Many bees, such as bumble bees and honeybees, are pollinators and beneficial to the environment. But, bees have their own place in nature, and your home is not one of them. We show you how to kill carpenter bees using a variety of methods to keep you, your family, and your home safe.
Unlike other familiar bees, carpenter bees create more problems than their sting. These bees get their name from the fact that they bore into wood.
While they do not eat the wood as many people think, they drill round holes into softwoods for nesting purposes, and just like a termite, they cause damage to wooden structures.
Not only that, but woodpeckers love the larvae of carpenter bees, which leads to further wood damage.
Once the carpenter bee holes are complete, the female adult bees lay eggs in the wood and care for the larvae after hatching. While the male bees do not have stingers, the female carpenter bees do and are the ones to be concerned about as they protect their larva.
- Ways to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees
- Best Way to Kill Carpenter Bees with Carburetor Cleaner
- Natural Ways to Kill Carpenter Bees with Citrus
- How to Kill Carpenter Bees with a Tennis Racket
- Using a Natural Carpenter Bee Repellent
- Killing Carpenters Bees with Insecticidal Dust
- How to Make a Carpenter Bee-Killing Spray
- Using an Insecticide Spray to Kill Carpenter Bees
- How to Prevent a Carpenter Bee Problem
Ways to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees
If you notice a smooth entrance hole in surfaces such as window sills, fascia boards, eaves, and other areas of exposed wood, you probably have a carpenter bee infestation, and it’s time to perform some pest control. You can use carpenter bee trap bait or different natural repellents to eliminate the problem. Here is how to get rid of carpenter bees around your home.
Best Way to Kill Carpenter Bees with Carburetor Cleaner
If you’re not a DIY type of person or don’t have the time to whip up a batch of homemade bee repellent, then the best way to kill carpenter bees is to use a carb cleaner.
Carb Cleaner Bee Killer
Purchase a can of aerosol carburetor cleaner with an extension tube at your local auto supply shop or use a one you already have sitting in the garage. Read the precautions on the can and wear protective clothing as required.
Attach the tube and aim it into the hole in the wood or use it to kill underground bees by spraying their nest. Spray the liquid into the burrows that contain carpenter bee nests to kill them or discourage the bees from returning.
Natural Ways to Kill Carpenter Bees with Citrus
While there are several natural ways to kill carpenter bees, citrus oil is one of our favorites. These bees have an aversion to citrus rinds, which protects the inside fruit from insects, and spraying the oils repels the bees from your home.
Pour some water into a small saucepan and add several citrus peels from oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and limes.
Bring the peels to a boil, and take the pan off the heat to cool. Strain the cooled liquid into a spray bottle, set the nozzle to the stream setting, and spray the repellent into the bee burrows.
How to Kill Carpenter Bees with a Tennis Racket
What kills carpenter bees if you spot one flying nearby? While this is not a preferred method, the quickest thing to do when they are most active to prevent them from burrowing into the side of your home is to hit them with something large.
Killing Carpenter Bees
For about two to three weeks, carpenter bees are most active in the spring, searching for softwood to burrow for their nests. Keep a badminton or tennis racket handy outside of your home in an area where you spend a great deal of time.
Swat the carpenter bees as soon as you notice them spending time searching the wood surfaces of your home for a good nesting spot.
Using a Natural Carpenter Bee Repellent
The best way to kill carpenter bees if you do not have any citrus rinds is to use almond oil. One of the most effective home remedies to get rid of carpenter bees is to use just a little of this oil. The bees cannot stand the scent of this spray, and it is effective at repelling them from wood surfaces.
Almond Oil Bee Repellent
What smells do bees hate and are effective deterrents? As soon as you spot small, round burrows and sawdust in the wood of any structures of your home, squeeze a few drops of almond oil directly into the hole.
This liquid contains benzaldehyde, which is a natural carpenter bee repellent. Only one application is needed each year since the oil deters bees for three to four months.
Killing Carpenters Bees with Insecticidal Dust
While natural ways to kill carpenter bees are ideal, since they are better for the environment, many ingredients are not always available. If you prefer to use pesticides as a means of carpenter bee control or to get rid of ground hornets, insecticidal dust is a good option.
Bee Insecticide Dust
Frequently, sprays only kill the adult bees, but there are still eggs within the wood. Insecticidal dust stops the reproduction of carpenter bees by killing the bee larvae in the nests.
Follow the instructions for your insecticide duster kit and fill all the burrows left behind by adult bees. Do not seal the holes right away to ensure that the adults pass through the dust rather than make a new burrow.
How to Make a Carpenter Bee-Killing Spray
Out of all the home remedies for killing carpenter bees or eliminating wasps in the ground, this homemade spray is one of the most effective. It is easy to make, and the oils repel the bees while the vinegar and rubbing alcohol kills them. Use it for killing carpenter ants and other pests, too.
Combine the vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and essential oils in a small glass spray bottle and mix it well.
Turn the nozzle to stream and spray the liquid directly into bee burrows and on the carpenter bees when you see them to kill the larvae and adults and prevent other bees from using the holes for nesting.
Using an Insecticide Spray to Kill Carpenter Bees
Sometimes, natural solutions don’t do the trick to get rid of carpenter bees, and a commercial insecticide is necessary. If you choose to use a pesticide, it’s important to pick one for these bee types.
Insecticide Bee Spray
Follow the instructions for your brand of insecticide, and take the necessary precautions, such as wearing protective clothing and gloves, during the application process.
Apply a heavy treatment in and around the bee holes in the spring, followed by light treatment throughout the summer to prevent reinfestation.
How to Prevent a Carpenter Bee Problem
Carpenter bees are pollinators and a necessary insect for the environment. Therefore, the most humane way to keep them from burrowing into wood surfaces is to prevent them from finding your home appealing in the first place.
After you are positive that the carpenter bees are gone, fill in the holes with caulk and a putty knife to stop new bees from using them. It’s important to do this only if the bees are dead.
Otherwise, they drill new holes in the wood around them. If you do not have caulk, plug the hole with steel wool. After caulking, apply stain or varnish to wood surfaces since carpenter bees prefer untreated wood.
Place a carpenter bee trap near your home to trick them into using it to nest rather than damaging other wood structures. This is a non-invasive way to trap bees and slowly reduce the population to prevent an infestation.
While male carpenter bees do not have a stinger, the females do, and an encounter with their venom is not a fun experience.
Not only that, but these bees damage exposed wood. Fortunately, there are easy ways to kill carpenter bees and prevent them from ruining wooden structures.
Knowing how to kill carpenter bees and stop them from coming back keeps the wood around your home safe from damage, so why not share our carpenter bee control methods and tips with your friends on Pinterest and Facebook?