15 Proven Ways to Eliminate Carpenter Bees

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Carpenter bees are a nuisance that can damage wood around homes. They burrow into wood to create nests, weakening the structure of buildings. Although they help pollination, their presence can be costly for homeowners. To eliminate carpenter bees and prevent infestations, we’ll share 15 secrets to reclaim your space.

Identify Carpenter Bee Activity


The first step in addressing this problem is to identify their activity. Look for small, perfectly round holes in wooden surfaces near eaves, decks, or wooden furniture. Additionally, look for hovering bees around these areas, especially during the spring and summer months when they are most active.

Seal Entry Points


Once you’ve identified carpenter bee activity, seal any existing entry points to prevent further infestation. Use wood putty to fill in holes and cracks in wooden surfaces. This will help deter bees from nesting in the same areas in the future.

Apply Insecticidal Dust


Insecticidal dust can be an effective tool for eliminating carpenter bees that have already established nests. Apply the dust directly into bee entry holes using a duster or similar applicator. The dust will kill the bees within the nest and help prevent future infestations.

Use Liquid Insecticide


Liquid insecticides formulated specifically for carpenter bees can also be effective in controlling infestations. Use the insecticide in affected areas according to the manufacturer’s instructions, focusing on bee entry points and nesting sites.

Hang Carpenter Bee Traps


Hang traps near areas of high bee activity, such as eaves or decks, and regularly empty them to prevent buildup. These traps are designed to lure bees away from wooden structures and capture them before they can cause damage.

Using Natural Repellents


Natural repellents are a non-toxic and environmentally friendly alternative to chemical insecticides for deterring carpenter bees. For instance, exposing wooden surfaces to direct sunlight and airflow by trimming back vegetation can make them less appealing to carpenter bees, as they prefer shaded, sheltered areas for nesting.

Install Screening

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Installing fine mesh screening over vulnerable wooden surfaces can prevent carpenter bees from accessing potential nesting sites. Secure the screening tightly to ensure bees cannot find gaps or openings to enter.

Hang Reflective Objects


Reflective objects create a dynamic and unpredictable environment for carpenter bees, which can make them feel uneasy or uncomfortable. The constant motion and changing reflections can disrupt their sense of safety and stability, prompting them to seek more secure nesting sites away from the perceived danger.

Stain Wooden Surfaces


Unlike repellent treatments that may wear off over time, staining provides long-lasting protection against carpenter bees. By sealing the surface of the wood, staining reduces the likelihood of moisture penetration and wood deterioration, which are factors that can attract carpenter bees to vulnerable areas.

Fill Holes with Steel Wool


After treating existing bee nests, fill the entry holes with steel wool to prevent re-infestation. These bees are unlikely to chew through steel wool, making it an effective barrier against future nesting.

Citronella Candles


Carpenter bees use olfactory cues to communicate with each other and locate suitable nesting sites. The strong scent of citronella candles can disrupt this communication by masking the natural odors of wood that bees are attracted to. This interference can confuse bees and discourage them from nesting.

Create Distractions


Install bee houses or nesting blocks away from your home to provide alternative nesting sites for carpenter bees. Fill these structures with untreated wood or bamboo to attract bees away from vulnerable wooden surfaces.

Borate Treatment


Once applied, borate compounds remain active within the wood for an extended period, providing ongoing deterrence against bee infestation. This long-lasting effectiveness makes borate treatments a reliable option for preventing carpenter bee damage and preserving wooden structures.

Consult a Professional

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If you’re dealing with a severe bee infestation or are unsure how to address the problem effectively, consider consulting a pest control professional. They can assess the situation and recommend the best action to eliminate bees and prevent future infestations.

Regular Inspections

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Even after successfully eliminating carpenter bee activity, it’s essential to do regular inspections of wooden structures to detect any signs of re-infestation. Promptly address any new holes or bee activity to prevent further damage.


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