How to Protect Exterior Wood Stairs from Carpenter Bees How to Protect Exterior Wood Stairs from Carpenter Bees

What You'll Need
Paint tray
Exterior wood stain
Wood filler

Male carpenter bees, though aggressive, do not sting, but they will gladly bore through your exterior wood stairs to create their nests. Female carpenter bees are not aggressive, but they can and will sting if provoked. A carpenter bee can bore a 3/8-inch hole into your exterior wood stairs. If carpenter bees bore through the steps, they will greatly weaken your exterior wood stairs. This article will show you how you can protect your carpentry work.

Step 1 - Build Your Exterior Wood Stairs Right

Carpenter bees love exterior wood stairs that are made out of softwood. They will bore their holes and create their nests easily. The best way to stop carpenter bees is to stop them before they start. Create exterior wood stairs from hardwood that has been treated because carpenter bees will go after raw natural wood. A coat of stain and polyurethane can also deter the carpenter bees.

Step 2 - Remove the Current Residents

If you don't want to replace your exterior wood stairs, you can at least reclaim them. To remove the current wave of carpenter bees, you want to use an insecticide that's suggested for this problem. Get a package that has a long, thin plastic nozzle. Insert the nozzle into each of the holes in the exterior wood stairs and spray. As you spray, slowly remove the nozzle out of the hole. This will coat the hole inside.

Make sure you complete this step around dusk, as carpenter bees will usually sleep at night and will already be back in their nest around dusk. Remove the nozzle and spray the entire set of exterior wood stairs. Wait a day or two for the chemical to take hold before you continue to Step 3.

Step 3 - Fill the Holes

The chemicals will continue to work, but they do not always stop new carpenter bees from coming and setting up shop. Squeeze your wood filler inside the hole as you move the opening out of the hole. This technique will help you to properly fill each hole. Spread the excess over the hole. Wait for it to dry and then sand it flush with the wood.

Step 4 - Prevent Future Problems

You now want to stop carpenter bees from coming back to make new holes. Apply a stain to the exterior wood stairs by following the instructions. Follow up with two coats of polyurethane, which prevents carpenter bees from boring into the exterior wood stairs. Reapply polyurethane every 6 months.

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