I have Carpenter Bees

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Forum topic by doninvegas posted 02-18-2012 02:31 AM 3261 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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334 posts in 3322 days

02-18-2012 02:31 AM

I have these carpenter bees in some of my Alder. They haven’t gotten into my Cedar or Maple yet. I was surprised because living here in Southern Nevada I didn’t think these bugs would survive here. I do get my wood from Oregon so they must have made the trip. Who wouldn’t want a free trip to Vegas? Anyway, does regular bug or hornet spry get rid of them? I have also heard the WD-40 works.

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

19 replies so far

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3224 days

#1 posted 02-18-2012 02:37 AM

Man, I couldnt tell you, but I would shy away from the wd-40 due to undesirable effects to the wood. what about lacquer thinner. Deadly as in INSTANT and will evaporate quickly.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3105 days

#2 posted 02-18-2012 02:46 AM

Hey Don, Search ‘Carpenter Bees’ on the LJ search thingy. I remember a forum topic about these pests with some innovative solutions. They bore so far into the wood that pesticides applied to the outside of the wood won’t eliminate them. I was resawing some reclaimed Doug Fir in the winter and sawed into a bunch of these that were at least 18” from their entry hole.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3976 days

#3 posted 02-18-2012 03:20 AM

I had some carpenter bees get into some wooden saw horses that I left outside for a few weeks. Didn’t realize they were in them until after I brought them into the shop and I started seeing dead ones on the floor and once in a while in the windows.

Bringing them inside your shop will break their life cycle and they won’t live or reproduce because they will starve to death.

I’m not sure if they have a stinger or not, but if you see a live one, I’d shoot it with some wasp spray.

-- Joe

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3263 posts in 3090 days

#4 posted 02-18-2012 03:41 AM

The male bee acts as a guard and hovers around the hole they make. The female does all the food gathering etc. The male acts very aggressive but does not have a stinger. The female does have a stinger but rarely stings. They are easily killed with bee killer. If they are in a place where you could use it some dish soap in water will kill them if you spray it on them. They suffocate and die right away. Same with other bees and wasps. What ever you use is going to get on your wood in most cases. I have some unpainted wood under a patio and they moved in there then they nearly ate a cedar split rail fence before I found them. I used a chemical called Dursban and it was very effective. This product has been taken off the market because The patent run out and there were other chemicals out there so ….well, I guess it worked very well. I mixed my brew in a pump up garden sprayer and stuck the nozzle into the hole and sprayed away. The next day they were falling out dead.

View 489tad's profile


3615 posts in 3426 days

#5 posted 02-18-2012 05:12 AM

What Grandpa said. I worked a short stint in the bug killing industry and what the tech’s did was spray into the hole, (who knew bee’s carried 3/8” cordless drill and bits) then stuff cotton into the hole to kill the larva. The bees would die instantly but the larva could still hatch (?). Thats what they did.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

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Don Johnson

707 posts in 3195 days

#6 posted 02-18-2012 10:37 AM

We don’t have these little critters in the UK, so I know nothing about them, but their name is intruiging.

Can they be trained – to cut mortices for example ?

-- Don, Somerset UK,

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1880 posts in 3976 days

#7 posted 02-18-2012 11:47 AM

@Don = Little buggers won’t do square holes, but they make perfect dowel holes, LOL.

-- Joe

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3281 days

#8 posted 02-18-2012 12:12 PM

My brother had some on the outside of his log cabin. They make nearly perfect holes.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View dhazelton's profile


2837 posts in 2711 days

#9 posted 02-18-2012 02:22 PM

Are they actual carpenter bees, the black fuzzy round guys or more like wasps? Wasps will make crazy intersecting tunnels in a trunk like ants. I’ve used carburetor cleaner to take down a hornet or wasp mid flight. It’s cheap and evaporates quickly, but I’d be afraid it might leave a flammable coating on the wood.

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

707 posts in 3195 days

#10 posted 02-18-2012 02:30 PM

Being serious now, I Googled this:

Bees breathe through a complex structure of network of tracheas (or wind pipes) and air sacs. Oxygen is vacuumed into the body through openings on each segment of their bodies. The pull air in, then close their outermost vents and force the air into little tubules that get smaller and smaller until they reach the cells they need to.
Bees cannot breathe when they are coated with certain things and instead of using poison . . . . . . .

So, something like a hair spray lacquer will kill them by suffocation – as it will flies
(- Oooh! an excuse to quote the following:)

Time flies like an arrow

Fruit flies like a banana

-- Don, Somerset UK,

View Jeremiah's profile


82 posts in 2739 days

#11 posted 02-18-2012 06:44 PM

I’ve had’em, I’ve gotten rid of them.

I took a board they were attacking & put it on a saw horse while i was working outside. wait for the little bugger to fly into the hole it made and stuff it with Steel Wool he will turn around and try to eat his way out…..dead bug.

Yes i lost a couple of boards, but only a few of these guys were doing all the damage. After entombing my 3rd or 4th bee, the problem was over.

That was 3 years ago. No problems since.

View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3090 days

#12 posted 02-18-2012 08:48 PM

I tried blocking them in with caulk. they simply moved over half an inch and made another hole in nothing flat! Kill them. Took me a long time to get rid of all them. I would think I had it done and they would pop up again in a month or so. They like wood that hasn’t been painted. Maybe you need to paint….LOL

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3263 posts in 3090 days

#13 posted 02-18-2012 08:49 PM

Don, I would send you a box of them but they would eat the box away during the trip. LOL

View jim454's profile


35 posts in 2828 days

#14 posted 02-18-2012 09:04 PM

Use a small amount of insecticide that is labeled for bees and wasps: this can be dust, wettable powders, microencapsulated products, or aerosols. The labeled pesticide should be blown into the nesting holes. This is more safely done with aerosols than with the other formulations. After a few days, to allow the adult female to become exposed to the pesticide, the holes should be plugged with plastic wood, putty, or similar substance.

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Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3606 days

#15 posted 02-18-2012 09:13 PM

WD 40 takes the noise out of there wings….less buzzing :)

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

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