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Three Ways to Control Carpenter Bees

The warm summer will certainly bring out the best in carpenter bees.  They love to fly, swarm, and buzz right in front of your face.  Not to worry.  This bee can be very intimidating but their buzz is worse than their sting.  As a matter of fact, the male carpenter bee is unable to sting and they are the most noticed.  The female has the ability to sting but rarely does.  She has to be extremely provoked before attempting to sting.

If you see a large number of bees hovering around eaves or drilling holes in your wood you have carpenter bees.  Carpenter bees nest in wooded objects like trees, fences, decking, and wood framing.  A Carpenter bee begins her nest by drilling a nearly perfect round hole about a quarter of an inch.  She then lays her eggs in the chamber.  Many times carpenter bees get under the fascia board along the peak of your home.  The holes are on the underside of the board so may not be visible but you will see the dropping marks trailing down the side of the structure.  Here is what you do.

1.  First, try to estimate the size of the infestation.  If you are only seeing a bee or two you can probably take care of this yourself.  Search all the wood framing around your home.  Decks, fencing, swing sets, fascia boards, etc.  Look for the quarter-inch entrance hole created by the female.  Seal the hole up with chalk or putty and paint over the mark.  Where applicable, cover the wood with aluminum or vinyl.

2.  A second strategy is to visit your local hardware store and search for an insecticide that is labeled for carpenter bees.  ONLY USE THESE MATERIALS ACCORDING TO THE LABEL.  Remember, the label is the law.  During the evening hours when the bees are moving slower treat the holes according to the label.  After about a week, seal the holes as stated above.

3.  If you have a larger infestation, don’t take the risk of getting stung or falling from a ladder.  Call an exterminator.  They should give you a free inspection and give you their recommendations.  Hoffman’s Exterminating has been solving carpenter bee infestations since 1990.