Carpenter bee damage prevention.

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Old 07-26-17, 12:25 PM
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Carpenter bee damage prevention.

Hi, I an going to replace my deck boards with composite. While I have them off I was thinking about wrapping my joist with aluminum screen to stop the bees from going into my joist. They were hot and heavy last year and my deck is large and its not easy to get under while the deck boards are on. Will aluminum screen stop carpenter bees? What about used motor oil? Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thank you!
 
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Old 07-27-17, 03:02 PM
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The aluminum screen is a great idea that should work well for a long time. I've known people who used fiber screen, window screen, etc and it all works. Aluminum should be even better.

Used motor oil would be repellent for a season, maybe two, but beyond that I’d have my doubts. Meanwhile the odor may be noticeable.
 
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Old 07-28-17, 02:46 AM
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I also fight those pesky boring bees and don't know of any prevention other than trying to kill everyone I see and dust their holes. I use burnt motor oil on the fence behind the barn but my wife would shoot me if I used it next to the house. The fencing behind the barn generally needs recoating every year.
 
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Old 08-21-17, 11:31 PM
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Hello,

If the carpenter bees are primarily hanging around your flowers and leaving people and structures alone, leave them to their pollinating. While the potential for damage is always a possibility, their contribution to the garden may outweigh the chance of damage. Spot-control bees, if necessary, with commercial sprays formulated for wasp and hornet control.
 
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Old 08-22-17, 02:40 AM
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Welcome to the forums Karen!

While I don't dispute the pollination value, IMO carpenter bees do more harm than good. I've seen and repaired the damage they can cause and would never purposely encourage them to live near my house. Dusting their holes is more effective than trying to spray them.
 
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Old 08-22-17, 07:17 AM
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Marksr, Keren,

Though not on the endangered species list, it is recommended not to kill them for the reasons Keren mentioned. They are not aggressive and I think damage is minimal. But using deterrents are the best form of defense.

I'd like to see what PABugman has to say about these "pest".
 
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Old 08-22-17, 11:41 AM
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90% of my experience with carpenter bees is on my property and they can do extension damage. I had to replace a 2x6 on my barn that was more hollow than solid. The holes they drill are small but can go a long ways with hollowed out pockets/rooms. Carpenter bees and termites receive no mercy from me!
 
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Old 08-22-17, 12:45 PM
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Carpenter bees do pollinate quite well and they do damage to wood quite well over time. As each season goes by the damage will intensify. They drill a hole in the wood, turn 90 degrees and make a channel in which to lay egg, pollen, egg, pollen, egg, pollen. Only the females do this. This is more accurately called an incubation chamber rather than a nest. The female lives in the channel while she is egg laying.

I’ve seen these channels go 6 to 10 inches. Later in the season woodpeckers will attack the channels to get the larvae. You can imagine the damage that occurs. Holes from the bees and the damage from woodpeckers can allow rain water to then enter, causing water damage.

Another aspect is that when a real estate transaction happens to the property, the carpenter bee damage is reportable as a wood-destroying insect on the same form that is called a “termite inspection”, which is more accurately called a “wood destroying insect report”.

I’ve seen people use fiber screen and window screen to cover the underside of balcony railing with success. I’ve also seen it to cover the underside deck roof joists with success. Wasn’t very noticeable either.
 
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Old 08-22-17, 01:24 PM
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I’ve seen these channels go 6 to 10 inches
Yhe 2x6 I had to replace had channels hollowed out over a 6'-7' length, only 3 or 4 holes visible until the wood began to fail. The hole goes straight in but then the tunnel turns and can go a long ways.
 
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Old 08-28-17, 07:52 AM
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The dreaded Carpenter Bee aka Wood Bee. For years I battled them with various means and methods. Many of those methods were unsuccessful - wasp spray, caulking up their holes, swatting them with a tennis racket, cursing loudly at them.

The damage they did to the eaves and overhangs at the house were a constant reminder that the structure was being compromised by insects. Then to add insult to injury, woodpeckers came and started chipping away at the wood to find the bee larvae.

I would logically think "these insects have a purpose but only in the forest where there are dead trees to bore into".

I began my research and found the most effective means of ridding the house from the bees. The Carpenter Bee trap is my recommendation. The trap looks like a box with an overhanging flat roof on it. I built my own from 1x6 lumber and drilled a 1/2 inch hole at an upward angle on all 4 sides. There is a hole at the bottom of the trap that leads to a mason jar. I attached the screw band from the jar to the opening of the hole so I could empty the trap when it was full.

The total cost was less than 5 dollars and it was the single most effective way to eliminate the bee problem. As an added measure to get the trap to work, I 'primed' it with the bee secretion that is found at the opening of their existing hole. Scrape some of it off an existing hole and smear it on the 1/2 inch hole of the trap. It is a scent that lures bees in. Also if you are able, find a dead carpenter bee and put it into the trap. The dead bee also lures in others in the area.
 
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Old 08-28-17, 09:24 AM
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methods were unsuccessful - ........., cursing loudly at them.
While that does do anything for getting rid of the bees sometimes it makes us feel better
I've been laying off to build one of those traps and for some reason have yet to get to it. A plastic drink bottle [instead of mason jar] can also be used.
 
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