Since carpenter bees don't usually sting, many people think of them as just a minor annoyance compared to other bees and wasps. But these big, fluffy-looking bees can do a lot of damage when they take up residence in your deck, fence, or porch boards. They build tunnels burrowing through your wood, which weakens your structure and opens it up to rot and decay once moisture enters these holes. They also leave dark stains around the entrances to these tunnels. If you spot one or more carpenter bees entering a hole in your wooden structure, here's what you need to do to get rid of them.
Apply an insecticide dust.
Wait until nighttime to apply the insecticide, since this is when the bees are less active. Purchase a powder-based insecticide, and protect yourself by wearing long pants, long sleeves, disposable gloves and a face mask. The insecticide should come in a squeeze bottle-like container. Insert the applicator tip into the hole in the wood and squeeze. Dust will emerge from the bottle and will coat the sides of the bee tunnel.
Take a look around the wooden structure, and if you spot any additional holes that you suspect may be bee tunnels, apply the insecticide to them in the same manner.
Once you're done applying the insecticide, remove your clothing and launder it immediately. Discard your gloves, as they have probably become coated in a large amount of insecticide.
Plug the holes.
Don't do this immediately; wait a week after applying the insecticide. You need to give the bees time to return to the tunnels, come into contact with the insecticide, and die first. Plugging the holes is not meant to kill the bees; it's meant to keep additional bees from finding the tunnels and deciding to call them home.
To plug the holes, begin by wadding up little bits of steel wool and pushing them inside the holes. The bees cannot dig through steel wool, so this will help keep them from returning to or re-establishing the tunnels. Once the tunnels are stuffed with steel wool, use wood putty to fill them in the rest of the way. Smooth the surface off so the putty blends in with the wood.
To keep carpenter bees away in the future, consider painting your wooden structure. Painted wood is far less appealing to these pests. Stain, however, will not keep wood bees away.
If you have any more problems with bees, you may want to call a professional company like ASAP Bee Removal.