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Q: How can we get rid of "carpenter bees"? ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: How can we get rid of "carpenter bees"?
Category: Family and Home > Home
Asked by: dottom-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 20 Apr 2002 04:25 PDT
Expires: 27 Apr 2002 04:25 PDT
Question ID: 2278
We live on Long Island, NY in a house on about a 1/2 acre of land (lots of 
trees behind our house).  We have noticed that there are a dozen or more very 
large insects that are parked and swarming around a wooden trestle that hangs 
over a patio behind our house.  They are annoying and make it uncomfortable 
for us to sit outside on our patio.  Our neighbors have told us that they 
are "carpenter bees".  One of our neighbors (they have the same problem) went 
to Home Depot to try and buy some sort of extermination solution...but came 
back empty-handed.  He was told that he would need a professional exterminator 
to get rid of these bees.

My question is....what are these things and is there a way that we can quickly 
and easily get rid of them ourselves, without calling in an exterminator?
Subject: Re: How can we get rid of "carpenter bees"?
Answered By: shal-ga on 20 Apr 2002 11:30 PDT
Dear dottom,
     Carpenter bees are large “bee-like” insects that resemble the bumble be as 
they have similar body structure and coloring.  However, unlike their bee 
relatives, carpenter bees are generally not aggressive.  Only the female 
carpenter bee is capable of stinging, and will only do so when provoked. These 
creatures like sylvan environments, as they like to burrow tunnels inside wood 
to set up nest.  The following excerpt from “The Bug Clinic” explains the 
nesting habits of the carpenter bee:

“Carpenter bees . . . enter primarily unpainted softwoods such as pine and chew 
that nice 3/8" entry hole.  After chewing a relatively short entrance, the bee 
will chew another tunnel, several inches long at a ninety-degree angle to the 
opening where (if it's a female) it will lay eggs starting from the back and 
working toward the opening.  These bees will nest in the wood.  There is 
typically one generation of these insects annually with most of the activity in 
the spring.  These bees are known to return to previously used galleries from 
year to year although other bees can make new galleries as well.”

     As your experience dictates, these insects are most often found in fascia 
board, deck railings, unpainted lawn furniture, posts, and unpainted playground 

     Yes, you can manage this pest problem yourself!  Exclusion is one method 
of getting rid of these insects.  Sealing and painting over the surfaces where 
you have found these little critters will help prevent them from setting up 
nest.  The Bug Clinic recommends a good enamel or polyurethane as these are 
the “most durable and least likely to be attacked again.” Another exclusion 
method they recommend is to “wrap exposed wood with aluminum flashing in areas 
such as the gutter fascia.”
     Pesticides are another possible solution to your problem.  Dust is the 
most effective pesticide for active carpenter bee nests.  Products such as, 
bendiocarb (Ficam D – available, but no longer in production), carbaryl (Sevin) 
dust and boric acid (Borid Turbo Aerosol) are effective.  Two specific products 
that you can purchase directly from the Bug Clinic website are “Apicide” 
and “Borid Turbo.” For more information on these products and how to purchase 
them please visit
For more information on carpenter bee pest management you may wish to contact 
the Bug Clinic directly. Their toll free number is (800) 433-1128. 
Alternatively, they can be reached via fax at (845)-356-2836 or by Email at 

Additional Websites that may interest you:, carpenter bees page – offers information on carpenter bee 
biology, signs of infestation, ways to eliminate these insects.

Do Your Own Pest Control – explains how to identify and eliminate the carpenter 

Ohio State University Extension, Entomology – a fact sheet on carpenter bees.

University of Kentucky Entomology - gives a summary describing the carpenter 
bee that includes pictures.

Search Terms Used: 
carpenter bees

I hope this information is helpful. Good Luck!

Thank you,
Subject: Re: How can we get rid of "carpenter bees"?
From: beauwebmaster-ga on 20 Apr 2002 04:43 PDT
Use a little surfactant with it, saturate all the exposed wood, use a power 
sprayer if you can, soak it good, might take a couple of applications. Usually 
good for the year once you get them under control. Of course it goes without 
saying to follow all the safety info on the label. Use the higest rate the 
label allows. 


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Subject: Re: How can we get rid of "carpenter bees"?
From: superid-ga on 20 Apr 2002 09:40 PDT
Oh I feel your pain!   We've been enduring carpenter bees in the trim of our 
house for 10 years.  I've tried everything, including whacking them with a 
baseball bat (and that is tremendously satisfying!).

This is an excellent web page about carpenter bees

The most widely recommended product to kill carpenter bees is Drione.  You can 
read about it here  unfortunately I 
see that you are in New York and it apparently cannot be shipped to New York.

Good luck!


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