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Carpenter Bees
updated: Jun 01, 2014, 10:14 AM

I have carpenter bees…very big! …how do I get rid of them? exterminator company recommendations please! thanks!

 COMMENT 524295P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 10:22 AM

Awww.... we love our carpenter bees. They do minimal damage (unless your house is wood sided and it's been decades). They're harmless and good pollinators. Research before you kill them.

 

 COMMENT 524296P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 10:23 AM

I use Western and have had very good experiences with them - including for carpenter bees. I told them I either had the worlds largest termites, or something else and they told me it was a carpenter bee. :-).

 

 COMMENT 524303 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 10:44 AM

An infusion of hot pepper oil (capsaicin) and lemon oil are useful as repellents, after spraying, fill holes with wood putty or epoxy. Prepare infusion by adding a pint of boiling water to three or four finely chopped fresh peppers, cayenne, habanero, Thai, etc. and a couple teaspoons of grated fresh lemon rind or lemon oil. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, strain, and put in sprayer. Apply liberally around holes/nests and nearby untreated or poorly protected wood.

Have you considered the unintended consequences of using toxic chemicals to poison your environment? That should be the last resort when all else fails. Be kind to nature, you are part of it! Rachel Carson's birthday was a few days ago; we should heed her legacy

 

 COMMENT 524316 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 11:37 AM

Please do not kill them, they are vital pollinators! It is imperative that we do our research in order to educate ourselves about toxins and their effect on our ecosystem. There are non-lethal methods to keep them away from structures.

 

 COMMENT 524327P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 12:14 PM

Before using pesticides, please contact the Santa Barbara Bee Association and ask their advice. http://sbba.org/bee-rescue/ --- they do live removals.

 

 COMMENT 524331 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 12:21 PM

They get between the end of the roof and gutter so I fill the space with steel wool and viola - they find another home.

 

 D8VANILLA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 12:45 PM

Killing is NEVER a good idea. Please contact the Bee Rescue and see what they can do for you. And, they are free. 805.881.3031
or
805.699.6229 ~~~~ www.sbba.org

 

 COMMENT 524337 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 12:48 PM

Last week I saw some of these VLB's (very large bees) pollinating the flowers on a Palo Verde tree. Please don't kill them.

 

 COMMENT 524340 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 12:54 PM

First try filling in the gaps or holes. As pointed out above steel wool(stainless or copper types wont rust) works well.

 

 COMMENT 524341 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 12:59 PM

If you value fruits (most) and veggies (some), please don't exterminate!

 

 COMMENT 524347 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 01:34 PM

We called Dave at 805 717 3540. Came out gathered them and was all done within an hour, Please take the extra time to have a rescued. Give it a Google re our current bee population and how important they are. Thank you in advance.

 

 BULLSEYEB agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 01:44 PM

Be careful you make sure the capenter bees are not in the holes before you fill them!

Waaay back when I was in 4th grade, I did an oral presentation on Carpenter Bees. It was early December in Orange County, CA. Over the summer my dad had replaced the wood upright that held up our mailbox because we had carpenter bees that had burrowed up through the wood post, through the bottom of the wooden mailbox and would come flying out of the mailbox when you opened it up. As a 9 yr old, I hated to get the mail because the box was basically at face level. No fun when two big, black bees would come flying out right at your nose! We finally got a fix it notice from the post office because none of the mailmen wanted to deliver mail to us.

On the day of my speech, I took the wood into school as a prop for my speech. It was partially split in half so that one end exposed the tunnels/channels that the bees had made in the wood and the other end was still intact. My teacher asked me if I was sure there were no bees in there and I told her my dad said there weren't any. We'd had it sitting in the garage with the other pieces of wood for several months after all.

I gave my speech right before lunch and set the wood on the wide windowsill behind our desks so that the kids could look at it when they wanted to. It was right next to one of the heater registers. I guess the heater had come on during lunch because while we were listening to Mrs. Childs read Charlotte's Web, three large, black carpenter bees came out of the solid end of the wood and started flying around the classroom!

Apparently they thought it was spring time and came out of hibernation. Of course, bedlham ensued and all of us ran screeming from the classroom and Mrs. Childs had to call for the custodian to come and shoo them out of the room. I will never forget the look on Mrs. Childs' face when she stammered out, "You said there weren't any bees in the wood." I think she was far more freaked than any of the screaming children!

So, please check carefully, if you can, to make sure that there are no carpenter bees in the wood before you plug the holes. It would be so unfair to trap them inside.

 

 COMMENT 524354P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 01:55 PM

I don't understand: I have lived here all my life and have never, ever, heard of Carpenter Bees being either hostile or destructive. I've also never heard of anyone being stung (do they even have stingers?). As far as I know, they're completely harmless. Are you just afraid of them?

 

 MOUNTAINMAN4865 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 02:18 PM

The ones at our house tend to greet us when we come home. When we get out the car, they come and fly eye-level, taking a good gander, and then zoom off.

You can also leave out driftwood or sections of cut wood for them to make a home in something other than your porch/eaves.

 

 COMMENT 524363 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 02:34 PM

I live in a 50's house. For those you who say carpenter bees do no damage, I can attest that isn't true. Among other things, some of the beams that support the roof, have been completely destroyed. The damage is much greater than what the termites did. Once upon a utopian time ago I too thought of them as harmless.

By the way, flies are also good pollinators but I don't see anyone dvocating for more flies.

 

 COMMENT 524365 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 02:37 PM

354P - having lived here 5 years, I have dealt with carpenter bees boring into rafter tails & eves more than I'd like to admit, so yes, they are destructive.

 

 D8VANILLA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 03:10 PM

@bullseyeb ~~ Loved the story... And, I bet all the students in your class have told the story over & over again!! Thanks for sharing

 

 COMMENT 524377P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 03:43 PM

...because flies aren't pollinating our food sources as bees do.

 

 COMMENT 524379 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 03:46 PM

I'm a contractor who has made a number of repairs over the years to houses with damage done by carpenter bees. Their bore holes are about 1/2" in diameter. I would say that they are destructive to homes in much the same way as termites are.

I would support removing them if possible- just not sure of the best way to do that. I think the SB Beekeepers Assn. would be a good place to start, but I would imagine they are interested in removing swarms of bees, not just one or two bees.

A pest control company is probably the best resource unless you want to mix your own spray as a previous poster mentioned. Not sure if that would be effective or not. The fact remains, though, once they find an opening or dark spot that they think is a hole, they set about their work boring into your home's structure.

Bob

 

 COMMENT 524381 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 03:56 PM

I recently discovered Riviera Pest Control and they were awesome for our problem.

 

 COMMENT 524393 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 04:37 PM

....377P you may say that but have you ever farmed? In our local area for example, an organic trick is to spread manure at flowering time to increase the pollination by flies and to fertilize the trees.

 

 COMMENT 524395 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 04:41 PM

Seriously, how often does one see flies flying from orange blossom to orange blossom? No comparison, not even remotely, between flies and bees. Flies are filthy and carry disease. Not so with Carpenter Bees. And no maggots either. And yes, they do bore into wood to live...thus their name. However, their value as pollinators is priceless and they should be removed or repelled with non-lethal methods. Please call the numbers supplied by previous commenters. Pest control companies rarely use non-lethal means to eradicate.

 

 COMMENT 524398 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 04:44 PM

Carpenter bees do cause damage, but there are remedies that can be found short of total extermination. It's up to Us to decide what's important hteeteepee://m(dot)policymic(dot)com/articles/89557/harvard-study-reveals-how-dying-bees-hold-disastrous-consequences-for-humans

 

 COMMENT 524401 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 05:15 PM

I have a piece of old redwood driftwood hanging off the eve of my house. The Carpenter Bees have been in it more than 15 years and they seldom ever bore into anything else.

 

 COMMENT 524405 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 05:22 PM

Great idea 401. Plus they are fun to watch.

 

 LTK agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 06:15 PM

The Bee Rescue out of Carpinteria is fantastic! We had 2700 bee's with a 200 lb bee hive that they got out from under the bath tub. Please don't exterminate them.

 

 EMUWREN1 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 06:55 PM

OP: It makes my heart SING to read how many Edhatters have recommended safe removal and/or environmental solutions to your problem. Please heed their words.
Pesticides are never a good idea---never. Love you, fellow enviro and bee-loving Edhatters!

(Great story, BULLSEYE.)

 

 COMMENT 524432P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 09:15 PM

THANK YOU, SB BEE KEEPERS!
Good luck, OP. Hope you go with them, not exterminators.

 

 COMMENT 524434P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 09:19 PM

As pollinators (all of them) are decreasing due to increased and prolonged use of toxic pesticides, I recommend that folks think twice before using poisons or pest control companies (unless they use non-toxic methods). Times are changing, and nowadays we need all the pollinators we can get. Do your research and do what's right for the planet. It's rescources, including pollinators, are rapidly shrinking.

 

 LUCKY 777 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-01 10:43 PM

Thanks to all the people who are recommending a rescue by contacting the Santa Barbara Beekeepers Association BEE LINE 805-699-6229 and learning more about the organization at http://sbba.org/. Best to ALWAYS find a gentle way of preserving the lives of pollinators, and if the best option is removing them from where they are to a place where they are wanted, we can help. To learn more you can also come to the Museum of Natural History next Friday evening 6/6/14 @ 5PM where the SBBA will be having a booth and a visible hive and local tattoo artist Pat Fish will be sticking on free and painless decal bee tattoos on the crowd. Helping people help bees......... Bee well, and bee happy.

 

 COMMENT 524451P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-02 06:35 AM

DON'T CALL THE EXTERMINATORS!!!
Please call the Beekeeper's Association. One of our renters is one of the rescuers. We've gotten some fabulous honey from what he's rescued!

 

 COMMENT 524456 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-02 07:28 AM

Please don't hate on the flies!

 

 COMMENT 524464 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-02 07:50 AM

Please. Do not have them exterminated. We had a bee colony "removed" from our wood sided home. The guy actually killed them. The bees have scarcely returned to our yard. Really. Its not to be taken lightly: bees are important. These toxins are very bad. Look around you--lemon trees, orange trees, apricot trees, flowers ... The bees are needed and in critically short supply now due to colony collapse. Please, call a bee keeper. Do not kill a thriving colony.

 

 COMMENT 524479 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-02 08:53 AM

354 - Yes they do have stingers, and they use em well!

Years ago I was working on an old house, as I pulled a siding board off about a dozen Carpenter Bees swarmed out and stung my calf. They were sticky and I had to pluck them off one at a time.

That very same day I had a heat stroke, foolishly thinking it was a reaction to the bees and not taken seriously enough. I have paid a heavy price since.

 

 COMMENT 524483P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-02 09:03 AM

Don't kill the bees please!!!!

 

 GBOB agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-02 09:07 AM

THANK YOU to all who responded with suggestions to help the inquirer without destroying the bees!

 

 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-02 09:10 AM

BULLSEYEB, Your story is terrific! Bet not only your classmates repeated it many times, but your teacher too. I agree with many comments here, don't kill the bees, there are other ways. Good luck, Poster!

 

 COMMENT 524494 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-02 09:17 AM

I'm happy to come have a look at your Bumbles and recommend best way to relocate them.
Todd@sbba.org

 

 COMMENT 524527 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-02 10:38 AM

I'm all for pollinators, especially given the recent decline in the bee population. But Carpenter bees can do a lot of damage! In fact, one is boring many tunnels into my deck as I type. Easy to spot because of their droppings which look like bird poop. I'm going to try the pepper spray treatment as fair warning. But after that, it's steel wool and putty as some others have suggested. An older thread also suggested squirting foam insulation to fill the tunnels before puttying over.

 

 COMMENT 524614 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-02 01:28 PM

Plug the holes for a while, then remove the plug. The bees will usually come out right away to see what is happening.

Then plug it up again while they are out.

I like 'em but of course they are not tunneling into my house as far as I know.

 

 COMMENT 524702 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-02 05:42 PM

Thanks everyone...will try Bee Assoc. first...this is the 2nd. time they returned...have an old wood frame house and must get rid of them for good this time..will not not to have them killed..I promise!!

 

 COMMENT 524915P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-03 03:35 PM

BRAVO, 702!

 

 COMMENT 524940P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-03 05:21 PM

Thanks, OP, for changing your mind. That's so great! Good luck with the project...

 

 

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