Carpenter Bees

How To Get Rid Of Carpenter Bees?

You can get rid of Carpenter Bees by painting wood, using natural insecticides, building traps, keeping the garage door closed or replacing the wood they have infested. Though carpenter bees are essential for pollination they can become pests when they decide to settle in softwood trees on your property, such as cedar or pine. In this article, we shall take a closer look at carpenter bees and how to get rid of carpenter bees from your property. 

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How carpenter bees can damage wood?

Carpenter bees bore into wood but do not eat it. They create “nesting galleries” where the bees lay eggs in the spring and also take shelter in the winter. These holes may look tiny on the outside but are significantly bigger and cause more damage than you can imagine. 

carpenter bees

The nest of a carpenter bee opens into a wider, straight tunnel for a few inches. It then takes a sharp 90-degree turn and extends for several feet further into the wood. These tunnels may take several months to a few years to get completely built so you may see carpenter bees visiting the site multiple times in a year to enlarge them according to their needs. This is how carpenter bees damage the wood. 

If left unchecked, the damage caused by carpenter bees can destabilize the wood in the area. Apart from this, the presence of carpenter bees also attracts woodpeckers who tunnel further into the wood in search for the bee larvae to feed. 

Remember, only the female carpenter bee tends to sting if provoked but the stingless make carpenter bees are more aggressive and active in comparison. 

How to identify signs of Carpenter Bees infestation?

If you are worried about carpenter bee infestation, then you should check the wood in your home and yard for these signs:

  • Sawdust or wood shavings near or around an opening
  • ½ to ¾ inch wide circular holes in the wood
  • Yellowish substance near or just outside the entrance
  • Threatening flight activity in the area, which usually shows male bees defending the territory

These are the obvious signs of carpenter bee infestation. The yellowish substance found at, or near the entrance of the tunnels in the wood is the chewed wood that the bees push out of the tunnel as they burrow deeper. The bees pass a sticky yellowish paste which often gathers right outside a bee tunnel. This substance often causes yellowish stains to form on the wooden structure and gradually darken its color. 

You can identify a carpenter bee infestation by the loud, reverberating buzzing sound, similar to a carpenter’s drill or saw. Their presence can be intimidating, especially when the bees swirl and dive around humans. These are often the male carpenter bees tasked with defending their territory. 

If you see any of these signs of carpenter bee infestation, it is recommended to call professional garden experts, such as Eden for best solution. Else, you can try some home-made and commercial remedies to get rid of carpenter bees.

How to get rid of Carpenter Bees?

Here are the top solutions to get rid of carpenter bees:

1 . Paint wood: Cracked or exposed wood are highly attractive to carpenter bees. You can apply a permanent finish to the bare wood surface to effectively prevent carpenter bees from burrowing into it. These bees do not like burrowing in painted wood. You may want to instead stain the wood but it is not effective to prevent carpenter bee infestation. The tiny cracks and nail holes in the wood should be filled with putty or caulk before painting. 

2. Using insecticide: You can use insecticide to kill carpenter bees but this option is advisable only for dire circumstances. The reason is that carpenter bees are an essential part for pollination. Thus, it is better to prevent them from making holes in the wood.  The best way is to spray an insecticide on the wood where carpenter bees will, or have in the past gathered. It is advisable to spray insecticide on wood in late winter because carpenter bees tend to arrive in early spring. You can even buy a special carpenter bee spray at your local gardening store or online. This spray is designed to repel carpenter bees as it uses a citrus scent which is a natural deterrent for the bees. You can make your own home-made carpenter bee repellent by boiling citrus fruit rinds in water (or add a few drops of citrus oil to the water), and put it in a sprayer before spraying the liquid on the wood which is frequented by carpenter bees. Make sure to take care while using carpenter bees spray as it may also harm other non-dangerous and essential bugs and critters in the garden or yard. 

3. Build traps: You can use a carpenter bee trap to get rid of a bee infestation. These traps are designed to allow the bee to fly in but prevent its exit. You can also make your own bee trap with a wooden box that has angled holes for the bee to enter, with a plastic jar fixed to its bottom. The bees can get in through the slanting holes but are unable to escape out once they get trapped. 

4. Keep garage door closed: Make sure to keep the door to the garage, shed or any outer buildings closed to prevent carpenter bees from entering in search of wood to burrow. 

5. Replace the wood: You can also get rid of, and prevent carpenter bee infestation by replacing the wooden surfaces with aluminum, vinyl or any other non-wooden material. 


It is easy to get rid of carpenter bees by painting the wood, spraying bee repellent/insecticide, painting the wood, replacing the wood or keeping the garage and shed doors closed. If the infestation is significantly extensive and these solutions are unsuccessful, then you should contact gardening experts, such as Eden for a quick, professional way to get rid of carpenter bees. 

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