How to get rid of carpenter bees

A couple of months ago, when the weather began to warm up and the temperature was warm enough to sit outside in the afternoon, a large bee would hover menacingly outside the door. I really needed to get rid of carpenter bees.

It seemed like a dare: see if you can get by me to enjoy your yard! It wasn’t long before I noticed that above the door was a piece of wood holding our awning up, with about thirteen 1/2 in holes in it, the work of carpenter bees.

How to get rid of carpenter bees An example of a carpenter bee hole. The holes they bore are perfect 1/2 diameter circles.

What is a carpenter bee? It looks a lot like a large bumble bee, but the males don’t have stingers but they do like to dive bomb you.

A dead carpenter bee. The size of one adult is about the size of a penny.

Google “carpenter bees” and you’ll find a lot of homeowners very frustrated by their presence, persistence, and destructiveness. Here’s what I learned about how to get rid of them.

I went to the hardware store to get a quick remedy. I bought Wasp and Hornet foam that you can shoot up to 15 feet.

This was effective for a few days, as a temporary solution.

I sprayed this in the holes and shortly after, I noticed big brown spray marks on the wall where the bees were trying to expel the poison.

Brown marks on the wall where carpenter bees sprayed the contents of the holes out onto the wall to expel the poison.

This kept the bees away for only about five days and then there they were, hovering again over the door.

Next, I read on a forum about the wonders of WD-40. I sprayed WD-40 in the holes and this kept the bees away for longer, about three weeks. I noticed from time to time some half formed bee parts that had fallen out of the holes onto the ground.

Is there anything that WD-40 can’t do?

I stuck the nozzle of the can into the holes and was surprised to feel how deep they were. Each carpenter bee hole was at least an inch deep!

Next, I filled in the holes using wood filler. I am glad to report that since I filled the holes, I have not seen a single carpenter bee sighting.  The next stage is to shellac with polyurethane, which seems to also repel them. Good homeowner tips!

Have you had carpenter bees? How did you get rid of them? Let me know if the comments below.

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