Tips on Solving a Carpenter Bee Problem
LESLIE: Alright. Next up, we’ve got Ron in South Dakota who is dealing with a bee situation. What’s going on with these busy bees?
RON: So I’m trying to repair my roof on a cinder-block outbuilding. And these bumblebees are all around and I’m having trouble. I’d like to not kill them but I don’t know. Can I do something to make them relocate?
TOM: Yeah, you can. I think what you’re talking about are not bumblebees but carpenter bees.
RON: Oh, yeah. I’m from Memphis, originally, and we had big bumblebees there and one stung me last year and it felt the same way.
TOM: Well, those are carpenter bees and they’ll bite but they don’t – they’re not as bad as getting stung by a wasp or something like that. But what they do is they look for usually the soft trim, like around a porch or a fascia or a soffit. And they’ll drill into that trim, usually from the edge grain, drill up and then they’ll turn 90 degrees and then kind of go with the grain, go in 2 or 3 inches and nest. And that’s where they’ll actually nest.
So, to get rid of them, a couple of things you can do. Of course, you can have a pest-control pro come out and they can put a powder insecticide in and around where those carpenter bees are and that will take care of the problem.
The second thing you can do is you can actually eliminate some of the wood and replace it with composite. So, for example, on my garage, I had pine fascia board behind the gutters. Started to get a big carpenter-bee problem with them, so – and actually, it had done quite a bit of damage, because they didn’t get to it for a while. So I pulled the pine fascia down and I replaced it with AZEK – A-Z-E-K – which is extruded PVC. Looks like wood, cuts like wood, doesn’t taste like wood to the carpenter bees. And so they left it alone after that because there was nothing left to eat.
And so I think you need to figure out where they’re nesting. They’re going to be drilling in somewhere and the thing is, if you get close to where they’re drilling, you can hear them; they make noise. They kind of make a grinding noise into your porch deck or …
RON: Yeah, I think my wife heard that.
TOM: Yeah, she probably did. So I think that you’ve got a carpenter-bee problem and you can either have them treated or get rid of some of the food source, one way or the other.
RON: OK. They’re going in a small 1×3 opening in the cinder block. There’s not that much wood right there but I’m sure they’re getting into the eave. If you’re …
TOM: Yeah. I think they may be going in and out of that but there’s probably some wood somewhere in that path that they’re traveling, Ron, OK?