Spring time is bee time. You’ll see the bumblebee busy pollinating flowers around your home. You may also notice its look-alike cousin, the carpenter bee, emerging from ½-inch diameter holes in wood around your house.
While carpenter bees are late summer pollinators, they are also destructive insects. These bees spend the spring and early summer months excavating your home, creating tunnel and chamber systems where offspring are born and raised, and where the colony can survive freezing temperature in the winter.
Because carpenter bees don’t pose a physical threat – the males have no stingers and the females almost never sting – do-it-yourself carpenter bee control is something you may consider trying.
Ways to Control Carpenter Bees
From pesticides to more natural (but prospectively loud) noise control, there are a number of ways to control carpenter bees.
Treat carpenter bee nests with insecticidal powders, applied with a puffer than coats the hole and the inside of the nest. As the bees crawl through the hole, they bring poisonous powder with the. Early spring application of these powders work best, before the bees leave the nest to mate. If you miss the mating season, apply when you see them in the spring and then again in late summer, when the new generation leaves the nest to forage.
Aerosol carburetor cleaner
Some cleaners will kill bees instantly, while others will just make the home uninhabitable. These cleaners include an extension tube for the can, making it easy to spray the carburetor cleaner into the nest’s entry hole. Wear the proper safety equipment to ensure you do not get any of the cleaner in your eyes or on your skin.
Bees don’t like almond oil. Pour some in the holes and nests to drive them away and keep them from returning. This solutions works for 3 to 4 months, so you may have to repeat it or pair it with some of the prevention methods in the next section.
Carpenter bees are extremely sensitive to noise or, possibly, vibrations from the noise. Set up your sound system near the nest, play some of your favorite music, and drive the bees away.
While calling the exterminator doesn’t fit under do-it-yourself, it is one of the most effective ways to drive bees out and make sure they don’t return. The pest professional knows which products to use and can help seal up the nests so the bees don’t return.
Make Sure Bees Don’t Come Back
Once you’ve driven the carpenter bees out, you don’t want them coming back. Here are some tips on how to keep the bees away.
- Paint or stain any outdoor wooden surfaces. Carpenter bees usually prefer untreated wood, meaning anything not stained or painted. If you have a fence or deck that you haven’t stained or painted, now’s the time to take on that task.
- Seal off the nest. After exterminating the bees form their nest, seal up the entryways with steel wool, aluminum, asphalt, or fiberglass and cover that with wood filler. Remember to paint or stain the area to discourage burrowing.