If you notice holes and sawdust on wood surfaces while sitting on your backyard porch, then you probably have a carpenter bee problem and maybe even an infestation. While these bees aren’t necessarily harmful to you, they cause carpenter bee damage to exposed wood and windowsills. But, what attracts carpenter bees, and why do they like wood?
There are many different types of bees, from honey bees and bumblebees to hornets and carpenter bees. Some of them are aggressive while others simply want to be left alone to do their business, and carpenter bees fall into the latter group.
Unlike common bees and other pollinators, wood bees are not social insects and generally spend their time working alone.
They have two main purposes in life – to eat and mate. While they are an important part of the ecosystem since they are pollinators, they often cause havoc on wooden structures.
Carpenter Bee Habits
What are carpenter bees attracted to, and why are they in your yard? Contrary to popular belief, these bees are not mainly attracted to wood.
The first thing that attracts them to your yard is pollen. Like other bee types, they seek out the best flowers for pollinating and are essential to a healthy environment.
How to Control Them
Wood is another attraction to these bees since it’s a necessary tool for their life cycle. We’ll explain exactly what these bees are, how to trap and kill carpenter bees, and ways to prevent a carpenter bee infestation without having to call an exterminator.
What are Carpenter Bees Attracted to, and are They Harmful?
Not all types of bees are harmful to humans. To determine if you have a bee problem, it’s essential to understand what attracts the bees to your yard and what their purpose is.
Carpenter bees have an appearance similar to bumble bees, with a patch of yellow hair on their thorax and legs. However, rather than yellow markings on their abdomens, they are smooth and shiny.
Female carpenter bees do sting, but only if you bother them, and male carpenter bees fly around and appear aggressive, yet they do not have stingers.
What are carpenter bees attracted to? They are drawn to your yard for a variety of reasons, one of them being pollen.
These bugs spend their time gathering pollen from flowers and plants and having a garden of colorful flowers draw them in just like other beneficial insects.
Another reason they enjoy hanging out around your home is softwood. Once they find a good piece of untreated wood or a tree, they build individual nests and burrow holes in unfinished or weathered wood of eaves, siding, and porches.
They lay eggs in the nests, and the larvae develop into adults in late summer. This activity often draws woodpeckers, which tend to cause more damage. The adult bees overwinter in the existing holes and emerge in the spring.
How to Trap and Kill Carpenter Bees
If you have a severe bee infestation, it’s often necessary to take steps to get-rid-of-carpenter-bees. Note that this remedy will not work for ground bee removal. You’ll have to take different steps.
There are several ways to take care of carpenter bees, including insecticides and traps, and they are all easy. Here is how to trap and kill carpenter bees using a few simple steps. This is probably the easiest and best way to kill carpenter bees.
To use an insecticide, follow the instructions for your brand. Dust as many of the carpenter bee holes as possible to prevent an infestation. If using an aerosol or liquid spray, cover the area where you notice them boring into the wood.
Make sure to treat the entrance hole and repeat as needed. After the bees die, plug the holes with caulk or wood putty to stop new bees from taking up residence.
To make a DIY carpenter bee trap, cut a wood post to six inches and drill a hole down from top to bottom.
Drill three more holes at 45° angles on three sides of the wood, leading to the center hole, and nail a plank of wood that is one inch larger to the top of the block.
Remove the lid from the ring of a Mason jar top and nail the ring section to the block’s bottom side, centered around the bottom hole. Screw the Mason jar onto the ring and hang the trap using a screw eye.
What Attracts Carpenter Bees and How to Prevent Them
Since carpenter bees are beneficial insects, using pesticides to kill them is not helpful to the environment.
Therefore, understanding how to get rid of carpenter bees, why they love your yard, and ways to prevent them from becoming a nuisance is key to sharing outdoor space.
Carpenter bees are attracted to your outdoor space if you give them something to pollinate. Since these bees love blossoms, the easiest way to control carpenter bees and keep them from your yard is to stop growing gardens.
However, you undoubtedly love these plants just as much as they do, especially if you have flowers to plant for honey bees, so there are other steps to take. Inspect areas for carpenter bee nests and fill holes with caulk or a dowel.
To discourage bees from destroying your outdoor wooden surfaces, paint all exposed wood with a primer and two coats of paint. Check the outside of your home and porch seasonally and repair any damage and holes immediately.
Another good idea is to hang a decoy wasp nest on the corner of your home since carpenter bees avoid nesting in the same area.
Consider putting up bee hotels near your home. These wooden structures are bee-friendly and provide female carpenter bees with an alternative place to nest without causing damage to your home, garage, and patio.
Spritz a peppermint oil spray on or near areas that carpenter bees tend to frequent. Peppermint is one of the smells bees hate.
It is also perfect to get rid of wood ants, roaches, and a variety of other insects. Try other essential oils to test their effectiveness, as well.
Like termites, carpenter bees damage wood structures, and pest control methods are required to keep them in check. While your first instinct is to grab a can of insecticide or pesticide, this is not always necessary if you use a carpenter bee trap or deterrents.
Knowing what attracts carpenter bees is the first step in understanding how to stop them from making carpenter bee holes in your eaves and other wood surfaces, so why not share our carpenter bee guide with your family and friends on Pinterest and Facebook?