrow entrances and hope the next season will produce fewer pest bees.”

For more information on carpenter bees, check out Ohio State University’s carpenter bee fact sheet.

We have a long wing on our house with 2-foot roof overhang supported by poplar wood beams, which carpenter bees seem to love. We had the exposed wood painted with 2 coats of polyuruthane in 2006, but by spring 2009 the bees were back. We are going to have the eaves repainted this spring. Is there a bee poison such as cypermethrin or Drione that can be mixed into polyuruthane that might help to deter the carpenter bees for more lasting protection?

Currently the best “additive” is the NBS INSECT REPELLENT we have listed in our CARPENTER BEE CONTROL ARTICLE. It can be mixed with paint or stain and will provide 1-2 years of prolonged insect repellency action. It can also be mixed with water and sprayed on homes and plants as an insect repellent but not a pesticide; it won’t kill anything as it’s only for repelling pests. It’s proven effective for carpenter bees along with some other invasive insects so you should definitely include this for your upcoming paint job. However, I wouldn’t wait till that’s done as a lot of damage could happen between now and then!

Based on the time of year we’re at, I’d do a good dusting now to get rid of the ones that are active before you paint. Treat any nests with the DRIONE DUST and it will shut them right down. Applying it every spring around the perimeter of my home does a great job of keeping them away the whole year. It seems as though wasps and bees like nesting where roof and gutters meet by soffits and eaves. These locations notoriously have gaps, a lot of moisture and a protected area (under the eave) which is an instinctive location most bees and wasps try to find when seeking nest sites. Using a DUSTICK, I’ve learned applying Drione to these areas does a great job of stopping most every insect that might try to invade. And getting it applied in the spring, before pests like carpenter bees establish themselves, seems to be important. As our video’s show, the Drione will permeate up into the shingles and gaps and essentially take away these locations as nest sites. And since these are protected from direct weathering, the dust can last several months making it real long term protection.

I also know some people prefer to spray because it’s easier to do compared to dusting. That’s when we tested and learned the CYPERMETHRIN does a good job when sprayed to these surface areas of repelling these bees. So if you aren’t willing to dust with the Drione, spraying the Cypermethrin once a month will do the job. But really the best way to handle this problem will be to dust now with the Drione and then use the Insect Repellent mixed with paint. Overall this combination will provide good results and require minimal applications.

Here are direct links to the information and products mentioned above:

NBS Repellent: https://www.bugspraycart.com/exempt/additive/nbs-paint-additive-16-oz

Drione: https://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/dust/drione-dust

Dustick: https://www.bugspraycart.com/equipment/dusters/dustick

Cypermethrin: www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/liquid/viper-cypermethrin

Give us a call if you still have questions.

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Carpenter bees, also known as wood bees, are one of the largest native bees in the US. These boring bees will carve out telltale ½” round holes in unfinished, soft, damp or dry woods, and cut holes in your outdoor furnishings and decks. Unlike termites, these bees don’t eat wood but make neat boreholes in the wood to create a nesting area similar to carpenter ants. If you want to know how to get rid of carpenter bees in a non-toxic way, then read on. Our home remedies for carpenter bees that will help you kill these bees in an eco-friendly manner.

Though carpenter bees tend not to be aggressive, they can cause huge damage to your garden furnishings and structural beams in your house. Also, the male carpenter bees can get aggressive around people when they feel a quick movement, such as – waving the hand in the air, and might sting.

Home Remedies to control Carpenter Bees

1. Vacuum Cleaner

By making use of the smallest nozzle of your vacuum cleaner, you can easily get rid of carpenter bees from wood. Take a vacuum cleaner and put it over the openings or holes and vacuum up the bees.

This remedy works best when the nest is a pretty new one.

If the vacuum is not strong, you will never be able to suck them out. However, if you fix the nozzle close to the hole, and leave the vacuum running, eventually the bee will exit the nest and get sucked up.

For the best results, the finest time to perform this remedy would be in the evening hours as the bees are in their nest during these hours and will not be able to escape.

Be aware, you should use a wet vacuum to drown the bees, otherwise, you will have live angry bees to dispose of.

Vacuuming is an also an effective method to get rid of bees and yellow jackets (1).

2. Noise

It may sound strange, but it works magic. Carpenter bees can’t tolerate noise, so make a loud noise to get rid of them. Set up a boom box or sound box adjacent to their dwellings to encourage them to fly away. This remedy is both safe as well as hassle-free.

3. Petrol

Spraying diesel or petrol in the burrows will kill the bees. Being flammable, be cautious that fumes are near no source of ignition.

Wear an N-95 respirator, gloves, and goggles while squirting petrol in the burrows. If you are making use of a spray bottle, then label it and put it aside for use of petrol-only in the future.

4. Block the Holes

This remedy is particularly useful for those who abhor the after-effects that are caused by spraying the insecticides. Closing all the entries and exits to the nest is an effective step to get rid of carpenter bees.

Use steel wool for this purpose since the bees cannot burrow through steel wool. You can also make use of caulk and putty (2,). Holes should be blocked in the night as adult carpenter bees are actively foraging in daytime (4).

But it is better to block the tunnel using a dusted plug of copper gauze or steel wool because adult bees can tunnel through shallow caulk or putty.

5. Bee Sprays

This is one of the most traditional methods to eliminate carpenter bees. Use the store-bought sprays and squirt it directly into the nest when you think that the carpenter bees are inside.

Cover the hole using duct tape for 24 hours after spraying. Remove the tape and repeat the process if any other activity is noticed inside the tunnel (6).

Make sure you follow all the instructions mentioned on the product and wear the protective equipment ( gloves, goggles etc) to protect your skin (7).

6. Vinyl Siding

Yet another effective way to keep carpenter bees away from your home is by using vinyl siding to keep your home protected.

Vinyl siding has a non-wooden surface that can’t be damaged by these insects (8, 9).

7. Boric Acid

Boric acid is poisonous to carpenter bees. Spray boric acid in the entry holes of the nest in order to kill their larvae before they hatch (10).

8. Aerosol Carburetor Cleaner

Spray aerosol carburetor cleaner on the bees or on their burrows (11, 12). It is certainly not a gentle product to be used for the extermination of carpenter bee, but it is the most effective remedy.

It is available in varied types – some types may be effective in killing them instantly inside their burrow while the others will make their homes uninhabitable (13).

Note – Keep the cleaner away from your eyes or face; read the precautions and wear protection for your own safety.

  • Alternatively, aerosol sprays can directly be sprayed in their burrows. After one or two days close the entrance hole with plastic wood or caulking compound (14, 15).

9. Badminton Rackets

During the spring season, carpenter bees fly around in search of burrows so as to lay eggs or feed their larvae. This means they become very active for 2 – 3 weeks.

Make use of tennis or badminton racket to squat them. Then just step on them (with shoes on, of course). Simple but effective

10. Citrus Spray

Squirt citrus spray on the affected area. Look for a citrus-based spray that is specifically designed for carpenter bees or you can even make it on your own.

Take any of the citrus fruit such as lemon, orange, grapefruit, or lime, and allow it to boil in a shallow pot completely filled with water.

Now, take a spray bottle and fill it with the prepared citrus solution. Spray it on the holes of the carpenter bees.

Like other insects, carpenter bees also have a natural abhorrence to citrus oil (16).

11. Almond Oil

You can also make use of almond oil or almond essence, in order to repel the carpenter bees (17).

12. Diatomaceous Earth

Wear gloves and fill the burrows made by carpenter bees with some diatomaceous earth. It is a natural insecticide and will kill the insects by dying them out.

Now, close the holes using some putty. Diatomaceous earth is a temporary solution to get rid of carpenter bees (18, 19).

Make sure you don’t use the glove for any other purpose; either throw them away or keep them for the next time.

13. Paint

Carpenter bees don’t eat wood, they dig the tunnels for shelter. It is easy to excavate unpainted objects like doors, windows, roof eaves, shingles, railings, etc.

Therefore, all the outdoor wooden surfaces of your house should be painted to reduce bee infestation (20, 21). Although the bees attack all wooden surfaces, they prefer untreated wood (22, 23).

Use a good quality exterior primer and apply two coats for better protection (24). Oil-based paints can also be used to keep carpenter bees away (25).

14. Essential oils as an natural insect repellent

Use essential oils as insecticides.

Lavender, jojoba, citronella, tea tree, cedar, and neem oil can be used. Add them to alcohol and pour the mixture into a sprinkler. Spray this natural insect repellent on affected areas

All these oils have insect repellent properties (26).

15. Hardwood

Use of hardwood can also prevent from carpenter bees attack, as the structure of this wood is more dense than softwoods.

Oak, ash, cherry, maple are some of its popular types. Make use of this wood rather than softwood to make furniture (27).

16. Pyrethrum spray

Pyrethrum, also known as Tanacetum is a flower with natural insecticidal properties. You can use its spray to kill carpenter bees.

Wear gloves, protective clothing, goggles and a respirator to avoid insecticidal dust and bee sting (28).


  • Once the bees disappear, replace all the damaged wood (29, 30).
  • Keep all the wooden fixtures well maintained and painted, particularly the vulnerable areas (31, 32).
  • Keep an eye on new holes and block them as quickly as possible (33, 34).
  • Try to stop the reproduction cycle. Killing the reproducing females or adult bees is not merely enough; you also need to destroy the bee larvae in their burrows so that they don’t reproduce and start the cycle all over again.
  • You can also use pressure-treated wood for making outdoor furniture (35).


  • Avoid using banned pesticides. They are toxic to you and your children’s health. Moreover, it may cause various serious environmental problems.
  • Wear protective clothing while using any remedy or when treating carpenter bees, as they will sting you (36).

Bee stop is a natural Bee Deterrent. Carpenter Bees will not bore and nest where they smell the aroma of this natural Citrus and Tea Tree Oil Blend.

Most flying insects, including wasps, bumble bees, yellow jackets, sweat bees, and mud daubers are deterred by the Citrus Aroma.

Repeated application is indicated where Bees are observed congregating.

Bee Stop is all natural, and contains no chemicals.

Bee Stop is a perfect bend of Citrus Oils (Grape Fruit and Orange) and Tea Tree Oil (a natural antiseptic) to create the best Natural Bee Deterrent possible.

$35.00 per gallon

$27.00 per Quart Super Spray
Range: (15-20 ft)

This product is proven to deter infestation, and drive out existing colonies. If you have bees or other flying insects, this product works naturally to drive them away. Please contact us if you have any questions about Bee Stop. This is truly an amazing product. that can be used on porches, patios, entryways, tents, camping gear, wood playground equipment, decks, wood homes, ballfields, trash cans, and anywhere bees and insects are a nuisance or danger.
Coverage is stated as a range only, and will be greatly influenced by the specific conditions of the individual project.
Product Information
Citri Fresh Bee Stop is a ready to use liquid that is used to repel Carpenter Bees. It is an environmentally friendly product that safely removes Carpenter Bees, Mosquitoes, Roaches and Wasp. Bee Stop is an all natural product that is biodegradable and will not harm kids, pets, grass, or most plants. Simply use a spray bottle or pump sprayer to spray where Carpenter Bees are and they will leave.
Bee Stop removes and repels several types of insects from carpenter bees to roaches. This product can be used inside or outside. Excessive wetting on hardwood floors may result in damage.
• Repels multiple types of insects
• Contains no acid or chlorine bleach
• Safe for plants and animals
• Biodegradable and Environmentally friendly
• No Pressure Washing or Scrubbing Required
• Non corrosive
Citri Fresh Bee Stop is available in 1 gallon jug.
MIXING DIRECTIONS Contents are ready to use. Shake well before using.
STEP 1: MIX: Product is ready to use, just shake well and add to sprayer.
STEP 2: APPLY: Apply Citri Fresh Bee Stop solution with hand sprayer or spray system.
Let solution stay on surface for prolonged insect control.
Coverage: One gallon of Citri Fresh Bee Stop will cover approx: 200-400 square ft.
depending on porosity, moisture content, and spraying method used.
Citri Fresh Bee Stop contains Natural Enzymes. Do not mix with chlorine bleach or other chemicals. Store the products in original container only. Sweep up spills and flush down drain. Product is nonflammable. Accumulation of product on concrete, ladders, scaffolding, decks, etc., may result in a slippery surface. Avoid contact with eyes. First Aid: In case of eye contact, flush with water for 15 minutes and get prompt medical attention. If swallowed, give milk or water. Do not induce vomiting. Call a physician immediately.
Citri Fresh warrants this product to be free from defects for six months from date of purchase as long as product remains sealed. Any claim must be made in writing, accompanied by proof of purchase. Citri Fresh will only be obligated to replace the product. Citri Fresh shall not be liable for incidental or consequential damages resulting from any breach of this warranty and fitness for use. Some states do not allow the exclusion of incidental or consequential damages, so the above warranty may not apply to you. This warranty gives you specific legal rights.
Citri Fresh Bee Stop is considered Non Hazardous under Department of Transportation Regulations. Store products in a cool, dry area and keep from freezing.
Discussion Bee Stop:

Fogging Bee Stop:

Bee stop drives bees safely away from the house or area treated, into safe areas for them to pollinate.

Louis Schwartzberg discusses polination:
To skip the talk, forward to about 3 minutes into the video.

18 Ways to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees (Wood Bees) Without Killing Them

Honey Bee | Bees, Pest Control | 1

The warm sunshine, flowers blooming, buzzing of bees, spring is here indeed! However, the buzz of bees is not always a pleasant sound; especially it is coming from inside your house. Yes, wood boring bees are notorious for drilling holes in wooden furniture and damaging it. Read on to know all about them and the ways to get rid of carpenter bees infestation:

Identifying Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees, also known as wood bees because of their diet and choice of habitat are large black bees that look very similar to bumble bees. These bees have a habit of drilling holes into the wood and building galleries to breed and rear their young ones. Carpenter bees are typically ½” to 1” with six legs, two sets of wings, a head, a thorax and an abdomen. Their fuzzy yellow bodies is often mistaken for a bumble bee, however, the resemblance ends there, for the carpenter bees have shiny hairless, black rear. Males also have two distinctive markings on their forehead.

Read here – Life Span of Different Types of Bees

Image source – commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Interesting Facts about Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are notorious creatures known for making holes in wood and damaging the wooden shakes, deck, outdoor furniture. The bees belong to the genus Xlyocopa and are generally very docile, shy creature until otherwise instigated. Listed below are some of the interesting facts about carpenter bees that will help you understand them better:

  • Only female carpenter bees build the nest, they drill nickel sized holes in the furniture to rear their children
  • Males put on the “tough guy” act and are often aggressive. However, they lack the stingers and hence incapable of causing real damage
  • Carpenter bees hibernate during the long winter months. During spring, the male bees go around looking for food while females prepare the nesting ground
  • Male bees die almost immediately after mating; even the female bees die after fertilizing the eggs and sealing the larvae.
  • Carpenter bees do not live in colonies; they’re vagabonds who build individual nests to raise their young ones.

Signs of a Bee Infestation

With over 400 different types of bees in America alone, it becomes a difficult to identify exactly what you’re dealing with when an infestation happens. The fact that carpenter bees look a lot like your average bumble bee doesn’t make matters any easier. Check out these tell-tale signs that help you recognise a carpenter bee infestation.

  • Carpenter bees and quite large and have hairless shiny black bodies. Males ave white stripes on their forehead while females have stingers
  • The small nickel sized holes perfectly drilled into the wood is a sure sign of the bee infestation
  • You can actually hear faint chewing sounds inside the wood.
  • Wood shavings and sawdust in and around the furniture
  • Mostly a male bee can be seen hovering outside the hole while the female is working inside.

The Difference between Carpenter Bees and Bumble Bees

The buzz of bees around springtime though pleasant to the ears can also bring bad news for the property owners. Honey bees, bumble bees, carpenter bees are some of the creatures that can infest your property and expand their breed. Now, blame it on the similar color or build, but bumble bees and carpenter bees are often mistaken for another. On closer observation you can notice the differences that separate the two types. While bumble bees have hairy abdomen a carpenter bee has a hairless and shiny rear. Also, carpenter bees are solitary unlike others that live in colonies. They nest in and around remote corners and crannies of the property, whereas bumblebees build their hives on the ground.

How to Getting Rid of Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are docile and very shy creatures that choose remote corners of the house, however when provoked the female bees can sting you really hard. Not to mention the damage they cause to anything wooden that lies around the property, from doors to window sills, ceilings and even floorboards, these bees are everywhere! Therefore, it is important that you take immediate action once you notice the subtle signs of an infestation discussed above. Mentioned below are some of the most effective solutions that you can apply.

Natural Remedies – How To Deter Wood Bees?

1. Almond Oil

Almond oil is a common household item that you can find in almost every kitchen. Very mild and eco-friendly, almond oil works wonderfully in driving out the bees naturally without killing them, a smart pest control remedy for homemakers. All you have to do is pour some drop of the oil inside the small holes and gaps on the wooden surface. Carpenter bees cannot tolerate the smell of almond oil and will hence try to get away from the area immediately. Use a flashlight to check for any signs of infestation after about 3-4 weeks. Repeat the process if the bees return.

2. Boric Acid Powder

Boric acid usually works well on exterminating all kinds of insects and pests, carpenter bees are no different. By sprinkling a generous amount of boric acid into the holes drilled by the bees you not only exterminate the existing pests but also destroy the larvae that are nesting inside the cells. This puts an effective stop to any future infestation cases and has an 86% success rate in curbing the infestation. Be careful when handling the boric acid solution as it is highly acidic and can burn the skin. Wear gloves and cover your nose with a cloth to protect your face from rashes and allergic reactions.

3. Cover the Holes

This is by far the easiest and most obvious solutions to deal with bees. Patch up the holes with chalk or putty and trap the carpenter bees in their own nests until they suffocate and die. You can even use wool for plugging in the holes and covering the only exit point for the bees. Another change in décor that would be effective for curbing in infestation would be to install vinyl or aluminium sidings in your home. As these materials are non-wooden, they are not under threat of being destroyed by carpenter bees.

4. Natural Bait

Mixing 1/3 cup of powdered sugar with 2/3 cup of boric acid makes the perfect bait for bringing out the bees and then driving them away. You can even use kerosene oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, mortar and pestle to prepare your own homemade non-toxic baits and get rid of the carpenter bees without harming them in any way. Remember to wear gloves when you put the baits near the infested areas. Keep your face covered and wear protection gloves to reduce the risk of rashes and infections.

5. Citrus Spray

Citrus fruits and compounds such as lemon and vinegar are rich in Vitamin C and hence fatal for insects and bees. Prepare a mixture of citrus fruits such as grapefruits or oranges and boil it in water until the mixture is reduced to about one-thirds its original volume. Pour this solution in a bottle and spray it on and around the infested area. The citrus oils are known for repelling even the stubbornness of pests and keeping them away from the property for a long time. The effect of the solution wears off in a few weeks and has to be re-applied regularly for long-term effects.

6. Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is readily available in any stationery store and is known for repelling insects and pests of all kinds. The earth has fossilized remains of diatoms, an effective treatment for killing the carpenter bees and destroying their nesting grounds. Even though the mixture is organic it might cause rashes and allergic reactions when in direct contact with human skin. Wear gloves as a precautionary measure and kill the gaps and holes with this diatomaceous earth. The diatoms or microorganisms destroy the exoskeleton of the insects and bees, exterminating them.

7. Natural Oils

Natural oils have always been effective in pest control, the strong smell and essence of these compounds drive the insects away and bees are no different. Natural oils such as teatree oils, jojoba oil, citronella oil, lavender, pennyroyal and thyme are popular ingredients that if mixed in the right proportion can help you get rid of carpenter bees. Moreover, these organic oils are eco-friendly and have no ill-effects on the nearby surroundings and its inhabitants. Spray the mixture on and near the infested grounds, its effect wear away in a week so you’ll have to re-apply it.

8. Pyrethrum Spray

Pyrethrins are natural insecticides, they are organic compounds extracted from the chrysanthemum flowers. All you have to do is spray the solution in and around the nesting ground and wait for some time. The pyrethrum spray has a lot of toxins that disrupt the nerves and brain function of the bees ultimately killing them. The spray is absolutely safe to use and has no side-effects, its effect wears away after a week. You can also prepare a natural spray of garlic and white vinegar to spray around the holes once or twice.

9. Hardwood

Carpenter bees usually infest softwood as it is easier to drill holes in them. Cedar, douglas fir, pine, redwood, spruce and yew are all examples of softwood that is usually used for construction. By replacing the softwood with hardwood such as mahogany, maple, oak and teak, you can reduce the risk of an infestation considerably. This is because carpenter bees avoid hardwood due to its complex structure. Also, ensure that the wooden items around the property have a coat of paint or polish as treated lumber repels the bees away.

10. Excessive Noise

Killing the bees is always not the smartest option out there. For starters, it is cruel and secondly disposing off the dead bees is nasty business. You can easily repel/kill the bees without having to kill them. Bees or any insect for that matter have a weakness for loud noise, they have a low hearing range and therefore are agitated when you use ultrasonic sound waves to get rid of them. You can even play loud music or attach a speaker near the nesting ground of the wood bees to scare them away.

Chemical Solutions – How to Exterminate Wood Bees?

11. Carpenter Bee Baits

Bee baits comprise of techniques that lure the carpenter bees out of their holes out in the open. These baits are often used not for killing the bees but just to drive them out of their hiding place and out in the open. As carpenter bees are found in the cracks and crevices of the property, it is very difficult to fish them out manually. Using baits such as chemical solutions, hydrogen peroxide, boric acid or borax works well here.

12. Carpenter Bee Traps

Carpenter bee traps in the market are another smart way of curbing the infestation. These bee traps are also used by professionals to capture the pests and then rehabilitate them elsewhere. Unlike other bees, carpenter bees prefer staying and nesting indoors and hence an immediate danger for the members of the household. You can even consult the local bee farm and call in beeexperts who can take them away.

13. Insecticides

Professional pest control services often use specific pesticides and insecticides that focus on eliminating the carpenter bees without harming the environment. Spraying a generous amount of these chemicals inside the holes and on the nesting grounds effectively kills them almost instantly. These insecticides, though seemingly harmless can cause severe allergic reactions to some people. It is best that you remove yourself from the pest control site for a few hours when the operation is still under way.

Bee Extermination Solution

Using toxic or chemical bee extermination solutions is probably the last resort when all else fails to curb their population. Avoid wood treatment solutions though as the bees don’t eat wood and hence might not be affected by it. Gasoline, petrol, kerosene are some of the toxic chemicals that carpenter bees abhor and hence can be used for getting rid of them.

14. Paint

Carpenter bees don’t eat wood, they only drill holes through them to build their nests and lay eggs. They find it easier to make holes in unpolished or unpainted wooden objects such as doors, window sills, and railings. Painting the wooden outdoor surfaces is a great way to drive the carpenter bees away. The strong smell of paint repels all insects such as termites and bees to keep from destroying the quality and sturdiness of the wood. You can even use petrol or diesel to get rid of the pests.

15. Bee Barriers

Bee barriers are used for trapping the carpenter bees inside their holes. As the bees do not make hives outside and prefer drilling lanes inside woods for nesting, the barriers are an effective way to put a stop to their breeding. You can use wool, metal coverings, putty, chalk or cement to seal up the holes. Professional pest control services apply special chemicals as barriers that last longer and are far more effective than the simple everyday items.

16. Bee Bait Gels

Using bee bait gels or sticky solutions is also an immediate solution for killing the carpenter bees. Applying a bit of the solution inside the holes and around the corners will immediately drive the bees out and kill them. The baits are toxic and hence must be handled with care. Keep away, trust a professional to do the job. Or, if you want to do it, wear proper protection gear before using the bait. These bee baits are available over the counter and are very affordable.

17. Vacuum Cleaner

Using a vacuum cleaner for getting rid of wood boring bees is perhaps one of the best ways of going about it. It works especially well if the carpenter bee nesting ground is recently constructed. For this, you will have to use the smallest of nozzles and turn the speed and power setting to its maximum. Put the nozzle in the hole and suck the bees out, it’s that simple! Try doing this in the evening when most carpenter bees are inside their nests.

18. Bug Sprays

Bug sprays are available in almost any stationery store or local supermarket. However, these over the counter products work only on mild infestation cases. Handle with care, the bug sprays contain harmful chemicals that though fatal for the carpenter bees can also cause considerable damage to the inhabitants of the house.

Why are Carpenter Bees So Dangerous?

  • Carpenter bees drill holes in the wood, damaging the furnishings, doors, and floorboards of the house
  • The female bees have stingers and can hurt you if provoked
  • Male bees, on the other hand, are far more aggressive although they cause no real damage
  • The carpenter bees can also sting children and pets causing severe rashes and acute pain
  • Swelling, itching, breathing problems, heart palpitations and other allergic reactions are the severe side-effects of a carpenter bee sting. In such a case consult a doctor immediately.

The Bottom Line

Pest infestation can be an absolute nightmare for any property owner, for they cause nothing but disease and destruction. Carpenter bees can cause immense destruction and loss to the property if left to themselves. Consider the size, scale, and severity of the infestation before resorting to any of the methods mentioned above.
Why leave carpenter bees breed in and around your living spaces? We’ve tried to cover information about these bees to demystify them, and brought to you some natural and chemical origin home remedies that you can use to make them flee.

Read here more :-

    • How to Raise and Attract Mason Bees
    • Africanized Honey Bees

How Can I Get Rid of Carpenter Bees?

Anyone who has spent countless time outdoors knows that carpenter bees can be intimidating with their hovering, death “stares” and darting movement. However, despite their menacing, “ready-to-fight” demeanor, these bees are generally harmless. Carpenter bees are pollinators who are an asset to the environment but can sometimes cause aesthetic damage to various structures on a homeowner’s property. So, what can you do about it? Can you even get rid of carpenter bees or do you just have to deal with their annoyances?

Carpenter Bee on a wood exterior. Photo Credit: Cooper Pest Solutions

How Do I Know if I have Carpenter Bees?

Do you see large black and yellow bees hovering and darting around the eaves of your home, around your deck or around wooden playsets? If so, then it is possible that you have carpenter bees nesting in your structures.

Since carpenter bees are solitary bees, their nesting habits are quite different from other bees. For instance, bumble bees, who are often mistaken for carpenter bees, usually nest in the ground, but carpenter bees will create tunnels in wood to lay their eggs. If you notice a number of large bees flying around the eaves of your home, you probably have carpenter bees.

What Type of Wood do Carpenter Bees prefer?

Is there a particular type of wood that carpenter bees would rather nest in? Yes! When a female carpenter bee is looking to nest, she typically prefers bare, unpainted or weathered softwoods.

Types of wood carpenter bees prefer to nest in include:

  • Pine
  • Redwood
  • Cedar
  • Cypress

Pressure treated or painted wood is less susceptible to carpenter bee nesting. Although they prefer bare wood, don’t be surprised if you find them nesting on your wood-stained deck as the stain isn’t as much as a deterrent as paint. The wood stains are less reliable than paint but could provide some degree of repellency as opposed to having bare wood.

Common Areas for Carpenter Bee Nesting

  • Eaves
  • Window Trim
  • Fascia Boards
  • Siding
  • Wooden shakes/shingles
  • Decks
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Wooden Play Equipment

What Kind of Damage Can Carpenter Bees Cause?

Woodpecker damage on a fascia board and carpenter bee staining on a home. Photo Credit: Cooper Pest Solutions

Carpenter bees, although harmless, can cause aesthetic damage to your home, primarily with their drilling and staining.

During the spring (April and May) months, carpenter bees re-emerge from hiding in abandoned nests over the winter to mate. After mating, fertilized females will excavate tunnels in wood to lay their eggs (about 6-8 eggs) in a series of small holes. You will notice that the holes are perfectly round and are about the diameter of a finger. Female carpenter bees will create one nesting hole, so if you happen to notice several holes, that means you have multiple bee nests. It’s a one-to-one ratio in respects to bees to nests.

Since the majority of damage caused by carpenter bees is purely aesthetic, Cooper Pest Solutions’ CEO Phillip Cooper explained that if the staining from the drilling isn’t bothersome, then you may choose not to do anything.

“Carpenter bees only cause damage to the aesthetics of a home,” he said. “They often get a bad reputation for the drilling but they aren’t causing any structural damage to a home. If you aren’t bothered by the staining that they leave behind, then just let them keep doing what they are doing.”

Sometimes females may return to the same nesting sites year after year, creating new tunnels for egg laying. If this is the case, aesthetic damage can increase from one year to the next, unless you choose to receive treatment.

Although female carpenter bees may only be causing aesthetic damage to your property by nesting, you may also notice increased woodpecker activity in the same area as the nest. This happens because woodpeckers find carpenter bee eggs to be quite a delicacy. Unfortunately, this can cause additional damage to fascia boards on your home or property as the woodpeckers are pecking at the wood to get to the bee larvae that’s nested inside.

There are a number of ways you can reduce the activity of carpenter bees on your property but if you would like to prevent carpenter bees from returning, it is best to contact a pest management professional to address the problem.

DIY Carpenter Bee Treatment Options

As a homeowner, the best way to help prevent any carpenter bee nesting is to paint all exposed wood surfaces. Wood stains aren’t as reliable as paint, but it still provides some degree of repellency as opposed to bare wood. The biggest problem with this is that the wood must be painted on all surfaces before installing it on the home. For example, if you paint the outer surface of the wood along the eaves of the home, the bees can still attack the unfinished back side of the wooden boards.

What Can I Do about Fascia Board Damage and Carpenter Bees?

When carpenter bees nest, they typically nest behind fascia boards along a roofline on a home. If woodpeckers are searching for the carpenter eggs, they can leave damage along the fascia boards (eaves) as they peck into it for the eggs.

If you’re looking to prevent this damage, follow these tips as described by Cooper:

  • If you are looking to replace the wood fascia boards, don’t just put up new wood. Carpenter bees will just re-infest the new wood causing you the same problems.
  • If you want to prevent their return, wrap all THREE sides of the board in aluminum or vinyl siding. Do not just wrap the two exposed sides because the bees will nest on the underside of the board. Be sure to wrap the front, under and back side of the fascia board to prevent carpenter bee nesting. Carpenter bees CAN NOT chew through aluminum or vinyl so this will prevent future nesting if all sides are properly wrapped.

What to Expect with Professional Carpenter Bee Treatments

Carpenter Bee holes filled by a professional pest control technician Photo Credit: Cooper Pest Solutions

Carpenter bees can cause aesthetic property damage if left untreated year after year, so it is best to choose a professional to handle your carpenter bee problem. There are a number of ways a pest professional may treat for Carpenter Bees, but a few common ways are residual liquid treatment, dust product application and plugging of carpenter bee holes.

Residual Liquid Treatment for Carpenter Bees

  • If you currently have carpenter bees, your pest control technician will spray the liquid treatment in areas where carpenter bees are boring into wood.
  • If you’re looking to prevent carpenter bees, these treatments will be applied in March and early April before nesting begins.

Dust Application Treatment for Carpenter Bees

  • Your technician may use a dust product inside the current carpenter bee holes on your property as a remedial and/or preventive treatment.
  • For remedial treatment, dusting will usually only work on active carpenter bees, not on eggs due to the walls protecting them within the tunnels.

Plugging of Carpenter Bee Holes for Treatment

  • Your pest control technician may also use a cork, putty or caulking compound to plug the holes so that the bees are unable to return to the tunnels for future nesting. This is typically done during July or the summer months once all the active bees have left the nest and prior to the overwintering bees returning.

Carpenter Bee Removal and Prevention

Receiving effective preventive carpenter bee services can be difficult to find but Cooper Pest Solutions’ carpenter bee prevention is effective for a number of reasons.

“We use non repellent products because we don’t want the bees to avoid the areas we have treated,” said Dave Burgess, vice president of operations at Cooper Pest Solutions. “We feel it is best to get close to the activity so we can precisely apply the products where the bees are likely to come in contact with the pesticide. Often the bees are nesting up by roof lines, so when possible we will use extension ladders or telescoping equipment to treat those areas. Lastly, knowing where the bees are likely to nest helps direct our treatments. Knowing the bees like wood and prefer to chew in a safe area, coupled with the experience of thousands of jobs under our belt helps us quickly locate where the bees are or likely to be and treat those areas.”

Dr. Richard Cooper, staff entomologist at Cooper Pest Solutions, also pointed out how important timing is when it comes to plugging the carpenter bee holes.

“I wouldn’t recommend sealing holes at the time of treatment,” he said. “Sealing holes at the time of treatment may not be effective because the active bees can still chew their way out. The best time of year to seal the holes is in the middle of summer because all of the active bees are out of the nest and the overwintering bees haven’t gone back in the empty tunnels yet.”

How you Can Further Prevent Carpenter Bees After Professional Treatment

Upon professional treatment for carpenter bees, there are a few tips and tricks you can do to continually decrease carpenter bee activity on your property.

  • Paint all of your unfinished wood on your property, outdoor buildings and furniture. Freshly painted wood is even less attractive for a Carpenter bee.
  • Seal all exterior openings, cracks and crevices with caulk.
  • Carpenter bees will revisit holes from previous seasons, so be sure to caulk those openings during the fall months to help prevent spring infestations.
  • Be sure to wrap all THREE SIDES of fascia boards in vinyl or aluminum to prevent carpenter bees from nesting in the fascia boards.

Burgess added that whether you are painting or wrapping the fascia boards, it is crucial that all sides are painted or wrapped.

“Painting helps, but on the fascia board the same issue exists with painting the same as wrapping the siding,” he said. “The bees attack the wood from behind, so if you just paint the front of the fascia board you will not repel the activity. You really need to take the fascia down and paint both sides for this approach to be effective.”

Let Cooper Pest Solutions Take Care of Your Carpenter Bee Problems

Whether you continually have carpenter bee activity year after year or you have noticed an increased activity this year, give Cooper Pest Solutions a call at 1-800-949-2667. Our skilled technicians have the knowledge and tools to provide you with safe and effective bee removal. If you would like to prevent future infestations, Cooper Pest Solutions offers preventative services for future bee infestations. Our effective treatments are environmentally conscious and our service is guaranteed! Give us a call today at 1-800-949-2667 or fill out our FREE ESTIMATE FORM today!

Carpenter bee services can now be scheduled online for fast technician dispatch on the date of your choosing. No initial inspection is needed.

Carpenter Bees


Genera Xylocopa and Ceratina


Large vs Small

Within the United States carpenter bees are categorized in two genera – large carpenter bees (Xylocopa) and small carpenter bees (Ceratina).

Xylocopa is the group of most likely to make their presence and associated damage known to property owners.


What do they look like? Large carpenter bee:

The most obvious characteristic used to separate large and small bees is size.

Large Carpenter Bee Xylocopa

  • anywhere from 12-25 mm long
  • similar in size and appearance to bumble bees
  • black, greenish black, metallic blue, or purplish blue in color
  • yellow sections on the face (males)
  • yellowish hairs on the legs, thorax, and abdomen (not as as vibrant or as numerous as they are on bumble bees)
  • no visible hairs on the top of the abdomen

Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina

  • less than 8 mm long
  • dark in color
  • metallic appearance
  • scant body hairs
  • some kind of yellow markings on the body and face.

How Did I Get Carpenter Bees?

Unfinished or weathered wood attracts the robust, black and yellow carpenter bee. While the pests do not eat wood, they excavate tunnels to use as nests. These are usually in the eaves of homes, as well as in decks, siding, fascia boards or porches.

Carpenter bee adults use their nests over the winter and reemerge in the spring. If left alone, the pests may continue to use and expand the same tunnels or find new ones.

How Serious Are Carpenter Bees?

While fairly harmless, carpenter bees increase the number of nests over the course of years, causing noticeable damage to wood. They can also create stains with their feces.

The sudden appearance of carpenter bees crawling out of wood often frightens people. Females can sting, but will only do so if bothered. Males appear aggressive as they fly around people and pets, but they are not harmful since males do not have a stinger. While these pests may cause damage to wood, there are some simple things homeowners can do to keep them away, like painting wood and keeping outside doors closed to prevent carpenter bee access to wood that could be used to construct galleries.

How Do I Get Rid OF Them?

Professional Inspection

Carpenter bee prevention and treatment begins with a thorough inspection performed by your pest management professional (PMP). During the inspection, your technician will inspect to accurately identify the offending pest and locate any damage.

Control Plan

Once the inspection is complete, the pest control plan is prepared. The most effective control method is to apply an insecticide dust to the bee’s drill holes and leave the holes open for a few days so returning bees will contact the insecticide.

Once the bees die, the drill holes can be sealed and repainted. Sometimes it may also be useful to apply an aerosol spray to control free flying carpenter bees. While only a temporarily effective method, applying a liquid insecticide to the wood surface is a less time consuming process than applying dust to drill holes. A control technique that does not use insecticides is to paint any bare, exposed wood surfaces that are being attacked with exterior paint or a polyurethane finish. Your PMP will also inspect for weathering that will make it likely that the bees will attack. Also, your PMP may recommend sealing existing bore holes to discourage bees that are searching for possible nesting sites.


Infestations are easily identified by the presence of the following:

  • wood openings – entrance holes in wood
  • sawdust – the presence of sawdust on the ground under where the hole is drilled
  • pollen & feces – the presence of a yellowish combination of pollen and bee excrement near the entrance hole
  • flying – their bothersome flight activity, especially by the males who are protective of their territory, but do not sting.


What do they eat?

Carpenter bees do not eat wood but do feed on plant pollen and nectar.

Do They Sting People?

The female is capable of stinging but seldom does so unless she is provoked or handled. The males do not sting, but they usually make property owners mistakenly interpret protecting their territory for aggression and the possibility of stinging.

Males do look to be very menacing – as they hover and dart after any other flying insects that trespass into their territory and fly near people or pets as they move nearby. However, they will back off and hover a short distance away.

Wood Damage

Large carpenter bees excavate dry, unpainted and weathered wooden objects such as the following:

  • doors
  • windowsills
  • roof eaves
  • railings
  • decks
  • untreated poles
  • fences
  • wooden lawn furniture

Types of Wood Excavated

One of their favorite items to excavate is the rails and posts of oak split rail fences. They prefer pine, fir, cyprus, oak and redwood, especially if the wood is not covered with bark, is unpainted or unfinished.

The bees sometimes bore into painted wood, especially if the paint covering is old and weathered.

Galleries, or Where Do They Live?

Gallery construction is a labor-intensive process that takes a lot of time and energy. As a result, females often prefer to inhabit existing nests instead of excavating new ones. Refurbished tunnels may increase several feet over several years. When required, females will use their strong mouthparts to chew round nest entrances in flat wood surfaces.

Gallery Entrance Holes

This hole is slightly less than 1/2-inch wide, which is about the diameter of her body and looks much like a carpenter used a 1/2-inch drill to create the opening. The bore hole goes into the wood perpendicular to the wood’s grain for about 1-2 inches and then takes a right angle turn continuing as an excavated gallery (tunnel) that runs about 4-8 inches. The female then partitions off brood cells into linear rows. When finished, she places a food ball (made from pollen and regurgitated nectar) inside a brood cell, lays an egg, and blocks the chamber off with chewed wood pulp. After laying eggs, the female dies. The eggs hatch and become larvae that feed on the food ball until they pupate.

Small carpenter bees, or Ceratina, generally excavate twigs and stems to build their nests. Females overwinter as adults in partially or completely excavated stems, and in the spring, the female bee further excavates and creates a brood nest much the same as large bees. The small bees also provision their brood cells with pollen and nectar.


Carpenter bees have four life stages: egg, larval, pupal, and adult states. It takes about seven weeks for a carpenter bee to reach adulthood, but developmental time may vary depending on temperate or other environmental conditions. Newly developed adults usually remain in their galleries for several weeks and leave their brood cells in April or May.

They mate, feed on pollen and nectar, return to their gallery to overwinter and then emerge the following spring. Large carpenter bees have one generation per year in the northern states, but in southern states like Florida, they may have two or more generations per year.

A particularly interesting characteristic of a few species of Ceratina is they can reproduce without males, a trait known as parthenogenicity.


Carpenter bees are important pollinators and are very useful in providing this beneficial service to agriculture, plant growers and fruit producers. However, they are also a nuisance and, given time, may cause structural damage resulting from their gallery and borehole excavations. Other nuisances or damage includes:

  • Deposition of their excrement/pollen under the entrance hole is unsightly.
  • Accumulations of sawdust from their borings and excavations
  • Woodpeckers may riddle the wood with holes searching for the immature stages of these bees to eat.

Managing Bothersome Carpenter Bees

Has this ever happened to you: you’re out on your back deck enjoying a refreshing glass of iced tea when a fat bee emerges from a hole in your woodwork and buzzes away? Carpenter bees are a common household nuisance. These docile insects are virtually harmless to humans but can cause serious damage to wooden structures.

Unlike termites, which actually consume wood, carpenter bees simply burrow into wood to build their nests. They also use the wood shavings left over from their excavation to build partitions in their nests.

How Do You Tell A Carpenter Bee from a Bumblebee?

It’s easy to recognize carpenter bees. They’re about the same size and shape as bumble bees, but while bumblebees’ bodies are covered in bright yellow hairs, carpenter bees’ bodies are slick, black, and shiny.

When Are They Most Active?

Carpenter bees are most active during the late spring and early summer when they’re searching for mates and nesting sites. Their preferred habitat is in softwoods such as redwood, cedar, cypress, and pine. In addition to trees, favored nesting sites include eaves, facia, window trim, clapboard siding, decks, and patio furniture.

Once they’ve found a favorable site, carpenter bees tunnel into the wood to lay their eggs. Their entry holes are easily identifiable because they are perfectly round and about a half an inch in diameter. Often, fresh sawdust can be seen near their entrances.

Male carpenter bees can be intimidating, sometimes even swarming people that get too close to their nests. Because they don’t have stingers, though, they’re completely harmless. Females do possess stingers but are very reluctant to use them except when in direct danger.

Pest Control

While carpenter bees are capable of causing extensive property damage if left unchecked, there are some simple strategies for repelling them.

The easiest way to deal with them is to prevent them from moving in in the first place. One of the most effective strategies for keeping them at bay is by ensuring that the wood on your property in good repair, as they are more likely to target unpainted or weathered wood. Make a habit of regularly painting all outdoor wood surfaces.

If they do move in, you can sometimes scare them off with loud noise. The insects are sensitive to noise, and simply placing a loud radio next to their nests may be enough to encourage them to move on.

Carpenter bees also dislike citrus oil. You can make your own safe and natural carpenter bee repellant by cutting up a variety of citrus peels and boiling them. Then pour the water into a spray bottle and douse their nest with it. Reapply frequently until you are sure that all of the bees have moved on.

Once you’re sure you’ve repelled the carpenter bees in a particular nest, including larvae, you can seal off their holes with caulk. Then paint or seal the affected area to prevent future infestations.

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