Carpenter bees are a common pest on many residential properties across the United States--particularly in the Midwest. Aside from being a hazard to people who are allergic to bee stings, they can also be a hassle for property owners, as carpenter bees are known to burrow into wood structures to build their nests. Read on to learn how to detect carpenter bees on your property, get rid of them, and keep them from coming back.
Signs of Carpenter Bees
Aside from seeing the bees themselves (which are black and yellow in color and resemble bumble bees) on your property, one of the best ways to diagnose a carpenter bee infestation is to find a nest. Specifically, carpenter bees tend to bore into softer woods in order to create a nest inside the wood--often during the spring and summer months. Therefore, if you spot any holes in the wooden structures of your home (decks, pergolas, exterior staircase railings, etc), there's a chance you may have carpenter bees. Keep an eye out on the suspected areas in the evening, shortly after the sun goes down; if you spot any bees hovering around the area, there's probably a nest in the wood.
Treatment and Prevention
Fortunately, getting rid of carpenter bees isn't too difficult. First of all, note that the male carpenter bees can be very aggressive and will sting. Therefore, it's best to contact a professional bee removal service, such as ABC Pest Control, or wait until later in the day to deal with carpenter bees.
The best way to get rid of these bees is to douse the nest with a spray specifically formulated to kill bees. This will kill the bees and their nests on contact. From there, it's best to wait until the next day to go through preventative measures that'll keep carpenter bees from coming back. This includes filling the hole in the wood with steel wool and sealing over it with a wood sealant.
Since carpenter bees prefer building nests in untreated wood (it's easier to bore through), you may also want to consider staining/sealing the wood outside your home to keep them from coming back.
Carpenter bees can be a hassle to have on your property. Fortunately, with the proper treatment and prevention, you can rid of them in no time and keep them from returning to bother you next season. Just be sure to keep these tips in mind along the way.