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How to Keep Wood Bees Away Naturally

About Carpenter Bees

The easiest and most efficient way to keep wood bees away from your wood structures is by utilizing a natural wood bee trap.

Best Carpenter Bee Trap

Here are some other helpful tips and tricks to keep wood bees away from your house and deck:

  1. Existing Wood Bee Nests.  If there are any existing nests they should be plugged up as soon as possible. Wood bees are highly territorial. They will defend their own nest and keep other wood boring bees away from the area.  If your trap isn’t working properly, there is a good chance there could be some nests nearby that are discouraging any other wood bees from nesting in the area, resulting in the trap not attracting any bees.  The holes can be covered up easily with caulk, putty, wooden dowel, or even steel wool. Once the hole is plugged up the search for a new nest begins. Wood bees will naturally look for the easiest place to nest…aka the Trap!
  2. Jump Start the Pheromone. The trap's effectiveness increases with the number of dead wood bees collected . This is because dead wood bees release a pheromone that is very attractive to other wood bees and actually lures them into the trap. To get the trap to attract attention right away, place a dead wood bee in the bottom bottle of the clear receptacle. The pheromone released from the dead wood bee will get the process headed in the right direction.
  3. No Other Bait Needed. Some other traps use attractants for their traps and say that it will catch many insects. That may be true for other insects, but not for wood bees. They are not attracted to anything the way they are to the smell of a dead wood bees. Placing any other attractant into the trap could cause the smell of the pheromone to be less potent, and actually deter wood bees from going into the trap.
  4. Vertical Alignment. The holes on the trap area are specifically aligned to work the best when aligned in a straight vertical manner (this is because wood bees cannot fly directly up). Placing your trap at an angle or sideways will actually make it easier for the wood bees to find a way out.
  5. Be Patient. Wood bees can be particular creatures. They are very partial to smells. When you first get the trap it may not smell the most appealing to them. Don’t worry though, the soft porous nature of the wooden base will acclimate to your existing area and begin to smell like the other woods around your property. Sometimes this can take several days. Give your trap up to 2 weeks in one spot before trying other tricks. Check out our 3 Main Reasons Your Carpenter Bee Trap Isn’t Working if you still are having issues.
  6. Citrus Spray. To protect your wooden furniture or hard to reach spots we recommend using a citrus spray. Wood bees HATE the citrus smell! They will fly over it. Repeat the process every couple of days during the wood bee season.

Utilizing all of the above tricks will ensure you the most success when keeping wood bees away from your home and deck. For more ways to get rid of wood bees, head over to the rest of our Natural Wood Bee Products.

Carpenter Bee Trap Under Deck

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Article Comments

  • Customer Support on

    @ Bridgette – Sorry to hear about the smell. Unfortunately, we have never heard about a strong smell like that before since pheromones tend to be unidentifiable to the human nose. If it is indeed coming from the bees, you could remove the dead ones and just leave one in to minimize the “fumes”. Hope this helps!

  • Bridgette on

    These traps are really great. I bought two. One probably isn’t in a good place because there’s nothing in there. But a few feet away, the second one has trapped like 10 or 12. but, I have a question. Are all those dead wood bees making the new stink I’m smelling right next to my patio? I noticed it got a lot stronger the more bees became trapped. I love the traps, but curious about the “fumes.”

  • Deanna L Fleet on

    Thank you for the info!

  • Cindy otten on

    I currently have 2 traps. First one is in the shed. We killed 2 and put them in there. Success!!! We have killed a lot. Trap 2 was attracted to 1 bee but he got out. I made up a little sugar water with a bit of vinegar and wallah!!! They love it.

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