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  • Writer's pictureRylee Parsons

Pest Control Tips: Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are hardworking pollinators here in western North Carolina that are worthy of appreciation. But, if they nest in or around your home, they can cause some serious damage by attracting woodpeckers, carpenter ants and fungi. We have advice worth buzzing about on how to identify, remove and keep these bees from returning.

Carpenters with Bad Reviews

Carpenter bees create nests within softwoods such as pine and cedar. This is where they lay eggs in the spring and rest during colder months. While the hole they drill may seem small on the outside, they are actually much larger and more damaging than what meets the eye. Some bees will even return to remodel and expand an old tunnel. These tiny carpenters destabilize the wood leaving homeowners with less structural support.

Bee Movie Gif

If you're suspicious of these bees moving in, check for these signs:

  • Small circular openings with wood shavings nearby.

  • A yellow substance near the hole's entrance.

  • Bees that look like Bumble Bees but are less hairy and shiner

  • Bees nearby that won't leave you alone (They're defending their territory).

Carpenter Bee Tunnels
Carpenter bee tunnels hidden inside.

Bye Bye Bees

The fast and easy way to take care of a carpenter bee infestation is with insecticides. Apply bee spray in or around the holes or use insecticidal dust to fill holes and prevent larvae from leaving. Alternatively, you can purchase carpenter bee traps that hang directly over the hole openings and then prevent them from escaping.

Bees in the Trap Meme

Since carpenter bees are such stellar pollinators, you may want to consider natural repellants. Put together a spray bottle of water with almond or citrus oil to ward the bees off. Carpenter bees are also afraid of loud noises, meaning if you want to blast your favorite music – maybe even Nicki Minaj's "Beez in the Trap" – right by the nesting site, they'll move out pretty quick.

Bees Be Gone

Now that you're bee free, take the right measures to keep it that way. In early fall, plug up remaining carpenter bee holes, paint or varnish exposed wood, and opt for hardwoods in remodeling projects.

Keep an eye out for buzzing around your porch rails, decks, fence posts, window frames, and more this spring for carpenter bees. You're now prepared to act quickly and prevent these tiny contractors from damaging your property. If carpenter bees aren't your only problem, check out our posts to prevent other pests like mice, mosquitoes, or termites.

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