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How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

Before we dive into how to get rid of carpenter bees, you have to know the basics behind them. Carpenter bees look very similar to bumblebees. They have a shiny and hairless abdomen, but have very different nesting habits. They tunnel into wood so they can lay their eggs. This causes major issues when it comes to the overall structural integrity of wood. If you want to stop carpenter bees from putting a hole in your beautiful wood, or if you want to make sure you are safeguarding your wooden structures from bees during the warmer seasons, then this is the guide for you. Learn how to get rid of carpenter bees, once and for all.


Biological Habits of Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees do not live in colonies over winter. Those that do survive the winter, emerge and then mate in the spring. Female bees then bore into the wood, excavating their own tunnel in which they lay their eggs.The entrance hole will be perfectly round and most of the time, will be the same diameter as your pinky finger.

Other signs that you have carpenter bees include whether or not you see coarse sawdust at the opening. Sometimes you can hear the tunnels being made in the wood, too. After the boring process has started, the bee will then turn at a right angle and continue to tunnel parallel to the wood. Five cells are constructed so the individual eggs can be housed.

The bee provisions every cell with pollen and then seals the chamber with wood pulp. The hatching takes place over several weeks and the pollen serves as a food source. The adult bees then forage on flowers and return to the wood to hibernate. This may seem not relevant at the moment but knowing all of this information will ultimately help you get rid of carpenter bees.

Carpenter Bee Damages

Even though carpenter bees are not half as destructive as termites, they can cause structural and cosmetic damages. Female bees can excavate new tunnels in wood so they can lay more eggs, or they will enlarge the existing ones they have already made. If you have wood that is infested year after year, this will cause significant damage. You also run the risk of moisture, decay, and rot.

Can Carpenter Bees Sting?

Carpenter bees are not as likely to sting when compared to other bees and wasps. Males can be intimidating, but they are harmless because they are not able to sting. Female bees can inflict painful stings, but don’t usually do so unless they are handled or bothered. It’s not uncommon to see solitary bees or even wasps visit abandoned nests, as they scavenge on the pollen or attempt to use the tunnels as a form of shelter.


Effective Ways to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

NBS 30

Carpenter bees can be a major problem for people that buy quality wood. That’s why we make every effort to sell NBS 30 to everyone who buys from us. It’s a fantastic way to stop carpenter bees from drilling into the wood in the first place. When the summer hits, this is when bees cause the most damage. Mixing NBS 30 into paint or even stain is a brilliant way for you to mitigate boring bees. We can ship it to you directly for $60, plus shipping. Want a quote? Simply email us and we’ll get you a shipping amount.


Other ways to prevent carpenter bees would be for you to use traps. This is a non-toxic way for you to eliminate bees. You can buy a trap and put it right above the hole. Bees will enter the trap, thinking it’s a nest but they will not be able to evacuate.

Non-Toxic Liquids

Non-toxic liquids that can repel bees include almond oil or citrus oil. Simply spray this around the hole, and the bees will be naturally encouraged to leave the nest.

Loud Noises

Loud noises and vibrations also repel bees, so play some loud music with a speaker next to the area for three days. You’ll want to fill the hole as soon as they have left.

Vinyl Sidings

Houses with vinyl sidings are common in the US because they are both cheap and effective. The flat plastic boards cover the softwood and offer a level of protection against rot and moisture. Vinyl imitates wooden clapboards, but they’re made out of PVC resin.

Seal Holes and Cracks

Any hole inside a good surface is prime real estate. Seal any holes and cracks if possible, to keep bees away.

Steel Wool

If you want to stop insects from tunnelling more into a hole, stuff it with steel wool. They cannot penetrate steel wool so will have to look for other places to nest. Just make sure the bees are not present at the time.

Lastly, a professional may be able to help you to relocate the bees without causing them harm, depending on how accessible the nest is.

Protect Your Wood Against Carpenter Bees

Anyone who buys their wood from us are encouraged to also purchase NBS 30. With summer upon us, this is when they hit hardest so it’s best to get ahead before things get bad. Simply mix NBS 30 into paint or even stain to mitigate boring bees. Simply email us at and we’ll get you some NBS 30 before you know it!