How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees
LESLIE: Mary in Maryland is on the line with wood-eating bees. Aaah!
Mary, welcome to The Money Pit. How can we help you?
MARY: My porch is being attacked by wood bees and it has been under this attack for, actually, a couple years now.
MARY: And there’s sawdust on the floor and there’s holes in the ceiling. And I would like to know if there’s some way that I could get rid of them without actually killing them.
TOM: Have you tried to ask nicely?
MARY: I have. I really have. In fact, I even took some mosquito spray out and thought maybe if I just sprayed around the holes, they wouldn’t like that and would go away but …
TOM: Yeah, well, unfortunately, the answer is “no.” What you’re talking about is carpenter bees. And once they find a place that they like, they will come back there over and over and over again, because it’s very tasty.
So, your options are to have them sprayed with an insecticide. They use a powdery insecticide that they spray into the holes that will permanently discourage them from coming back, because it will kill them. But there’s nests in there and that’s what – that’s why they’re going in. They’re drilling those holes to go in and lay eggs, so they’re going to keep coming back.
The other thing to think about doing is if you want to do some construction work – because you can change the wood areas of the – that they’re eating to a composite material, like AZEK. I did that on a garage that we have on our property. It looks like wood; it looks like sort of that white pine trim that we see around but it’s a composite. It’s made out of CPC, the same kind of plastic that plumbing pipes are made out of. But it’s got air cells in it, so it really cuts and looks like wood. You can even paint it.
And once I did that, it was funny: the carpenter bees kept going back to it because they thought it was wood, too. But I can imagine they’re thinking, “Looks like wood. Doesn’t taste like wood.” And once they figured out that it wasn’t wood, they never came back again.
MARY: Oh, wow. Well, that’s a good thing.
TOM: Alright? So check it out online. It’s AZEK – A-Z-E-K – .com. And thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.