How To Get Rid Of Carpenter Bees

Getting rid of carpenter bees may be quite easy for those knowledgeable about pesticides and insecticides. But did you know that there are more ecological ways how to get rid of carpenter bees WITHOUT killing them?

This blog post would specifically dwell on these home remedies that you could resort to prevent dead bees at home but still get rid of carpenter bees.

Do Carpenter Bees Cause Damage?

Do Carpenter Bees Cause Damage

Carpenter bees are great pollinators. Hence, they are considered to benefit the food chain and the environment.

Despite the benefits these important pollinators can bring to the environment, these bees can also be damaging to one’s home or building. They can damage wooden structures like wooden decks, wooden boxes, and window sills. When left for too long, the structural damage may be too much for any homeowner.

Female carpenter bees prefer to drill holes in any wooden structure. This bee does not eat the wood particles, but it digs into the wood to create an entrance hole for its nesting tunnels. These carpenter bee nests also serve another purpose: for female bees to lay eggs. These female bees also guard carpenter bee larvae in these holes. Existing holes left by these bees are used by other adult bees to hide away come wintertime to hibernate.

To determine the presence of carpenter bees, look for round, smooth holes in the woods. Of course, not all holes may be caused by carpenter bees. An additional sign would be the presence of hovering bees around these holes.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees Without Killing Them?

I know many would have asked the simplest question, “How do I get rid of carpenter bees fast?

But before considering the remedies to getting rid of carpenter bees for good, consider the potential harm a solution can cause to these animals and the environment. A simple solution may not be the best one.

These types of bees are not social insects. They do not have hives or colonies. Hence, you seldom encounter a large bee infestation unless you have left the situation for too long.

There are several ways of getting rid of carpenter bees fast without killing them. The key would be to target active carpenter bee nests that are abandoned in the meantime. To effectively get rid of a carpenter bee infestation, consider these questions:

  • What do carpenter bees hate the most?
  • What will keep carpenter bees away?
  • What home remedy keeps carpenter bees away?

The answers to these questions may just be the solutions to getting rid of these bees without killing them.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees Without Killing Them

Ways to Deter Carpenter Bees from Building Their Nests

There are several ways to stop carpenter bees from drilling holes in any wood structure.

Paint Your Wood or Use Hard Wood

Carpenter bees hate painted and hard types of wood. Where possible, use hardwood in building structures to make them less attractive to the bees.

Old wood materials should be replaced with new ones as weathered woods are attractive to the eyes of these carpenter bees.

Paint or varnish all wood pieces in your home, ensuring that every part of the wood surface is fully covered.

These painted wood or covered-up wood surfaces would be less attractive to carpenter bees, discouraging them from building their homes.

Carpenter Bee Corks

As the fall season begins, it is the best time to take preventive measures. During this time, the holes in the woods would most likely be empty.

The used-to-be larvae would have grown into full adults who would have moved on with their lives, and the mature bees would have been roaming around and not ready to settle in for the winter.

Cover up those carpenter bee holes with corks made for the purpose. Be generous with using

corks like these
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on those existing holes. These corks cover up the holes to discourage the bees from burrowing more and returning back to their homes. Donaldson Farms Carpenter Bee Corks - 100 Pack

Wood Putty

Carpenter bees prefer to dig holes in crevices, scratched or weathered wood. Discourage these bees from drilling into them by fixing them with wood putty.

Crevices, holes, and old carpenter bee damage on wood should be filled up with

a wood filler
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or
wood putty
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before painting or varnishing.

A Place to Nest

Deter carpenter bees from burrowing in your homes by providing them with wood to build their nests. You can do this by providing a few blocks of wood around your yard but farther away from your house.

Even an already damaged wood can be made into a wooden box to attract new bees, create carpenter bee holes, and build their nests therein, and not in your house.

Giving carpenter bees a place to nest

Bee Repellants

Get rid of carpenter bees with homemade carpenter bee repellants. A mixture of almond oil and water can be used to spray around the wood where a female carpenter bee is susceptible to nesting.

Spraying should be done a few times during the spring when bees are not around. When you see a hole, apply a small amount of oil directly to the nesting hole. 

The smell of citrus may also be repulsive to carpenter bees. Spraying citrus oil and water solution will cause a repugnant smell to which these bees would not be attracted.

You can make your own citrus spray by boiling citrus peels in a pot of water for 10-15 minutes. Cool down the citrus water and transfer it into a spray bottle. 

Play Loud Music

Belief has it those female carpenter bees are not very particular to noise. Noise can cause some vibrations that disturb the carpenter bee’s nest.

Playing loud music a few hours per day or hanging wind chimes near a bee’s nesting hole may discourage these bees from living nearby.

In fact, it might even encourage them to find some peace somewhere else, away from the constant noise.

Wind chimes

Larger Bee Infestations

The carpenter bees are easily attracted to unpainted and old, unfinished wood. Maybe this is due to the fact that unpainted and untreated wood would have no coating that would add to their efforts of discarding.

Old wood is softer, making it easier for adult bees to bore holes into them. It does not eliminate the fact that some species may be hardworking and determined enough to drill holes even on stained wood and painted wooden surfaces.

Other wooden structures may also fall victim to carpenter bee infestations. Fences, wooden planks, and the like are all prone to be infested with carpenter bees.

In the worst cases of bee infestations, engaging the services of professional pest exterminators may be necessary. You can ask them to trap the bees and relocate them, all without the need to kill them.

A large-scale infestation of carpenter bees may need professional help. Using insecticides and pesticides can prove effective, but these toxic chemicals could harm these helpful bees and other insects.

A carpenter bee spray and insecticidal dust are among the fastest solutions, but these could harm other beneficial insects and even kill them. To kill carpenter bees is not the solution!

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