Do you know what steps to take to get rid of Carpenter bees completely? Find out in this guide.
Carpenter bees are considered pests due to the fact that they cause damage to wood. Such wood include those in existing structures. If you are faced with such a challenge, you will find this article quite useful.
We will show you how to get rid of carpenter bees easily as well as how to prevent same from further damage.
As you read through you will find lots of practical tips you can use to exterminate these species of bee.
- About Carpenter Bees
Carpenter bees are generally known as pollinators. In fact, they are highly valuable to agriculture. However the downside to having carpenter bees around is the damage the cause to structures especially wooden structures.
In view of this, it becomes necessary to get rid of these insects as best you can. We will delve into such details in shortly but first, we need to consider other important things you need to know about having them around.
- What Type of Wood Do Carpenter Bees Nest In?
This is an important question to ask when facing a carpenter bee problem. Carpenter bees do not nest in all types of wood. There are specific wood carpenter bees will bore/build their nest in. These include Redwood, Cypress, Pine and Cedar. Such wood, especially those which are bare (absence of paint or other finishing) are mostly targeted by carpenter bees.
- Do Carpenter Bees Sting?
Male carpenter bees usually behave aggressively. This is mostly done to intimidate a conceived enemy. Although the males do not sting, female carpenter bees do sting. However, they seldom sting until a perceived threat arises. If you’ve had doubts about this aspect of carpenter bees, this clarification should suffice.
- The Extent of Damage Carpenter Bees can Cause
It is also necessary to understand the type of damage caused by carpenter bees as quite a lot of people assume that they could cause a significant level of damage. Well, carpenter bees do not cause a serious amount of damage substantial enough to affect a building’s structure. However, the main problem for most home owners is the aesthetic damage caused.
Apart from the drilling caused by carpenter bees, there is also the issue of staining. These are the main reasons people have for getting rid these pests. An exception to the level of damage caused is when you are faced with a large population of carpenter bees. In such a situation, you will need to eliminate them as quickly as possible. Failure to do so may result in their drilling activities affecting your building structure.
- Signs of Carpenter Bee Infestation
Carpenter bee drilling activity is most common in soft, hard and decaying wood. Identifying their nests is important in your quest to get rid of them. Nests are usually half an inch wide in diameter. Also by looking around, you are likely to find wooden dust around such openings.
- Carpenter Bees Nesting Areas
We have discussed that carpenter bees prefer certain types of wood (cypress, cedar, pine and redwood) for their nests. Such wood are used in different parts of a building that include porches, outdoor furniture, wood trims, eaves and decks. Others include fascia boards, shingles, and siding among other parts of a building. If there are any old trees around, chances are that you will find carpenter bee nests there.
To get rid of them, you need to search out such areas of your building. Detailed inspection is required to spot all such areas.
How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees Around Your House and Yard
The “how” of getting rid of carpenter bees are many. Having more than one treatment option is always the best. This section will consider some of the most common, yet effective ways of ridding your home of carpenter bees. Such methods include the following;
Calling a Pest Control Company
Pest control services always have a wide range of pest control solutions for clients. This option is best for persons who prefer not to deal with the stress of pest removal themselves. The first step taken by most pest control specialist is by identifying the severity of the problem at hand. Usually, a well experienced technician will conduct a thorough inspection of your property. They not only understand the behavior of carpenter bees, but also know where to lookout for nests.
Are you interested in the type of treatments provided by pest control services? There is a long list of such treatments. A few of these include plugging of holes drilled by the bees, chemical application in liquid and powder/dust form, and the adoption of several preventive measures. Let’s look at each of these briefly;
Plugging of Holes Drilled by Carpenter Bees
After an inspection of your property, one of the treatments provided by a pest control service will be to plug existing holes. Such holes are only plugged after the bee must have been expelled by applying a wide range of treatments. By plugging these holes, bees are prevented from returning. But won’t carpenter bees drill new holes?
This is a logical question that may come up. Before holes are plugged, various treatments are applied to the wood to discourage them from further drilling activity. These would be mentioned shortly.
Chemical treatments come in both liquid and powder/dust form. There are various types of such treatments. Pest technicians will apply the most appropriate form of treatment that will give the best results. If you are curious about what’s being applied, your pest control technician will be glad to tell you what it is and how effective it is as well.
Most types of chemical treatment have a residual effect. This means that the effects of a treatment will linger for quite some time. This is the best form of pest control because it stays effective in getting rid of carpenter bees for a long time since the treatment was applied.
DIY Methods for Carpenter Bee Extermination
Other ways to get rid of carpenter bees include doing it yourself. This is for homeowners who would like to experiment with any effective strategy. There are several effective ways to rid your home of carpenter bees. These strategies are also cost effective. With DIY methods, you have the liberty of using any, or a combination of 2 or more. These methods include the following;
Getting Rid of Carpenter Bees With Essential Oils
Essential oils are oils are known to not only be beneficial to health but are also used for cleaning and ridding your home of pests. Essential oils such as peppermint oil, lemon oil, eucalyptus oil and a host of others can be applied onto surfaces and holes drilled by carpenter bees. Essential oils are most effective when diluted with water and applied using a spray bottle.
Carpenter bees are irritated by the strong smell of essential oils. When applied right into their nests, carpenter bees find this extremely uncomfortable and will abandon the nest. This is best used to prevent carpenter bees from returning to their nests. However, such bees will start looking for a new location to drill through. This makes it only a temporary measure pending when a lasting solution will be found.
Boric Acid for Carpenter Bee Treatment
Boric acid can be purchased over the counter and used to exterminate carpenter bees. Like essential oils, a mixture of boric acid and water (constituting 1 part boric acid to 3 part water) is applied to carpenter bee nests using a spray bottle. Before long, this takes its toll on the pests and kills them within a short time. This DIY method has proven to be effective in getting rid of carpenter bees for good.
Consider Painting Exposed Wood
This action is mostly taken after affected areas must have been treated. Hence, it is more of a preventive measure than treatment. Carpenter bees will normally avoid painted parts of wooden structures. As we earlier said, this method can be used with a combination of other extermination methods to keep your home free of these pests.
In the absence of paint, there are residual insecticides you can apply. These are effective against carpenter bee activity. Since the aim of applying paints is to seal up or cover exposed wood, residual insecticides are even more effective. Good examples of residual spray concentrates include Demon WP, FenvaStar EcoCap and Cyzmic CS.
These come with clear instructions on how to dilute with water and apply to affected areas or exposed wood. Sprays are best used for application. After applying these, they leave a visible residue on the wood surface and will have a lasting effect against carpenter bee activity.
Carpenter Bee Traps as Removal Options
The use of traps is yet another effective way to rid your home of carpenter bees. Starting from $25, you can purchase a variety of traps which can be hung close to their nests. This is a safe DIY method you can deploy. It has been in use for quite some time and have proven reliable.
Understanding how to get rid of carpenter bees is an easy process once you have the knowledge. If you have read to this point, then you are sure to have gained from the several strategies outlined in this article. Carpenter bee infestation will no longer be a problem to you as you have a wide range of solutions to the problem.