So, have  you noticed curious, tiny piles of sawdust around your home?

First, a bit of back story on these destructive little guys. Most Carpenter Bee activity occurs in early Spring through mid-Summer. Carpenter Bees drill an initial hole and then the bee will make a turn and excavate a tunnel along the grain of the wood. This tunnel, which can be  several inches long, becomes the cavity where the female deposits her eggs.  The female lays several eggs in individual chambers.  In addition to making new holes, Carpenter Bees also enlarge old tunnels. Serious damage to wood will result if left unattended. Further damage can occur when Woodpeckers come around to feast on the Bee larvae. The Woodpeckers will peck at your house just like they do a tree, thereby making proverbial Swiss cheese of your log home!


Carpenter Bees are drilling into your home? Here is how you stop them.

  • Appropriate insecticide (like Sevin Dust)
  • Plastic syringe
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small star-heard screw driver
  • Log home caulk
  • Appropriate protective gear for your face, hands, and body.

1. Fill syringe with insecticide.
2.Insert insecticide in the Carpenter Bee hole.
3. Wait several days.
4. Roll the aluminum foil into a small ball.
5.  Insert the aluminum foil on the tip of the screwdriver and stuff it into the Carpenter Bee hole.
6. Seal the hole with log home caulk.
7. Follow the above procedure with every hole that the Carpenter Bees have drilled.

 

Preventing Carpenter Bee’s: Spare yourself the stress and the bees; use a preventative!

 1. Citronella-based  additives like NBS 30 for exterior finishes.

  • This stain additive will repel Carpenter Bees as well as Lady Bugs.
  • You can use NBS 30 in many wood finishes and stains except Perma-Chink Systems Lifeline Advance, Ultra 2 and Ultra 7 water-based wood finishes( the additive can cause surface irregularities when used in these products).
  • Make sure to only add the citronella based insect repellent on the final coat of stain.
  • You will notice the odor for quite a while, but that is how NBS 30 works!

 

2. Painted homes or log homes with a gloss finish generally repel Carpenter Bees.

  • Bees are repelled and will usually not drill into painted surfaces.
  • Testing indicates the hard, slick surface the glossy finish creates is unattractive to Carpenter Bees.

 

You would rather use an insecticide or a Carpenter Bee trap:

1.  Deltamethrin-based insecticide like Bug Juice.

  • Works well with all types of finishes.
  • The deltamethrin disables the Bee by infiltrating mucous membranes.
  • If your home is covered in dirt and pollen the insecticide becomes ineffective because it must make physical contact with the Bees in order to kill them.
  • In order to maintain effectiveness of a deltamethryn-based product wash your log home once a year with a log home cleaning product such as Log Wash.

2.  Carpenter Bee Traps

-All you have to do is Google “Carpenter Bee traps” and you will find many options.  Just make sure to fully research the traps and read their reviews.

 

A big thanks to Bill Frykberg from LogFinish.com, William F. Lynon of Ohio State University, and Vince Palmere from Perma-Chink Systems, Inc. for providing the information for this article. Thanks to Joe Loong for the Carpenter Bee photo.

Still have questions about Carpenter Bees and your home?  Call LogFinish.com at 1-888-208-2248 for some friendly help.

2 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

  1. If the carpenter bees have already nested in a hole, with they still go in the trap?

    • Hi Denise,

      The Carpenter Bee’s have already nested, they will most likely not go into the traps because they are tending to the larvae that has been laid in the drilled hole. Your best bet is to treat the holes that are already
      drilled and then hang bee traps at the start of the carpenter bee season Feb/March/April, depending on your location. Hope this helps!

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