Dealing With Carpenter Bees

If you spot a large bee buzzing around your home that looks like a shiny bumblebee without its fuzz, it's probably a carpenter bee. Here are some tips for preventing carpenter bee damage.


| July/August 2005



Bee

Carpenter bees can cause significant damage to wooden houses or decks.


Photo by Wikimedia Commons/Pavel Kirillov

If you spot a large bee buzzing around your home that looks like a shiny bumblebee without its fuzz, it's probably a carpenter bee.

Carpenter bees may want to share your home sooner or later if you have a wood house or a wood deck. Females bore half-inch-wide holes into wood and then excavate a burrow to raise their young, often reusing old nests year after year.

Extension entomologists agree that the best way to prevent carpenter-bee damage is to keep wood surfaces painted (stains don't deter them nearly as well). Some people have good luck plugging bee entry holes with aluminum window screening held in place with duct tape. After a few weeks, remove the duct tape and fill the hole with wood putty.

timothy herr
3/2/2006 12:00:00 AM

I am a contractor and have seen extensive damage from carpenter bees.The best thing I have found is to screw up a piece of sacrificial wood, (unpainted and unstained) natural 3/4" white pine seems to be a favorite. Four to eight inch wide by two to three foot long. Place as needed, if the rest of the house is painted or stained they should go after this easy target.


john lawler
11/1/2005 12:00:00 AM

I have a log Cabin in North Florida. Some of the exposed roof ends are Cypress. I tried plugging the holes the carpenter bees made, but the bees would then bore another hole. What adds to the problem is that woodpeckers will go after the bees and enlarge the holes.One thing that we have tried is to spray all the wood with Timbor. It's a powder that you mix with water in a sprayer and spray the wood in the early Spring. This does seem to help, and may not be as hazardous as other types of "stuff"Anxious to hear other suggestions.ThanksJohn






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