How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are those bees that are not harmful to humans, however, these bees damage the wooden structures very badly. That is why these bees are termed as carpenter bees. They damage the wood structures by drilling into the wood where they laid down their eggs and make a nest, a place to stay. 

Mostly these bees are active during the spring season or during April and May. They drill about half-inch into the wood for making their nest. Various small drilling is done by these bees in the wood near to each other due to which the wood gets damaged very dangerously. 

Type of wood:

The type of wood that is most affected by these bees is Pinewood. The pinewood is excellent for making furniture as pine wood is strong and shock-resistant due to which many furniture-making factories do prefer the Pinewood for the furniture inventories. The other woods which are mostly affected by the carpenter bees are Redwood, Cedar, and Cypress.

Common areas of Carpenter Bee’s nest:

Although carpenter bees attack any area of the wooden structure, however, there are some common areas that are most effective and nested by the bee. 

  • Eaves
  • Window Trim
  • Facade 
  • Siding
  • Wooden shakes/shingles
  • Surfaces
  • Open-air furniture
  • Wooden Rides / Equipment

Hence it is of utmost importance to keep away these bees in order to keep safe the wooden structure of their office or home. There are many ways through which these carpenter bees can be getting rid of. 

Some of the simple and easy ways are mentioned hereunder:

  1. Get rid of carpenter bees without involving any insecticides: By using the Citrus Fruit Spray
  • In order to get rid of carpenter bees naturally, a person has to do the treatment at the time the carpenter bees have started to infect the wooden structure.
  • The foremost and easy solution is to spray the infested area with a natural citrus spray. This spray can be made by boiling any citrus fruit i.e. orange, lemon, etc, and put the citrus boiled water into the spray bottle and start spraying where carpenter bees have started to infest. 
  • By doing this, the carpenter bees would not die, but due to their natural citrus aversion, they will leave that wood. 
  1. By applying the Almond Oil
  • Just like citrus oil, these bees are also sensitive to Almond Oil scent. 
  • Place the almond oil jar near to their nest for a couple of days and this will compel the bees to leave the place. 
  • Covering the area with some cloth or sheet so that the scent of almond oil becomes irresistible for the bees can help in their early exit. 
  1. By using loud sound
  • Carpenter bees are very sensitive to the noise and they can sustain where there are heavy or loud sounds. This loud sound creates the vibration which compels them to leave the place or wood. 
  • The procedure is simple; put the loudspeaker near to the infested area (where carpenter bees have damaged or started to damage the wood) and turn on the music or any sound. 
  • Repeat this for 2 to 3 days continuously until all the bees leave the place. However, it is pertinent to mention that the bees may come back to the same place or wood after sometime when a loud sound is over, therefore, precautionary measures should be taken immediately in order to prevent them from coming back. 
  • Furthermore, do take precautionary measures from neighbors before using the loud sound procedure so that you may not get hurt by the neighbors who will definitely get disturbed with these loud sounds. 
  1. By making a bee trap or relocate them:
  • The method for relocating the carpenter bees is to make a bee trap. Normal there is a readymade bee trap available in the market that can be placed near the bees area and once all bees are a trap, the trap may be thrown out far from the house. 
  • Another method for relocating these bees is getting the service of a professional beekeeper who has proper suiting to get prevented from bee’s sting. The collect all the bees very carefully and take these bees away from the house. In this way, the bees would not be killed and can be utilized for other beneficial purposes like pollinators (transfer of pollen and fertilize plants) in the garden and in some crops. 
  1. Get rid of carpenter bees by using insecticides:
  2. By applying insecticidal powder:
  • The most effective way to get rid of carpenter bees is by applying the insecticidal dust/powder over the infested areas. Use the dirty cloth of hand dust to apply the insecticidal powder so that it is applied properly in the infested area. 
  • This method not only helps in getting rid of these bees but also prevents them from coming back to the same area. However, there are some precautions that need to be catered before applying insecticidal powder.
  • Apply the dust/powder during the dark or at night so that the bees may not sting.
  • The dust is enough for one complete season i.e. you have to apply the dust in the next season as the effect of powder gets vanished with the passage of time. 
  1. By using the insecticidal spray:
  • Another easy method is to use the liquid insecticidal spray deep into the infested areas. 
  • The sprays are easily available in the market or in a departmental store. Try to get that spray which is specifically made for carpenter bees otherwise it would not be that effective and will not bring fruitful results. 
  • For obtaining more better results and preventing the bees from coming back, spray the area twice during the spring season (when carpenter bees are most active) with an interval of a couple of weeks. 
  1. By using Petrol:
  • Places where the insecticidal spray is not available, petrol can be used instead. 
  • It can also be treated like a home remedy as petrol is easily available in a home. The procedure is simple, put petrol in a spray bottle and started sprinkling on the bee areas. 
  • However, some precautionary measure is necessary before spraying petrol like petrol is highly inflammable so the spray should be made away from the source of ignition. 
  • Use hand gloves so that petrol is not applied to the hands and covers the nose with a cloth so that the fume of petrol may not get into the respiratory system. 
  • Spray bottle of petrol once used should be thrown properly or be labeled as Petrol spray so that it may not get mixed with other spray bottles like plant spray etc.
  1. By using Water Displacement (WD 40):
  • Another home remedy is spraying the infested area by WD – 40. This is easily available in almost every home or near any departmental store. 
  • Like many other advantages and use of WD 40 is famous for, it is also helpful in getting rid of carpenter bees as well. They are also sensitive to the odor of WD 40 and force them to leave. 

Treatment of Carpenter Bees infestations:

The carpenter bees have damaged the wooden structure and you have applied any method mentioned above to get rid carpenter bees. The following are the methods for the treatment of infestation so that the furniture or wooden structure can be prevented to further damage. 

  1. By applying insecticidal powder: 
  • Likewise, insecticidal dust/powder is helpful in killing the carpenter bees, it is also helpful in stopping the reproduction cycle. 
  • The infested holes are filled with the insecticidal powder so that the adult female bees also get killed so that the reproduction cycle of generation making is stopped. 
  1. Plugging the Carpenter Bee Holes:
  • As already stated that carpenter bees made a small hole of about half of inch; which damage the wooden structure. 
  • These holes can be filled by the plugging technique. The plugging can be done by putting small-sized corks into the hole or by filling the hole with a caulking compound. 
  • However, it is pertinent to mention that this plugging should be done in the fall season when the carpenter bees are less active and chances of infestation are very low. 
  1. Painting the outer wooden surface:
  • Painting techniques are required when the treatment of a wooden structure has been done. Then by applying the paint on the outer surface of the wooden structure, it helps in the prevention or discourage bee from further infestation. 
  • It is also advised by the furniture expert that painted wood is slightly better for discouraging the carpenter bees from infestation as compared to the stained wood. 

Benefits of Carpenter Bees:

Apart from discovering ways and means for keeping the wood safe from carpenter bees holes, there are some benefits that are necessary to know before killing them. 

  1. Helpful in Pollinators:
  • to other native bees, carpenter bees are also helpful in pollination in plants especially in the garden and in some crops. They visit from flowers to other flowers to transfer the nectar to the other thus helps in the pollinations of plants. 
  1. Do not sting:
  • bees especially Male bee done to have the ability to sting; therefore, there is no need to worry about it. However, the female bee has the ability to sting but it only stings at the time of defense. 

Final words

Carpenter bees are active during spring season it is, therefore, suggested that before the arrival of carpenter season, one must put insecticidal spray on the outer surface of the wooden structure in order to prevent them from getting infected from carpenter bees. In case, if one sees the infestation has started, he should immediately take measures as mentioned above so that the damage be control and be minimized. 

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