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Get Rid of Carpenter Bees: Natural Methods of Attack

Four Methods

Carpenter Bee

Updated April 2021

Carpenter bees slightly resemble the bumblebee, only they rarely sting humans. Although these flying pests don’t pose much of a threat to us, our homes are a different story. Carpenter bees like to feast on the exposed wood of your house’s window sills, doors, eaves, and decks. They bore holes into the wood to build nests, causing structural damage along the way. There are several ways to banish carpenter bees, but many involve chemical pesticides—something you’d like to avoid if possible. Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives for those of us who prefer less-harmful methods. Learn how to get rid of carpenter bees naturally.

What You Need to Know About Carpenter Bees

Before you gather all of your supplies, its helpful to know as much about these bees as possible so you have a good idea who you’re dealing with.

  • Carpenter bees got their name from where they build their nests: in wood. You might find them in trees, your home, your back deck, and other structures. They prefer softwoods that are at least two inches thick. While they are certainly busy with the wood, they aren’t eating it! They are simply excavating tunnels, leaving wood shavings outside of their new home.
  • The back end of carpenter bees is shiny black, more distinct than bumblebees. They also don’t have a lot of hair, so they don’t have the same fluffy look as their cousins. They grow to be between half an inch to one inch long.
  • Male carpenter bees cannot sting, so if you feel like the distinctive prick from one, it’s a female. But, they only sting when provoked, so you shouldn’t worry too much when you pass by one
  • They’re on guard. The males, that is. They stick around the opening of the nest to protect it from flying insects and predators. If you see numerous bees around your home but can’t find a nest, they are likely carpenter bees.
  • Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there! You’ll most likely see carpenter bees during the early spring (which is when they mate) through late summer. They don’t die off in the winter—they are hunkering down in the nests they worked so hard to make in the wood.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees Naturally

1. Vacuum

You have two options with a vacuum cleaner:

  1. Place your vacuum cleaner’s smallest attachment over a carpenter bee hole and suck them out.
  2. Agitate the nest with a stick and vacuum them out of the air as they emerge.

2. Make Noise

Carpenter bees are sensitive to loud noise and vibrations. Drive them from their nests by playing loud music (preferably with a thumping bass line for the vibration). All you have to worry about is any equally noise-sensitive neighbors. Once the bees have vacated the nest, either vacuum them or swat them down with a tennis racket and plug the hole from which they emerged.

3. Plug their Doors

Caulk, putty, or steel wool can be used as a way to entrap carpenter bees. Apply the material to cover up the holes they’ve made and paint over it.

4. Homemade Spray

Carpenter bees don’t long strong smells, like citrus, certain oils, garlic, and vinegar. Learn how you can make your own carpenter bee spray.

Safety Considerations

Though carpenter bees generally don’t sting, females are equipped with stingers and might attack if aggravated. Wait until the evening when attempting to drive the bees out of their nests, as they’re less active at night than during the day.

Let Us Help You Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

Although they’re not aggressive, no one wants a house full of carpenter bees. The expert exterminators at Green Pest Solutions can help you get rid of carpenter bee infestations and prevent their return. Call us today at 855-312-7157.

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