Skip to main content

How to Deal with Carpenter Bees

One of the things I like least about this time of year is the pests.  I'm talking about the insects and critters that wreak havoc with my home and garden. The pest of the month is the carpenter bee.  Last month the battle was with ants and in April, we were fighting the annual infestation of winter moth caterpillars that are trying to kill my beautiful weeping cherry tree.  Those battles seem to be behind me and for now, the focus is on the pesky carpenter bees.

You might be wondering what the heck a carpenter bee is.  I never even knew they existed until a couple of years ago.  You can see the backside of one in the picture below.  They might be mistaken for a big bumblebee, but their abdomen is shiny black in comparison to the fuzzy abdomen of the bumblebee.  You'll often see them hovering in the air around the roofline of your home.  If you see them, you'll want to pay attention.  They may take up residence in your home.

A carpenter bee entering her nest
The Backside of a Carpenter Bee

What is a Carpenter Bee?
  • Carpenter bees may resemble bumblebees but nest in wood rather than in the ground like bumble bees.
  • Carpenter bees prefer bare, unpainted wood (my house is painted and that doesn't stop them).
  • After mating, the females excavate tunnels in which they will lay their eggs.  Balls of pollen are provided to feed the larvae.
  • The extent of damage created by the tunnels may be extensive.

When carpenter bees first came to my attention, it wasn't the hovering around my roofline that I noticed.  While watering a squash plant that was in a pot on my deck I saw what looked like sawdust all over the plant.

Carpenter bee sawdust on a leaf
Signs of a Carpenter Bee

I couldn't figure out how sawdust would have gotten on the plant until I looked up and I saw this...

The hole from a carpenter bee
A Carpenter Bee Hole

Isn't that the loveliest, round, perfectly drilled hole you have ever seen?  One might think that Hubby was out very early in the morning drilling holes in the fascia boards of our house for some unknown reason.  While I was standing there looking at the hole, along came the carpenter bee you saw pictured above.  Yes, the tail end of that insect sticking out of the hole belongs to an annoying carpenter bee.

Well, the carpenter bees are back again.  This week I was alerted by chance when I looked out my window and saw signs of sawdust on top of our air conditioner. 

More carpenter bee sawdust
Sawdust from Carpenter Bees

What Can You Do about Carpenter Bees?
 Allowing extensive damage to my home is not acceptable.  Measures will have to be taken.  The University of Kentucky also provides suggestions for dealing with these pests:
  • Paint all unpainted surfaces (This doesn't seem to work in our case because our surfaces are already painted.)
  • Liquid sprays of carbaryl (Sevin), chlorpyrifos (Dursban), or a synthetic pyrethroid (e.g., permethrin or cyfluthrin) can be applied as a preventive to wood surfaces that are attracting the bees. Residual effectiveness of these insecticides is often only 1-2 weeks, however, and the treatment may need to be repeated.
  • Tunnels that have already been excavated are best treated by puffing an insecticidal dust (e.g., 5 percent carbaryl) into the nest opening. Aerosol sprays labeled for wasp or bee control also are effective. (This was what we used.)
We choose to treat the area with pesticides.  You'll want to leave the treated hole open for two or three days to allow the insecticide to work and then fill the hole with a 3/8"dowel and repaint.  Yes, a 3/8" dowel will fit exactly.  Go figure!

Here are other posts about the battles with pests in my world:
How to Kill Ants in Your Home
How to Trap and Kill Fruit Flies

Linked to Between Naps on the Porch

Before you go....Never miss a Just One Donna post by signing up to receive posts in your email or your favorite RSS feed.  Links are in the sidebar.

Comments

  1. One of the things I do not miss about living in the log house is carpenter bees! I always thought of my log house as a cupcake those bees would feast on, and I hated them. Thanks for writing about this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hah, a cupcake for the bees! You made me laugh, Lydia. I just wish they'd leave my house alone!

      Delete
    2. I live in FL and belong to the Bug A Month Club. We go from one bug to another.
      The ones that look like big wasp that make holes in the ground were a challenge.
      Finally, I put white lithium grease on the hole and success.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Talk to me. I welcome your comments. (These comments are strictly moderated. Spammers take note.)

Popular posts from this blog

How to Trap and Get Rid of Fruit Flies

What can you do to kill fruit flies?  We've all been there.  Fruit flies in the kitchen.  Fruit flies in the bathroom.  Fruit flies buzzing around everywhere in your home.   It's a frustrating problem that happens to everyone at one time or another.  If you are a fresh fruit and produce lover you certainly know what I mean. How to Kill Fruit Flies with Two Ingredients Those pesky little buggers can often be brought into your home on the vegetables and fruit you buy. There are many solutions offered for fruit fly traps to help you solve your problem.   A quick Amazon search found these products. You can spend your money on one of these solutions or I can save you a whole lot of your hard-earned cash today. My solution is the best.  Here's why: You have the ingredients in your kitchen now.  You need apple cider vinegar and a mild dish liquid . It's a healthy, family-friendly solution. It works quickly. Two-Ingredient No Pesticide Fruit Fly Trap

How to Turn Store-Bought Potato Salad from Blah to Amazing

Here's a time-saver for you just in time for summer cookouts.  When you need a quick potato salad, that ordinary store-bought potato salad you have in your refrigerator can go from blah to amazing in just a few minutes with just a few ingredients. There's no judgment here. We don't always have the time to make a potato salad from scratch. Sometimes it is just easier to stop by your local grocery store to pick up a container of the store-made potato salad. It's good. It's predictable.  It will do.  All it needs is a little doctoring. How to Make Store-Bought Potato Salad Better Take Your Potato Salad from Blah to AH-Mazing! What should you do if you want that store-bought potato salad to have a little more flavor? You're going to a potluck picnic or you are having people over for an impromptu barbecue and you'd like your potato salad to be a little special. There is no need to fret.  A quick trip to the grocery store will get you start

My Favorite Red Wine Sangria

Everyone needs a great red wine sangria recipe for summer entertaining and this is mine. Actually, this is Hubby's specialty.  He's the cocktail maker in our family and he loves to make this sangria whenever we are entertaining a group of friends or family on the deck. This sangria has just the right balance of sweetness and fruitiness making it a yummy, fruity, summer sangria that everyone loves. A Glass of My Favorite Red Wine Sangria The key to this recipe is finding a sweet red wine that works for your taste buds.  Sweet red wines are not our thing when we are selecting wines.  We found our favorite sweet red wine for this recipe when we toured the San Sebastian Winery in St. Augustine, Florida .

How to Make a Perfect Bacon and Eggs Breakfast

In my opinion, the best breakfast consists of two perfectly fried eggs, crispy bacon, and toast made with a hearty bread. It is the breakfast you want when you have time to relax around the kitchen table, drinking a cup of coffee or two. The Best Bacon and Eggs for Breakfast (This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  When you make a purchase using these links you help support this blog.) How to Cook Bacon and Eggs My technique was learned from my mom, by watching her make our family's breakfast over and over again, year after year.  Cooking eggs in bacon fat is easy and takes just a little practice to perfect. All you really need for a great bacon and eggs breakfast is a good nonstick skillet and a good toaster . If you want to make your own bread for toast, a bread machine like mine  will make that easy as can be. Three Ingredients for a Great Breakfast A loaf of your favorite bread Extra-large eggs, because you want a g

Rum Punch for a Party

As the weather warms and you start to think about gathering friends and family for parties and celebrations you'll want to think about signature cocktails. This rum punch cocktail is an ideal cocktail for a large gathering. Don't you think a warm-weather cocktail should make imagine yourself sitting by the shore with your toes in the sand? Rum punch is one of those cocktails.  Cool and fruity, rum punch will make a party! One sip and you'll be transported to the beach. Rum Punch Cocktail (This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  When you make a purchase using these links you help support this blog.) Rum Punch for a Party! This rum punch recipe is a make-ahead recipe I use whenever we are having a large group for a summer picnic or barbecue.  Use the recipe below as your baseline and double or triple the ingredients as needed. You'll need a large container for storage and room enough in your refrigerator to keep it cool.  My f