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How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

October 16, 2019 Vinx Pest Control blog
How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

We get asked how to get rid of carpenter bees all the time, and it’s a common problem in the Dallas area. When it comes to getting rid of carpenter bees, you need to use an insecticide and cover up the holes that they used for nesting. There are some natural ways to get rid of carpenter bees as well, but these pests can be hard to get rid of, and most times, they require an insecticide. 

If you’re dealing with carpenter bees, don’t get too overwhelmed. The good news is that carpenter bees are generally harmless to you. The bad news is that they aren’t harmless to your wood. They can cause a lot of damage, so getting rid of carpenter bees as quickly as possible is important!

Carpenter Bee vs Bumble Bee

Bees buzz, and when we hear that telltale sign, we’re often swatting and running as quickly as possible. However, if you took a moment to see what kind of bee you’re dealing with, you may not have to try and challenge Usain Bolt’s world record. 

Bumblebees are hairy, and their abdomen has black and yellow on it. However, carpenter bees have a bare, shiny black abdomen. The problem with carpenter bees is that they can look a little scary. They like to fly in a diving or chasing pattern, and you may think that they are coming after you. Chances are, they’re just doing what carpenter bees do—fly! 

Here’s the definitive list to see what bee you’re dealing with:

Bumble bees:

  • Hairy, black, and yellow
  • Often nest with others
  • Fly in a straight, non-erratic style

Carpenter bees:

  • Shiny, black abdomen
  • Solitary bees and are often alone
  • Dive or chase flying pattern

Do carpenter bees sting?

The real question is, do carpenter bees sting? Well, the good news is that they don’t usually sting. In fact, most people have never heard of someone being stung by a carpenter bee. That being said, it’s not impossible. It’s very possible to be stung by a carpenter bee as females do possess a stinger. They will only sting when seriously provoked, so chances are you won’t be stung.

However, bumble bees do sting. They like to defend their nests because they are vulnerable. Since carpenter bees lay eggs inside of wood, their nest is not as vulnerable and they don’t worry about the nest being harmed.

What do carpenter bees do?

Carpenter bees like to nest inside of wood. You may hear a loud buzzing noise as they drill into the wood. They don’t eat the wood like termites do, but rather just drill into it so they can lay eggs there. 

Carpenter bees are also pollinators, so they are important to many plants. However, when you have wood surrounding your home, they use it as a way to nest. This can happen in your wood deck, a playset, or anything else you have in your yard that is wood. They can also burrow into your home’s wood siding or steps. This could cause the steps to snap or wood to warp.

How to protect wood from carpenter bees

Carpenter bees prefer to have untreated wood to nest in, like trees, decks, or playsets that are not stained. However, they do sometimes get into wood that is treated as well. That being said, you can protect wood from carpenter bees by using a stain.

While it’s not a foolproof method, it does help. Carpenter bees will often search out somewhere else that has untreated wood. However, if they do nest in your treated wood, paint can keep them out. Painting your deck or playset can ensure that they won’t dig into your wood.

You can also try a few DIY methods for getting rid of carpenter bees to protect your wood from carpenter bees. These methods include:

  • Citrus spray: Some people have found succeed spraying citrus oil onto wood. Citrus oil naturally repels bees, so they may go search for wood elsewhere.
  • Almond oil: You may also have luck protecting your wood by using almond oil. This is an oil that naturally repels bees, so put it around the nest and any visible bee holes.
  • Bee trap: A trap could help you get rid of carpenter bees. Make sure to get a carpenter bee trap that has wood to lure in the bees.
  • Relocate the bees: There are people who will come in and relocate your carpenter bees, so you could get them out and then use one of the other methods to ensure they don’t come back.

Professional carpenter bee treatment

Carpenter bees are notoriously hard to get rid of without professional-grade products. Because you will need insecticide dust and spray in a concentration that can only be provided by a professional, it’s best to call someone in the Dallas or Fort Worth areas to help you get rid of them. At Vinx, we work to prevent carpenter bees from coming, but we also handle infestations as well. If you’re in Dallas County or the surrounding cities, like Rockwall, Euless, and Coppell, Vinx Pest Control can get rid of carpenter bees.

Carpenter bee prevention

First, if you’re preventing carpenter bees, we will come out in the spring to spray any wood you have to prevent them from coming and boring holes into the wood. They don’t nest until late spring, so if this is done in March or April, your wood will be protected.

Treating infestation

If you have an infestation, we will come out and spray an insecticide in the holes that the carpenter bees are creating. This liquid treatment can get rid of active carpenter bees as well as the eggs. On top of that, we use a dust application inside of the holes. This is a great preventive treatment, and it also works on active bees. However, the dust application does not work on eggs.

Once the active bees are gone and have left the nest, we can plug the carpenter bee holes as well. If you plug these holes while active bees or eggs are still inside, the carpenter bees will drill new holes. We wait until they are gone and then use some caulking compound so that the carpenter bees do not come back to this spot again.

After your infestation is taken care of and the holes are plugged, you’re good to stain or paint over the putty-filled holes. Thankfully, carpenter bees usually only cause aesthetic damage if you catch them in time.

Conclusion: How to get rid of carpenter bees

When it comes to getting rid of carpenter bees, it’s a long process. They are extremely resilient, and the best way to get rid of them is to never have them! Prevention is key in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas. Whether you need carpenter bee prevention or treatment, our technicians are experienced in getting rid of carpenter bees. 

We’ll work with you to determine the best way to get rid of your carpenter bees. Since our technicians are specially trained, they’re some of the best exterminators in the business. Give us a call today at 972-855-8469 or fill out our form for a free quote. Stop the buzzing and prevent damage to your home by calling Vinx Pest Control today.