Learning how to get rid of carpenter bees is not as difficult as it sounds. Carpenter bees are typically more noticeable than other wood-destroying insects. While carpenter bees can burrow into any exposed wood of your home they are known for tunneling into people’s wood trim and porches.
The first step to getting rid of any pest is to first properly identify them. The best way to do this is to check out a picture, here is a good picture of a carpenter bee.
And here is a quick video of one.
As you can see they look somewhat like a bumble bees, with similar colors and body types. The good thing about carpenter bees compared to other species of bees is that they are not very aggressive. That being said, the female carpenter bee can and will sting you if it she feels threatened.
They chew out holes in wood and tunnel into them for protection for themselves and for their larva.
So now that you know what carpenter bees look like and where they typically take up residence in your home let’s get into how to get rid of them. We will focus on two aspects:
- Eliminating Carpenter Bees
- Preventing Carpenter Bee Return Infestations
Once you identify where the carpenter bees are active in or around your home take note of where the holes are. These holes are the entryway into the bees’ tunnels in the wood. These tunnels lead into their nest.
Carpenter Bee Pesticides
A great way to kill the carpenter bees is to apply a powdered pesticide directly down these holes via an aerosol pesticide. Look into the following:
- Boric Acid: This is a natural, although still toxic, pesticide. Boric Turbo Aerosol is a good product for spraying into a carpenter bee tunnel.
- Carbaryl Dust: Also known as Sevin
Petroleum For Killing Carpenter Bees
Petroleum fuel or diesel is also known for killing bees but this has the drawback of being flammable. Not exactly something you want to use on your home but a fair amount of people use them on an old shed, fence, or something to that effect.
For this method simply place the petroleum in some type of spray bottle and apply it to the carpenter bee’s tunnels. You may also want to wear protective gloves and glasses to ensure you do not get any petroleum on your skin or on your eyes. It’s also a good idea to label the spray bottle you used as having had petroleum in it.
Aerosol Lubricant or Carb Cleaner for Carpenter Bee Tunnels
Same concept as spraying petroleum products down a bee tunnel. Aerosol lubricants and cleaners like WD-40 work great for killing many types of bugs including bees. Even better, these aerosol cans typically come with some kind of straw attached to their nozzle which will let you get the contents of the can deep into the tunnel.
The downside again is that some of these cleaners and lubricants may be flammable. Just check the can to make sure.
The Loud Noise Method
Supposedly carpenter bees are not a big fan of noise. Some people have reported successfully getting carpenter bees to leave their garage by playing some music quite loud of an extended period of time.
Wouldn’t hurt to try this method out for a few days before going the chemical route. Turn it up loud enough that they are likely to feel the vibrations which the bees are sensitive too.
Find a Professional Carpenter Bee Exterminator
You can call a national franchise or save some cash by doing your due diligence and hiring a local pest control professional. There are different places online you can read reviews on the local guys, like Angieslist or ask your family and friends for recommendations.
A good professional exterminator will have experience dealing with these critters and gives you the peace of mind of not having to deal with them yourself and knowing they will be dealt with.
Carpenter Bee Prevention
Plug their burrows: Carpenter bees will re-use old burrows so it is s good idea to plug them up or caulk the whole to prevent their return. Carpenter bees CAN NOT chew through steel so some people stuff the bees holes with steel wool and patch wood putty or caulk at the entrance of the hole. Wood putty is good because your can mostly blend the appearance of the hole into the wood. You can always paint over the area if you need to as well.
Stain or Paint Exposed Wood: Some exterminators have noticed that carpenter bees tend to burrow into raw wood as opposed to stained or painted wood. So a very simple step you can take to prevent carpenter bee infestations is to re-paint or re-stain any outdoor trim, fence, porch, etc. that you have not retouched in a while.