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3 Ways to Control Carpenter Bees

carpenter beesI was recently visiting a friend’s back yard in Northfield, New Jersey when all of a sudden we were interrupted by the flight of a large Bee.  Knowing I was in the pest control field he asked me what it was.  It happened to be a Carpenter Bee.  I asked him if he is seeing a lot of bee activity especially on nice sunny days.  That was his only sighting and I told him I would make an inspection for him.  My inspection came up empty for signs of carpenter bee’s but he asked me what he could do himself to make sure his home was protected.  This is what I told him.

  1. Make an inspection of all unprotected wood on and around the home.  Make certain to inspect the sides and underneath of all unprotected wood.  Concentrate on decks, swing sets, under house fascia trim, sheds, patio furniture, decorative wells and scrap wood.  OF COURSE HE ASKED ME WHAT HE WAS LOOKING FOR.  Carpenter bee’s will drill a perfectly round hole a little smaller than the size of a dime.  In many cases you can see a small amount of saw dust under the hole.  This is because Carpenter bee’s do not eat the wood like a termite but rather drill it to lay larva for the next generation of bees.  Another telltale sign is the droppings coming from the hole.  This is most common on the peak of a home, underneath the fascia trim of the siding.
  2. If you’re going to attempt to treat these pests on your own you should buy a pesticide in a dust formulation from your local hardware store.  Make sure you follow all label instructions and treat each individual hole.  Do not seal the hole immediately so the bee can go in and out of the entrance and get a good amount of the insecticide on its body.  After a week or so you can then seal the hole with a wood filler.  If possible, cover all the unprotected wood with vinyl or plastic siding.  Paint is also an option but if it’s not thick enough they will still infest the area.  OF COURSE HE TOLD ME HE DIDN’T HAVE THE TIME OR THE BOTHER OF DOING THIS HIMSELF, which brings me to number 3.
  3. Get professional help.  Pest control operators have faced this problem thousands of times in their career.  They know where to look and they know what to look for.  It’s important to get all the entry points or the new generation will continue to grow the population.  Pest control operators are also familiar with handling pesticides.  If they are experienced and professional there is much less risk of having a pesticide related injury or misapplication.  Hoffman’s Exterminating Company has been in business since 1990 solving pest control problems for homeowners.