How to Deal with Carpenter Bees | Bug Tip Tuesday

  • Fill Abandoned Holes: When carpenter bees emerge in spring and again in fall, fill holes with a bit of steel wool, a wad of aluminum foil, a dowel and wood glue, or even caulk. After filling the holes completely, paint over them.
  • Treat Active Holes: If the holes are still active, you may want to treat the holes with a targeted dose of insecticide first. Products such as pyrethrum, boric acid, or any spray labeled for flying insects will do the trick. The best time to treat the holes is at night when bees are resting or in early spring while they’re still hibernating. Apply the spray or powder directly in the hole, staying on alert for an angry female bee that might emerge. By the next day, you should be able to fill and paint over the tunnel.
  • Avoid Wood Treatments: Since carpenter bees don’t actually eat wood, treating it doesn’t do much good.
  • Stay Alert: There’s no way to completely prevent or eliminate carpenter bees. But by taking these steps and staying alert to new activity, you can keep damage to a minimum.
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