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Carpenter Bee Removal & Prevention Methods

Don’t like using pesticides or toxic chemicals to eliminate carpenter bees? Neither do we! 

That is why Best Bee Brothers specializes in all-natural solutions to get rid of carpenter bees and other pests. Try some of our favorite ways to repel carpenter bees naturally all year long.

Fall Preparation to Avoid Carpenter Bees

  • Seal up any wooden divots or pre-existing holes in your wood. Every spring when female carpenter bees start their search for new homes, they seek out imperfections in wood as perfect places to begin nests. In the fall, use wood putty to cover up holes and crevices so that your home is less appealing in the spring.
  •  Repair damage from old carpenter bee nests. Fall is the best time to prepare for carpenter bees. The adults have died off and the young bees and larvae are hibernating in the tunnels, making autumn the least dangerous time to address existing nests. Pour almond oil or put a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol into the nest. Then seal off the entrance hole with steel wool, wooden dowels and wood putty.
    Carpenter Bee Damage Repair

Spring - Catch the Carpenter Bees!

  • Place carpenter bee traps up every spring! Even if you do not have active carpenter bee nests, the traps are great deterrents. The traps will attract any carpenter bees scouting out the area before they have a chance to nest. This is the BEST way to use your carpenter bee trap. Each trap has a 15-foot working radius, so plan accordingly! Check out our traps here!
    Carpenter Bee Trap

Tips for Year-Round Carpenter Bee Removal 

  • Use citrus spray to protect wood. Citrus scent is highly repulsive to carpenter bees. You can make your own citrus spray by boiling citrus peels in water for several hours and draining into a squirt bottle. Or you can buy some citrus spray from us! Spray your wood every few days, depending on weather, to keep your wood protected. This method is great for patio and porch furniture, as well as play sets.
  • Use almond oil to repel. When applied to wood, almond oil has similar repelling effects to citrus spray. Carpenter bees hate the scent and it will keep them from nesting on sprayed wood. Some people have also had luck spraying new nest openings with almond oil to get existing carpenter bees to leave. Mix the almond oil with water to spray on wood, or apply the oil directly to carpenter bee nest holes.1
    Almond Oil
  • Use borate to treat your wood! Apply a borate wood treatment to your finished and unfinished wood. While this solution is not technically chemical free, it is a great way to protect your wood and prevent wood-boring insects of any kind from finding their way into your home.2
  •  Vacuum carpenter bees away. If you have a strong enough vacuum with a small attachment, you might be able to vacuum the carpenter bees out of their nest. This works best when the nests are new and not very deep. Vacuuming will not get any larvae, so make sure to seal up the nest properly after removing the adults.
  • Play loud music! Some people have found that playing loud music next to active nests causes the carpenter bees to decamp, at least for a short while. This method can work because carpenter bees are sensitive to sound, and the vibrations from the music would be unpleasant to them. This gives you an opportunity to repair a nest before the adults return. Make sure to place a carpenter bee trap up after sealing the nest to catch the fleeing adult carpenter bees!
  • Hit them with rackets! Because carpenter bees are so large, they make excellent targets for badminton and tennis rackets. We even have electric rackets to help pack a punch! This is certainly effective at getting rid of the carpenter bees that come too close. However, those tend to be male so, unfortunately, killing them won’t stop a nest from growing. Collect any dead bees and place them in your carpenter bee trap to make the trap more effective. Watch our video to see how it works. 
    Zapper Racket
  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth in the nests to kill larvae and bees. Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized remains of diatoms (algae). It’s composed of microorganisms that will destroy the exoskeleton of any pest it touches and has long been used as a natural pest control substance. When applying diatomaceous earth to the nest, wear gloves, a mask, and long sleeves, as it can cause rashes when in contact with bare skin. Remember to seal up the nest after treatment.3

Naturally repelling carpenter bees is not difficult when you have the right tools. Preparing your home in fall and having your carpenter bee trap ready in the spring will ensure proper protection. 

References:

  1. Person, and wikiHow. “How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees.” WikiHow, WikiHow, 6 Sept. 2019, www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Carpenter-Bees
  2. “How to Do a Borate Wood Treatment.” DoMyOwn.com - Do It Yourself Pest Control, www.domyown.com/borate-wood-treatment-c-3_353.html.
  3. Bee, Honey. “18 Ways to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees (Wood Bees) Without Killing Them.” 18 Ways to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees | How to Control Wood Bees, 1 Apr. 2018, www.howtogettingridofbees.com/keep-away-carpenter-bees/.


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