How to Eliminate Carpenter Bees
LESLIE: We’re going to take a call from Jason in Florida who has some unwanted helpers – carpenter bees.
Jason, what’s going on?
JASON: Well, I’m a pest professional down here in Orlando, Florida and we’re coming across a lot of carpenter bees. They’re buzzing around houses and they’re coming into the soffits of homes and I really don’t know what to tell our customers.
TOM: You’re a pest management professional?
JASON: Yes, sir.
TOM: How do you generally treat for carpenter bees?
JASON: The only thing that I’ve really been told is to put some dust inside the nest.
TOM: Right. Typically, that’s what we see.
JASON: Right, put some dust up into the hole and to fill it up with a dowel rod or …
TOM: Yeah, because carpenter bees seem to come back every year.
JASON: Yeah, they come right back to the same spot.
LESLIE: What differentiates a carpenter bee from a bumblebee from another bee?
TOM: The carpenter bee is a little jangly because he has that tool belt on with all of the (inaudible).
LESLIE: (chuckles) So you hear him coming. (Jason laughs)
TOM: Exactly. The carpenter bees, they’re kind of like low-flying attack helicopters. So they sort of hover around you. They’re very intimidating looking. They’re about the size of your thumb or your pinky. But what’s interesting about carpenter bees is they don’t bite; they eat the wood. So they kind of try to scare you but they don’t really bite like a bumblebee might.
Jason, what I have found is the same thing that you have found; that a powder insecticide treatment is the appropriate way to treat for carpenter bees and you will eliminate them for the season.
Now if you want to stop them from coming back, you’ve got to fill the holes that they’ve left, that they’ve dug; or better yet, remove the fascia when possible because they seem to just like only certain parts of the house. And I had a bad, bad problem with carpenter bees last year and what I did, instead of treating them, is I took down all the fascia on my garage – which they were just ravaging; I mean you could hardly go in and out of the door without walking through a whole bunch of carpenter bees – and I replaced it with AZEK, which is an extruded polyvinylchloride product; it’s a PVC product.
And what was pretty interesting about it is after I put it back up, for about three or four days the carpenter bees were kind of hovering around this stuff but they couldn’t quite figure out how to dig into it and then they went away. So as far as I know right now, my carpenter bees are now totally infesting my neighbor’s house but I don’t care. (chuckles) That’s what we found.
JASON: I’ve been seeing and kind of noticing, you see one hovering around and if you look closely, you’ll see dust coming out of the hole.
TOM: You can actually hear them.
JASON: Now what I was curious to is the one that’s flying around keeping guard, if that’s the male while the female is inside laying the eggs or how’s that work?
TOM: I actually don’t know the answer to that question.
LESLIE: Well, you’ve got to turn it over and take a look. (Tom laughs)
JASON: Might get confused by the stinger there. (Leslie chuckles)
TOM: (laughs) Alright, Jason.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.