What a year! Covid-19, locusts are decimating parts of Africa and the Middle East…and now the Carpenter bees have arrived. Imagine if carpenter bees were to behave like locusts- they would simply devour every house to the ground- in minutes!
This year has already been huge for carpenter bees around the Dominick house. Sawdust particles are falling around me like cherry blossom petals. We have a large white Pine front porch that these rascals just love and they have bored close to 50 holes over the last few years. Not only are these holes about half an inch in diameter but they are simply the front door to long caverns bored into the wood. Some of the caverns extend several inches in length and are full of these giant bees and their larva for the next crop. So how do we stop them? I have one reader who uses a tennis racket to knock them down (you know who you are!). It’s lucky that they don’t sting!
I have tried various methods including these cool carpenter bee traps of which I have ten! So far I have caught about 30 bees this year but there were twice that many still buzzing madly around digging new and larger houses in my beautiful porch. Then I finally came up with the solution. Wasp spray! Duhhh!
Well not so fast, I have probably shot gallons of the so called instant kill wasp spray at these critters but they are so busy chasing each other around in their springtime mating dance that they forgot to stop and die! That’s what I call powerful desire. So I had an idea!
Most of us have bought those cans of WD-40 lubricant. These usually come equipped with a skinny red tube that can be inserted in the spray nozzle of the WD-40 can. I thought to myself that perhaps that red tube would fit into the nozzle of the wasp spray and it did! So I got my ladder out and stuck that red tube into the carpenter bee hole. If you poke around you can feel the direction in which they have bored out their gallery in the wood. I then gave it a quick shot and VOILA! Out came the carpenter bee who then promptly fell to the floor and died.
I spent about two hours hunting down all the little holes and giving them a quick shot of the wasp spray and it did the trick. Dozens of carpenter bees came out of their holes and died and the others who were already flying around were not willing to go back to the holes. I did this about two week ago and the last warm day I only noticed a few stragglers hanging around compared to the buzzing hordes that I have come to expect.
I have to admit that I really kind of like carpenter bees, they don’t sting and they are so industrious that I have to admire them. But it was either them or the porch! I recommend getting the “non-staining” wasp spray so that it doesn’t stain your wood work.
Ned Dominick has been inspecting houses in Macon, Warner Robins and all of Middle Georgia since 1978. He and his qualified inspectors have examined over 85,000 local homes. For more go to his website at www.housetalk.net or give him a call at 478-738-0893