Frustrated with damage of your expensive furniture caused by carpenter bees? And irritated with sawdust all over your home…?? then here’s the full fledged article with effective home remedies which helps you out in eradicating carpenter bees completely and permanently.
What are carpenter bees?
Carpenter bees, also known as wood bees burrow into wood to lay their eggs. This wood can be any of the dead wood, bamboo or the structural timbers of your house and even your wooden or garden furniture.
If you happen to spot one bee in or around your property, there’s a good chance that they have plenty of friends hiding nearby. They are a big no-no for households which have small children and pets.
Below, we have mentioned several information related to carpenter bees and home remedies to treat it. When you have a good knowledge on these carpenter bees, you can better eliminate them from your home and property.
About Carpenter Bees:
- How to identify Carpenter Bee’s?
- Distinguishing between Male and Female Bee’s.
- How to find Carpenter Bee’s Nest?
- Signs of Carpenter Bee’s.
- Why removal of Carpenter Bee’s is essential?
- Tips and precaution.
- Final note.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees:
01. Make a Natural Repellent:
- Take in little amounts tea tree oil, citronella oil, lavender oil, and jojoba oil.
- Take a mixer and mix them all.
- Take a sprinkler and pour this into it.
- Sprinkle this liquid on the effected areas so that you can destroy this pests.
- Repeat this remedy until your carpenter bees are eliminated from your home.
02. Pyrethrum Spray:
Pyrethrum, is also called as Tanacetum which is a flower possessing natural insecticidal properties.
- Use this pyrethrum spray to eradicate carpenter bees.
- Repeat the usage of spray until you see the change.
Note: There is a chance of getting bee sting or insecticidal dust so it is very important to protect yourself by wearing gloves, goggles and using any effective respirator.
03. Spray Aerosol Carburetor Cleaner:
It is effective one when compared to other remedies. It has an extension tube which helps you to spray more deeply in burrows and get rid of bees. It can be bought cheaply from a store.
- Few cleaners will kill them immediately in their burrow, others will make their prospective home very uninhabitable.
- Repeat the process until bees get stop seeing bees.
Note: Make sure you are very careful while using this. Do not get that in your face or eyes, wear protection and read the precautionary measures.
04. BEE Sprays:
Bee sprays is one of the oldest methods to eliminate carpenter bees.
- Get a bee spray from nearby store and spray it directly into the nest where you feel the carpenter bees nest is present.
- Using duct tape cover the hole for 24 hours after spraying and then remove the tape.
- Follow all the instructions mentioned on the product and wear the protective clothing, like gloves and goggles to protect your skin.
- Repeat the process if you observe any bees inside the tunnel.
05. Petrol or Diesel:
Petrol is very effective way to eliminate bees by pouring them into their burrows. It will kill the bees because it may create unpleasant environment to them.
- Take some amount of petrol in a spray bottle.
- Spray it thoroughly on the infested areas.
- Leave it until the petrol dries off.
- If you are using a spray bottle to pour petrol in the burrows, be sure to label it and keep it aside for petrol use only, in the future.
- Repeat the process 1 or 2 times a day until carpenter bees are completely removed.
Note: Petrol is flammable and can damage your wooden furniture you pour it over, so use it carefully. Wear an N-95 respirator, goggles, and gloves when applying petrol to the burrows.
06. Boric Acid:
Boric acid serves as a poison for the bees.
- Spray boric acid in the holes of the carpenter bees, in order to kill their larvae before they hatch.
- Repeat this remedy until you get satisfactory results.
07. Diatomaceous Earth:
Diatomaceous Earth(DE) is known to kill the insects and dry them out. It is a temporary solution of getting rid of carpenter bees.
- Find the burrows made by the bees.
- Use Diatomaceous Earth according to the severity of the burrow.
- At the end, rinse your hands with soap and water.
- Repeat using Diatomaceous Earth until bees are removed.
Note: Use gloves while trying this remedy. Do not use the glove for any other purpose either throw them away or keep them for the next time.
08. Vinyl Siding:
Vinyl siding is also effective way to keep carpenter bees away and your home protected. Vinyl siding has a non-wooden surface that can’t be damaged by these insects.
- Find out the carpenter bee’s nest and use vinyl siding on that.
- Repeat using Vinyl siding until you eliminate bees completely from your home.
09. Natural Non-Synthetic Citrus:
Carpenter bees also hesitant for citrus oil like other bees. The peel will protect the fruit on the inside to help it from predators.
Find out citrus-based spray designed specifically for carpenter bees, or else make yourself one.
- Collect all the peels of different citrus fruits like orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit and boil them in a pot filled with water.
- Now take a spray bottle and fill it this citrus-extract water.
- Sprinkle the burrows of the carpenter bees with citrus-extract water.
- Repeat the process twice in a day.
10. Insecticidal Dust
If you have carpenter bees in your home performing actively, use insecticidal dust.
This way, you can protect your wooden furniture from harmful liquid chemicals that may spoil the wood.
- Take insecticidal dust of your choice.
- Take a duster.
- Cut a piece of red cellophane and stick it to the flashlight to make it red light, because bees can’t see red light, but you can easily see the opening of the nest.
- With the help of duster, use insecticidal dust in burrows you found and any hole openings of the carpenter bees
- Duster blasts the dust into the tunnel made by carpenter bees and also coat its edges.
- Use it in the place of carpenter bees.
- Repeat the process until bees start decaying.
Note: While trying this remedy, wear gloves, goggles, dust mask etc. while doing this remedy in daytime. Better do this in night time as it may help to avoid female bee sting.
Please do wash the clothes immediately that you wore when dealing bees.
Take shower to avoid any risk due to insecticidal dust that might have contacted your skin or body.
11.Almond Oil :
Almond oil possess benzaldehyde which is famous to resist bees. Read the labels of certain available bee repellents, you will be finding benzaldehyde as one of its active ingredients.
- Identify the burrows and places of carpenter bees.
- Spray or pour almond oil in that place.
- Repeat this process until you see the change in your home.
Although carpenter bees forces to attack all wood surfaces, they avoid using painted areas. Exterminators say bees choose untreated wood.
- Take any quality paint.
- Find out all the wooden which is untreated from so many days.
- Immediately paint that untreated wood.
- Repeat this until carpenter bees are removed.
13. Vacuum Cleaner:
- Take your vacuum cleaner, by adjusting it to the smallest hole of it, so that you can eliminate of the carpenter bees from your wooden.
- Vacuum up the bees by placing it near openings or holes.
- If your vacuum cleaner is not effective, you cant eliminate them.
- This process works out in a best manner if the nest is new one.
- Repeat this process until bees are completely vanished.
Note: For better results, perform this remedy in the evening time as the bees are in their nest during these hours and will not be able to escape.
Vacuuming is a powerful method to eradicate bees and yellow jackets (a type of social wasps).
14. Blockage of the Holes:
This blocking specially for those who hate after-effects that are caused by insecticides usage.
- Close all the openings and burrows of bees. This will one of useful method for eradicating bees.
- Prefer steel wool for this process as bees are unable to dig through steel wool or else caulk or putty.
- Openings should be blocked in the night time as adult carpenter bees will actively search for food in daytime.
- Better block the openings with steel wool because adult bees can come out through shallow caulk or putty.
- Repeat the process whenever you see a hole.
- Carpenter bees are very mush hesitant to noise, so make a loud noise to get rid of them. Sounds strange but works.
- Set up a good sound box near to their burrows to eliminate them.
- This process is both safe and easy one.
16. Hit them with Badminton or Tennis Racket:
- In spring season these bees are active for two to three weeks. A tennis racket or badminton racket is very powerful to strike them with, specially it becomes easier with their habit of stopping and hanging for a moment.
- Give them a good brisk strike. Stepping on them with shoes of course..! is an obvious extra option after you striking them.
17. Stop the cycle of reproduction:
Killing the adult bees is not enough or the reproducing females, you should kill the eggs in burrows to completely eliminate them.
Better prefer a dust insecticide, as other insecticides can affect wood by absorbing into it.
Make sure not to seal up the hole when applying the insecticide dust because it forces carpenter bees to burrow new holes, ultimately there will be no use of your remedy.
- Repeat the process when you come across increasing number of bees.
Hardwood helps in prevention of carpenter bees attack, as the structure of this wood is more complicated when compared to softwoods.
- Prefer hardwood instead softwood for all household purposes.
- Oak-wood , ash-wood, cherry-wood, maple-wood are some of its popular types.
Note: Use of this hardwood instead of softwood to make furniture.
19. Seal the burrows or galleries that have been vacated:
- As soon as after young carpenter bees leave the nest, you must seal everything, prefer which is stronger than wood as bees will burrow into again.
- You can seal off with steel wool, aluminium, asphalt, wood filler cover, and fiberglass
- Don’t use pesticide products that are banned, they are banned as they are bad for our health as well as children’s, or can create serious atmosphere problems.
- Wear protective clothing when handling these bees, as female bee can sting as they are more reserved.
- Female bees spend most of their time in their nests. So chances of being stung by one are very little.
- Take special care for wooden fences and its main structure because the bees will look for any source of soft wood.
Protecting Your Home from Re-Infestation
- Once bees are effectively removed from the inside or outside of your home, it is important to properly seal the hole.
- Females search for old openings to redecorate as a new one. Only one single bee can deposit a food ball before laying the eggs that begin the new life cycle.
- Paint a quality exterior paint every few years, or immediately if the protective layer seems to be wearing away.
- Make sure you are replacing any wood at the first sign that it has become worn or damaged so that bees are hesitant to take up residence on your property.
About Carpenter Bees
How to identify Carpenter Bees?
- If you see at a carpenter bee you will think of bumble bee as their physical appearance is similar to a bumble bee.
- Carpenter bees are about an inch long bigger in size compared to bumble bees which are 1/2 – 1inch long.
- Abdomen of carpenter bees will be hairless and shiny black in colour where as abdomen of bumble bees is covered with yellow hair.
- From this difference in both the bees will help you to identify carpenter bees.
- Bumblebees nests are under the ground so you can see them traveling between their nest burrowed underground and the flowers because flowers give them food.
- It is important to act immediately to get rid of the problem before structural damage becomes severe.
Identifying Male and Female Carpenter Bees:
- By looking at their heads you can easily identify male and female carpenter bees. Female bees will have black heads, and male bees will have white marks on their heads.
- It is important to identify because as female bee is able to sting but doesn’t do this unless provoked extremely. So, to identify between male and female first look at its head.
- The males have attacking behaviour with their intruders, including humans and pets, draws attention to their presence. The male are harmless and will die shortly after mating with females.
- The females drill holes that face the sun, and go deep into the wood to lay their larvae.
How to find Carpenter Bee’s Nest :
- Find out the male carpenter bees place where it hangs around. Female bee digs in burrows into unfinished wood to lay eggs there.
- These burrows are carpenter bees nest and they will be five to six inches deep inside.
This will occur in every spring season after adult bees mating process and they start cleaning and extend their old tunnels.
- They burrow new ones as little or offspring burrows for their young.
- If you found male carpenter bees (see the above picture), hanging around your wooden furniture check the ground there or under that place.
- If you see coarse sawdust, the nest is there only, just above the frass – the sawdust which falls from the drilled wooden hole.
- When you search for the nest, do not worry about the male bees that will frighten you by flying at you and buzzing around your head. Male bees cant sting unlike of female bees.
- Once you have founded the carpenter bee’s nest, you can take measures according to its severity.
- Before knowing how to eliminate carpenter bees and their burrows, let us know why it is important to remove the nest? Because it is just a hole of about half a inch.
Why is it Essential for Removing Carpenter Bees?
- The actual problem is to the structure of the home, even though females may sting in rare situations. Bees are known to infest wooden structures that are typically worn and unpainted.
- Every year, the off spring chambers keep on extending. Simultaneously tunnel also gets extended. This ultimately causes damage to your wooden furnishings.
- The bees also defecate on the wall or other surfaces directly which causes stains below the opening of the tunnels.
How to get rid of Carpenter Bees?
If you found out where the nest is, it becomes easier to remove it.
While raw wood is the preferred home for carpenter bees, painted or treated woods are not immune to the persistent and pesky insects.
Signs of Carpenter Bees
Infestations are identified easily by the presence of the following:
Wood openings – If you can found entrance holes in wood
Sawdust – If there exist sawdust on the ground under where the hole is drilled
Pollen & faeces – If there exists a yellowish combination of pollen and bee excrement near the entrance hole
Flying – If male bees are bothering you with flight activity to protect their residence
It may be hard to find the circular entrance which is tiny without looking closely, but physical check up should become a regular part of home maintenance.
Find the sawdust on the ground under any holes for signs that there is an infestation. Male bees protect their residence by flying near the hole so if you found any bee flying, make sure whether it is male or female and then accordingly find the burrow because female bees can sting.
Bees will hang on different types of softwood which are not painted and mostly they prefer old wood to excavate.
Carpenter bees enters the tunnel and eliminate their wastes. Therefore, within no time there can be a noticeable collection of this stran.
The females chew the wood by leaving circular holes as gaps behind which are easily identifiable gely-coloured material.
The female carpenter bee lays eggs on the food and seals off every chamber. So that these eggs will develop into adult bees and repeat the life cycle.
Some Additional Tips to get rid of Carpenter bees:
We have several important tips you should follow to reduce the likelihood of a infestation or to prevent future infestations. They are:
- Wooden structure should be protected by frequently painting and maintaining properly because bees cant affect painted wooden.
- Polyurethane paint is the best for fighting against the bees.
- Protect yourselves completely when dealing with bees to avoid bee stings.
- Bees mostly come back to their previous season burrows. Make sure to fill the burrows or any openings once if you notice they left their place. So, that you can cover them by paint or putty and hence they can be prevented.
- Use a natural spray like tulasi leaf emerged water and apply to your skin and avoid female bee stings.
- Tip for pain: You can also soothe the sting by applying some amount of toothpaste.
- Do not use treated hardwood to make the carpenter bee trap. Prefer untreated wood instead, as that’s what the bees will also prefer.
- Powerful vacuum cleaner can be used to get rid of carpenter bees.
- You can boil lemon, orange and lime peels to make a citrus spray. Essential oils are present in bulks in the peels of citrus fruits.
- Better wear a mask while working with Diatomaceous Earth if you have asthma or any other lung problems.
- Seal up the holes every time in the wood with caulk or steel wool then spray some citrus solution for eradicating bees.
- Entrance holes should be filled always at night to trap all bees.
- Review exposed wood regularly for new holes. Whenever you found a new hole, block them as soon as possible to prevent the bees from increasing and causing further damage.
- Do not use pesticides, while this may be the easiest way to eliminate a carpenter bees, it can be dangerous to the environment and other essential insects.
- Prefer wood putty or wooden dowels to block the holes made by these bees.
- Block the holes of bees with steel wool.
By performing all these home remedies, you will definitely see carpenter bee free house completely.
Did you find any of these home remedies for carpenter bees useful or helpful in eliminating against carpenter bees in your house?
Let me know which home remedies for carpenter bees you used for your house and what results it had.
I look forward to hearing from you!