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Carpenter Bee Trap Not Working?

Here Are 3 Reasons Your Trap May Not Be Working

During this time of year, customers often ask why their carpenter bee traps are not working instantly. After years of selling our carpenter bee traps, we’ve noticed there are two types of customers – those that buy the traps proactively, and those that buy the traps as a reaction to being pestered by carpenter bees. Our proactive buyers got their traps a bit earlier in the year and had them up at the beginning of spring. These proactive buyers are our seasoned pros. They know the best way to catch carpenter bees is before they even start buzzing around.

Our second group of customers, the reactive group, buys the traps as a result of being annoyed – understandably – by the big bees. Some of these purchases come late in the bee season – around May and June. And there is nothing wrong with this! The traps will still work wonderfully! But you may have to do some leg work to get the carpenter bees into the traps. Try the steps below to help get your traps going.

  1. Check if there are active nests. Have the carpenter bees started drilling holes anywhere? Are they consistently flying in and out of a sheltered area? Is there a male carpenter bee protecting a hole? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’ve got work ahead of you. Carpenter bees are extremely territorial, and once they have established a nest, they will be blind to any other decoy...aka the trap. Treat the nest with a pesticide if you prefer, and fill in the hole. We suggest using a combination of wooden dowels, steel wool, and caulk to make the hole flush again with the exterior. When a customer  tells us their trap isn’t working, 99% of the time it’s because of active nests. Once the nest is closed up, the carpenter bees will begin to search for another home and be much more likely to go into the trap.
  2. Determine if the trap is in the correct location. Is you trap getting bounced around by the elements, or are you moving and rehanging in different places? Is it getting pelted by rain? Is it easily visible? For best results, mount the carpenter bee trap or hang it along a wall where it can only move in two directions. Try to place it in a semi-sheltered area that is still visible. If you can’t easily see the trap, then the carpenter bees can’t easily find it either.
  3. Be patient. Not all traps will work immediately when they are hung up. Some will, but the majority take a few hours to a few days. Remember, carpenter bees are creatures of habit with a strong sense of smell, and your new carpenter bee trap came from a warehouse that smells nothing like your outdoor home environment. The trap needs to acclimate to the surroundings. Because our traps are 100% chemical free, we rely on the carpenter bee’s senses to find the trap. This can take them a few days.

If you’ve followed these three steps, then your trap will work. To speed up the trap’s effectiveness, try this trick: place a dead carpenter bee in the bottom of the trap. Carpenter bees are attracted to the smell of other dead carpenter bees, so the more dead carpenter bees in the trap, the more carpenter bees you will attract. If you can’t get a dead carpenter bee, try our Bee-Licious Bee Bait for the same effect.

Always feel free to email us your questions about carpenter bees and your products at customersupport@bestbeebrothers.com.