3 Questions on carpenter bees

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Old 05-11-15, 12:53 PM
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3 Questions on carpenter bees

Our home in Connecticut is vinyl sided and I have carpenter bee infestations in at least three locations around my exterior. No holes are visible but I see the bees and telltale wood pulp.

I have three questions on getting rid of them:

1. My understanding is that exterminating is a multi-step process involving more than spraying. Is this something exterminators are good at?

2. I've built a trap today and am considering using several at each location. Do they really work?

3. If I go the exterminator route what should he/she do?
 
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Old 05-11-15, 12:59 PM
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I've seen or heard of a carpenter bee trap.
Find the hole spray in some wasp spray.
If you just plug the hole the larvie in the hole will just make a new hole to get out.
A pro will just spray some Permetrin in the hole and or spray any bare wood with water and Boric acid.
It dehydrates them when they eat the wood to make the nest.
 
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Old 05-11-15, 01:37 PM
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Joe, I take it you meant to say you never.

On the traps, I'm putting my first one out in the morning. I think they have a benefit to me because I can't get in behind the siding until I knock them down.
 
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Old 05-11-15, 01:57 PM
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First off, the ones you see buzzing around are the males. They are doing what every male of any species does, try to hit on the gals. However, they do not have stingers and are completely harmless which is why about all they can do is try to intimidate you by buzzing you. Males have a yellow dot on their heads which you can see if they are hovering near you. You can swat at them with a badminton racket or I use a putty knife to swat them (I have a commercial account that has them everywhere). The females, mind you, DO have stingers and will protect the nest. females have a completely black head to distinguish them from the males with the yellow dot.

I have never used a trap so I can't advise on that. But the bee burrows a perfectly round hole and lays a makes a series of chambers. Each chamber house one larvae which hatch in the opposite order in which then are laid. So the closest to the opening hatches first. My understanding is that to rid them, you must spray a powder into the hole through which the bees drag themselves through as they hatch to kill them. Something that must have residual staying power, which sprays and other liquids do not. The real damage to the house occurs when woodpeckers seek to eat the larvae and destroy your trim getting at them.

Alternatively, seal the hole with mother inside. Remove the board and deposit it in the local landfill. Replace the board with an expanded PVC trim board. No wood, No bees.
 
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Old 05-11-15, 02:04 PM
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I've been meaning to build a trap or two but for one reason or another haven't done it yet
What I have been doing is dusting the holes with sevin dust which seems to work well [other than having to physically get to the hole] While I have plugged some of the holes on the house there are too many of them on the barn so I just dust the hole and leave it ...... I also try to smack the ones that are flying, I get a bit of satisfaction when I can knock one to the ground and stomp his lights out

While I hear woodpeckers all the time in the woods, I've not had any damage my house/barn from them BUT those #@*# wood boring bees can wreck havoc with wood. I replaced a 2x6 on my barn that had more tunnels than it had solid wood
 
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Old 05-12-15, 06:38 PM
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1. My understanding is that exterminating is a multi-step process involving more than spraying. Is this something exterminators are good at?


A lot of exterminators will want to spray a liquid mix that will repell but not kill carpenter bees, because they can't pick enough of it off the wood to kill them. To kill all of them you'll need to puff an insecticide dust into the holes. I use 7 dust, available in Home Depot which acts like a nerve agent. When they contact it going in and out it kills them and any larvae inside, eliminating next year's life cycle.



2. I've built a trap today and am considering using several at each location. Do they really work?

Somewhat. The bees have to find them and go into them. But once one does more usually come. I have a couple up, but it's not my primary means of dealing with it. Last year I caught several in each one. This year I only got one so far. If they don't find the hole in the trap, they'll ignore it and dig their own. It's kind of a crapshoot.

3. If I go the exterminator route what should he/she do?

In my opinion if you don't currently have holes they should soak exterior wood in their repellent spray. Any holes should be filled with a non liquid dust so the bees can pick up sufficient amounts to kill them going in and out. Mine does not dust the holes, he just wants to use his standard liquid spray that works great on other stuff but doesn't effectively kill carpenter bees. So after he sprays the rest of the wood to make sure they don't drill new ones and leaves I take 10 minutes and blow dust into the holes already there. I have a trellace, gazeebo, and a deck. I have lived here 3 Summers now. My first year I had them everywhere. The second, Maybe half the activity. This summer I have only seen a couple. I believe dusting the holes where they're laying their eggs is really cutting away at the future life cycles. The 5-6 larvae in each hole are hatching and immediately dying. Each of them is one fewer that will drill away at my wood next year.
 

Last edited by eharri3; 05-12-15 at 07:05 PM.
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