Bees and wasps are insects that are often viewed with awe and fear, as they can inflict painful stings. It is said that there are around 20,000 types of bees, across the globe. While some are social bees that live in colonies, others are solitary. An example of a social bee is the honey bee, and the carpenter bee is a classic example of a solitary bee. However, carpenter bees are found to live in close vicinity, sometimes in really large numbers. Even though, they are said to be docile insects, female carpenter bees can inflict painful stings. If you find carpenter bees in large numbers, in your surroundings, get rid of them immediately.

Carpenter Bee Facts

They are large bees with hairy bodies. They may resemble bumble bees, due to their size; but the latter have hairy abdomen. Most of these bees build their nest in dead wood and bamboo, and hence, the name. They are excellent drillers, and the females can drill holes and make nests in structures made of wood. They are commonly found to build nests in wooden siding and decks; and if you find any sawdust accumulation near these structures, make sure to check for the nests.

As compared to some other species, carpenter bees are found to be docile; and do not sting, unless they are attacked. This does not mean that they do not sting at all. Being large in size, they can scare away people, especially kids. Even though they are solitary, carpenter bees can build nests in nearby areas; and can result in their accumulation, which can be sometimes unsafe. So, in case you find their nests in the house or surroundings, you must think of proper extermination methods.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

Once you identify these bees frequenting a particular place, try to locate their nests. You may find holes (with around half-inch diameter) on wooden structures, with lots of sawdust nearby. Check for yellowish particles that are actually the excrement of these insects. Each nest will have a male and a female. The males are often found roaming around the nest. Once you locate their nests, you may try any of the following methods to get rid of these bees.
  • Cover their nests with a material that cannot be burrowed. For this purpose, you may use steel wool, wood putty, caulk, or any other sealant. However, make sure to wear a face mask and gloves, while doing this task, so as to avoid getting stung.
  • Spray petrol into their nests and nearby areas. However, this method can be risky, as petrol is an inflammable substance. Even boric acid is said to work wonders, in order to eliminate them.
  • You may use a vacuum cleaner to suck out the insects from the nest. This should be done, during dusk or dawn, when the insects are normally found inside their nests. All you have to do is to use the smallest attachment that has to be fixed on the hole, and suck out the insects. Seal the holes immediately.
  • There are different types of insecticides that can be used for carpenter bees extermination. You may choose one of them and apply directly on their nests. Soak the nest with the product and seal them.
In short, exterminating carpenter bees is not a daunting task, provided you know the right methods. Take enough precautionary measures to avoid their stings. The cracks and crevices on wooden structures must be sealed, to deter these insects from making their nests. Painting the wooden structures may also be effective to some extent.