Carpenter Bees


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Old 04-10-06, 11:38 AM
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we have carpenter bees under our deck. i work with a lady who had them in the overhang above her back door in her old house. i think they're more common than people realize, because when you see those round holes in wood, you tend to dismiss them as anything related to a bug. but from what i've learned from searching the web, they are extremely difficult to get rid of! and they do tons of damage - almost as bad as termites. you think it's just a little 1/2" hole, maybe a couple inches deep, but the tunnels can be 4 feet long! and they branch off into lots of little "side streets". so the boards they've tunnelled in are pretty damaged. you can kill the males that are buzzing around guarding the nests (they don't even HAVE stingers!) but the females & larvae have to be killed with the dust. then, after the larvae have emerged in late summer, the holes have to be filled with wood filler, and then the whole surface has to be coated with oil based paint or polyurethane. stain apparently won't work.

i'm just wondering if anyone out there has really ever successfully gotten RID of carpenter bees????

we just bought our house in November. it's 25 years old and we can see where previous holes have been filled in with wood filler, but we've got tons of open holes & many males buzzing slowly around. i'm feeling very panicked & overwhelmed. this deck is off the second story and runs the whole length of our house. we've purchased the wood filler & oil based poly, but ot the dust yet. are you sure the Sevin dust is the right stuff?

the thought of our deck collapsing or having to rebuild the whole thing out of the Trek stuff just makes me woozy.........!!

please.........any words of encouragement???
 

Last edited by Annette; 04-11-06 at 08:12 AM.
  #2  
Old 04-13-06, 06:44 PM
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carpenter bees that don't construct but destruct

hey annette,

first thing, plug all the open holes you can find, dowel rods, a hardening caulk mixed with a little insecticidal dust, anything that will cover the entrance of the tunnels. next if you have active bees, it's best to go at dusk/dark when she is doing her thing(laying eggs), and do the same thing as mentioned above, or use sevin or d.e.(my choice) . remember the bees are like salmon, they prefer to return to their place of birth and/ or the new baby bees will not venture far from where they were born. it's best to try to do all this before the spring before they become active.
i had a 180 year old house that took two years before they were taken care of so you will have to use a little patience to break the chain.

barry
 
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Old 04-13-06, 07:02 PM
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This is what I found on them. Seems they think you should spray before you plug the holes. Also says they can sting you which well they are bees after all. I never realized they made such long tunnels. I thought they just went in a little past where you could see them so news to me that they can go up to 6' wow!
http://www.thelakechannel.com/housed...erbees0503.htm
 

Last edited by BuiLDPro68; 04-13-06 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 04-13-06, 07:07 PM
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carpenter bees don't sting, they bite the h*ll out of you
barry
 
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Old 04-13-06, 07:41 PM
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I don't know if it is possible to be totally rid of them, at least not for me as I live in wooded mountains. Deligent spraying and plugging seems to keep them from multipling but I haven't gotten rid of them after 15 yrs of trying.
 
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Old 04-13-06, 08:51 PM
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you have to understand that these guys are only driven by one thing, to reproduce, and they will do it just like the dandlions in your yard. you have to be diligent to control these guys, and it make take some time(will), if the pesticide that could be used to kill the critters right away, could be harmful to you., thats why i recommend the slower stuff.
barry
 
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Old 04-14-06, 06:42 AM
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Go to the hardware store and look for any products that contain permethrin or cypermethrin....I like the 10% permethrin for agriculture uses, mix about 3 to 4 ounces per gal of water. Spray it on siding,trim bds, or where you see bees or wasps congregating..It will not stain or leave anything noticible...When it dries all they need to do is walk on it and take some back to the nest.....Good luck....Oren
 
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Old 04-14-06, 05:33 PM
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the pesticides mentioned by oren are great knock down chemicals but don't have a very long residual effect, thats why a lot of food service companies only use these chemicals. what we are looking for is a chemical that may take a little longer to rid us of the bees, so that is why it was suggested in the previous post , and in the long run is safer for the homeowner.
just a note: ALWAYS read the label that is on the pesticide that you plan to use, you will see that it in violation of FEDERAL LAW if it is applied in any manner inconsistant with its labeling.
ps, i have also been known to take a tennis racket and slap them into next week, a favorite sport of mine(god knows i have no life).

barry
 
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Old 04-14-06, 06:32 PM
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I had a customer who was upset at the carpenter bees. But what she was more upset at was the woodpeckers going after the bee larvae. They tore up fascia boards to get to them. 40 feet of fascia later solved it for a year, so apparently they are location specific rather than hole specific. I have also used the Minwax epoxy wood filler in the holes, but you have to work fast, as you only have about 15 minutes before hardening.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 11:08 AM
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Talking

I got rid of them, although it took three years.

They would make their nest in the shed in my yard, actually under the front door of it. I would open the door during the evening and spray bengal ant/roach killer. Up to about three weeks later when I would open the door I would see at least one or two dead bees. I would repeat the process, during the winter I got a can of spray paint and painted all of the boards around and under the door. They came back the next year and buzzed around, but didn't make any nests. They would just fly around the outside of the door. I repeated the process and I haven't seen one bee this year around it...
 
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Old 04-20-06, 07:01 PM
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carpenter bees

that's what i was trying to convey, it will take some time to rid the structure of these guys, and you have to be diligent for a few years. way to go cmarti, on controlling these pests. but just as a note: remember, that these critters were here long before we built our new home, so they are used to going back to where they were born. so, now there is a new house, what are they to do? instead of drilling into a tree stump or what ever, they go to the best next thing, your house, deck or shed, they don't know the differance, to them wood is wood, it is just located were they feel the need to breed (dang i ought to copyright that). we just need to break that cycle mainly in new developments. otherwise, do the plug, dusting, active kill(tennis racket or such) , and do it till they are under control.

barry
 
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Old 05-09-06, 05:06 PM
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We have not gotten rid of ours but they sure are fun to hit with a tennis racket
 
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Old 05-09-06, 07:58 PM
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hey, maybe i have created a new sport, please send all sponsorship, commericial deals, endorcements to... heck,
who i'm i kidding, this still and always will remain a homeowners sport.

barry
 
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Old 05-10-06, 03:18 PM
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i've done more research since my first post, and i've found out that you have to wait until late summer to plug the holes. that's when the babies will have all come out. if you plug the holes while the babes are still in there, they'll chew a NEW tunnel to get out, then you've got twice as many tunnels!

so far, we've pressure washed the deck, puffed Sevin dust into each hole, and painted on a thick oil-based polyurethane/stain. we've already seen a significant reduction in male guarding activity (then again, we too have been playing a lot of bee tennis!). we're planning to re-puff all the holes again with Sevin a few more times throughout the summer, to keep killing all the adults as they come & go, and then hopefully, the babies as they emerge. then we'll put wood filler in the holes in late summer, so they can't reuse those holes.

i feel fairly confident that we'll be just about rid of them by next spring. at least we'll know that any holes we see are new holes & will be able to gauge how many we've got.

cmarti: they prefer untreated wood, so by your painting your wood, that's how you got rid of them. i've read that it's best to use oil based stain or polyurethane. that latex isn't much of a deterrant. which did you use?
 
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Old 05-10-06, 03:21 PM
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I went and got a can of spray paint and painted it.. Using the bengal was pretty effective in killing them too.

Bengal doesn't do a thing for cicada killers though...
 
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Old 05-10-06, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cmarti
I went and got a can of spray paint and painted it..
ahhh....there ya go! oil based paint. must taste bad!


Originally Posted by brentwoodpmg
carpenter bees don't sting, they bite the h*ll out of you
barry
the males ("guarding" the entrance holes) do NOT have stingers. at all.

the females DO have stingers, but what i've read is that they are docile and rarely sting.

with all our activity around all our holes, we've not been stung or bitten once.

are you sure you were bitten? by a carpenter bee??
 
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Old 05-10-06, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Annette
ahhh....there ya go! oil based paint. must taste bad!
the females DO have stingers, but what i've read is that they are docile and rarely sting.

If they're determined, paint won't stop them. I have found them boring into PT wood also - which I assume your deck is. The females will sting if threatened but mostly will just try to get out of the way.

I live in wooded mountains so I doubt there is any hope for me to be totally rid of them. I don't mind fighting them in the barn or shed but I wish they would leave my house alone.
 
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Old 05-11-06, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr
If they're determined, paint won't stop them. I have found them boring into PT wood also

the impression i've gotten, from my extensive reading, is that they seek out plain old wood that has no "coating" on it. they don't mind PT wood, or stained wood, or water-sealed wood, or even latex painted wood. but, they say, they really don't like oil based paint or oil based polyurethane.

no, it won't stop them, but apparently, it deters them.

i just know i'm ready & willing to do whatever it takes for however long it takes.
 
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Old 06-03-06, 05:35 AM
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Stick a moth ball in the hole before adding dowells or wood putty. Works like a charm.
 
 

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