LESLIE: Barbara in Indiana has some unwanted visitors at her money pit. What’s going on?
BARBARA: My children have these little Amish log homes that they’ve put on their property in Brown County.
BARBARA: And they’re in the woods and they’re constantly being bothered by squirrels chewing on, actually eating the wood. (Leslie chuckles) And also these, I think they call them carpenter bees.
LESLIE: Oh, do they have those perfectly bored 3/8-inch holes?
BARBARA: Yes, yeah.
TOM: Yeah. Yeah, they’re very industrious little fellas.
LESLIE: And they work so quickly. It’s amazing.
BARBARA: It is. And it’s so perfect. But we were wondering – we’ve tried some home remedies that different people have told us. Now these are brand new little log homes like the Amish build.
TOM: Right, mm-hmm.
BARBARA: And they still, they just move to another spot.
TOM: Yeah, they – well, they will unless you treat for them. There are different treatments you can use for carpenter bees. What the carpenter bees are doing, by the way, is they’ll drill up into the log and then they’ll sort of turn 90 degrees and go with the grain and they’ll nest in there and then they’ll exit out of it. And you’re right; they work very quickly. And as Leslie mentioned, the holes are almost always …
LESLIE: They’re perfect.
TOM: … a perfect 3/8-inch in diameter hole; depending on, of course, whether you’ve got a chubby bee or not. But yeah, they make these holes quite quickly. And they are pretty annoying. Now, the one thing about carpenter bees that most people don’t know is that they don’t sting. And so, even though they’ll sort of fly at you and around you and try to intimidate you, they don’t sting. So now we’re just talking about how to stop them from drilling holes in your wood.
BARBARA: Right, right.
TOM: And there are a couple of things that you can do but they’re all professionally applied pesticides. There is Sevin, there’s Dursban, there’s Permethrin; types of pesticides that have to be applied by specialists …
TOM: … that are trained and certified to do that. But if you apply them properly they’re not going to come back. The other thing that we did here is whenever the bees do leave you want to make sure you fill up those holes.
BARBARA: OK, sure.
TOM: Because that does help prevent them. They will re-infest the very same holes.
BARBARA: Oh, OK. Sure. And what about the squirrels? Would the same treatment from the professional keep the squirrels – I think …
TOM: Squirrels are a little bit different and, you know, usually with squirrels, you need to use more humane methods like Havahart traps and things like that where you trap them and then move them – try to move them out of the area and encourage them to chew on perhaps a dead log as opposed to the one that you happen to build your house with.
BARBARA: Oh, yes. Yes, I agree. Well that sounds like it would be a good thing to do then to call a professional in.
TOM: Absolutely. That’s going to – you know, sometimes people try to do sort of do-it-yourself pesticides …
LESLIE: But you can’t get the chemicals that the pros can get and they can apply them in a safe manner as well.
TOM: Exactly. You end up putting on too much of the wrong stuff and that’s more dangerous than getting a professional in that knows exactly what to put; he knows where to put it. It’s done once, it’s done right and you don’t have to deal with it again.
Barbara, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.