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How to Control Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are usually harmless to humans, but their habits of drilling holes and nesting in wooden structures can be detrimental to your home. Most of the time this does not lead to irreparable structural damage, but knowing that carpenter bees are circling your home is never a comforting thought.

Knowing the signs of a carpenter bee infestation near your home can save you time, money, and a lot of stress. Below, discover the ways to rid your home of these pests.

How Do I Know If I Have Carpenter Bees?

It’s easy to spot the nesting behavior of carpenter bees if you are aware of which types of structures attract these pests.

If you have seen bees darting between wooden structures like your deck, outdoor furniture, or wooden trim/siding, try to identify patterns of holes on the wood or evidence of their activity.
piece of wood with large holes from carpenter bees
Unlike the bumble bee, the solitary carpenter bee makes its nest in exposed softwoods. They will create cylindrical holes and lay their eggs in the gallery, instead of in the ground like bumble bees do.

If your wooden structures have multiple holes all close in distance, this could be an indication of an infestation. Piles of wood shavings or frass could also be a sign of a carpenter bee’s work.

Tips to Rid Your Home of Carpenter Bees

carpenter bee on a branch
Professional removal is not always the best way to fully eliminate carpenter bees and prevent them from returning. There are a couple of ways homeowners can help stop the spread of carpenter bee activity around their homes without the assistance of a professional.

Prevent these pests from attacking exposed wood by painting all of your wooden structures and the exposed surfaces with at least two thick coats of a premium paint. This can help block entry for carpenter bees, forcing them to find shelter elsewhere. Simply replacing the wood will not help as carpenter bees will reinfest the same area.

In order to prevent their return, you can:

  • Fill exposed holes with cork or caulking and paint with two coats of high-quality paint.
  • Replace the damaged wood with composite material the bees cannot mine through, such as fiber cement or PVC
  • Purchase citrus oil and place it around your yard. The pungent smell may ward off the bees.

Carpenter bees will not completely abandon the area, but they will be limited in the damage they can cause.

Let Palmetto Exterminators Take Care of the Problem

If left undetected, carpenter bees can cause more and more damage each year to your home. Palmetto Exterminators’ goal is to protect your health and property. Our trained professionals can inspect and treat your carpenter bee problems, so give us a call today.

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Just wanted to comment on the termite treatment performed at my home yesterday: The employees of Palmetto were very pleasant and went above and beyond to make sure all work was of top quality. Very pleased with the services of Palmetto and their employees.

Jan - Greenville, SC

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