How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees
Carpenter bees are territorial. They look very similar to a honey bee, and can grow to be approximately one inch long. While honey bees are generally black and yellow, the carpenter bee can have yellow, orange or white on its body. Carpenter bees like to build their gallery, or nest, in the exterior wooden trim on a house and throughout your yard. The bees drill an opening into the wood and began to clear out some space. The bees will not cause a lot of structural damage if caught and treated early on, so it is recommended to learn how to get rid of carpenter bees before the destruction becomes widespread. There are a variety of ways to get this taken care of.
Getting to the Carpenter Bees Nest
One popular way to get rid of carpenter bees is quite simple and usually very effective. It involves finding the entrance to their gallery and creating a barrier. This is usually not too hard a task, as the entrance will be a perfectly round circle and you should witness the bees coming and going throughout the day. You can plug the entrance using wood putty or caulk, and try to fill as much of the nest as possible to prevent future generations of bees from trying to nest there. Another suggestion when doing this is to run a coat hanger or screwdriver as far into the gallery as possible to try to crush and larvae. Even if the hole is closed and the adults are killed, the larvae can still live on with the food that has been left by the female. Once the reach the adult phase, they will chew out of the gallery, leaving it exposed and vulnerable to infestation once again.
Finding the Female Carpenter Bee
Male carpenter bees make a huge fuss when their territory has been invaded. However, this is mostly a show as they are perfectly harmless. The male carpenter bees lack a stinger and flying erratically and making a bunch of noise is their only defense against predators. The females do have stingers, but are said to be very calm and will only sting if handled. If you can find the solitary female and kill her and he larvae, this will also help conclude the problem.
Use Insecticide to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees
The most traditional way to get rid of any bee is with insecticide. You can hire an exterminator to do the job for you or you can purchase bee killer from your local hardware or grocery store. Be sure to read all precautions on the label before using any pesticide. It is a smart idea to try to get the bees when they are all in the nest to make sure they do not return. By dusk, most of the bees have returned to the nest for the evening and this is a great time to strike. The bees are less active in the evening hours and this is the best time to take action. You may need to apply a few applications initially to kill of all the bees.
Keep them Away in the First Place!
Of course, probably the greatest way to get rid of the bees and keep them from coming back is through prevention. If the bees cannot get into part of your structure to excavate their nests, the problem is already solved to begin with. The easiest way to ensure their entry is denied is to regularly paint and inspect the outside of your home. Make sure to patch and seal all holes or scratches on the wood. If the wood is consistently kept painted and sealed, this will deter the bees and they will move to more suitable wood.